Nietzsche Versus Paul

Nietzsche Versus Paul

ABED AZZAM
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/azza16930
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    Nietzsche Versus Paul
    Book Description:

    Abed Azzam offers a fresh interpretation of Nietzsche's engagement with the work of Paul the Apostle, reorienting the relationship between the two thinkers while embedding modern philosophy within early Christian theology. Paying careful attention to Nietzsche's dialectics, Azzam situates the philosopher's thought within the history of Christianity, specifically the Pauline dialectics of law and faith, and reveals how atheism is constructed in relation to Christianity.

    Countering Heidegger's characterization of Nietzsche as an anti-Platonist, Azzam brings the philosopher closer to Paul through a radical rereading of his entire corpus against Christianity. This approach builds a compelling new history of the West resting on a logic of sublimation, from ancient Greece and early Judaism to the death of God. Azzam discovers in Nietzsche's philosophy a solid, tangible Pauline structure and virtual, fragile Greek content, positioning the thinker as a forerunner of the recent "return to Paul" led by Badiou, Agamben, Žižek, and Breton. By changing the focus of modern philosophical inquiry from "Nietzsche and philosophy" to "Nietzsche and Christianity," Azzam initiates a major challenge to the primacy of Plato in the history of Western philosophy and narrow certainties regarding Nietzsche's relationship to Christian thought.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-53897-8
    Subjects: Religion, Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xiii-xxii)

    In a letter from 1885, Nietzsche himself recognized the difficulties involved in the question about the identity of the essential-Nietzsche and suggested to hand this question over to time and wait until some genius in Socratic knowledge might appear and be able to unearth Mr. F. N.¹ I do not intend in the present work to claim for myself the genius that Nietzsche himself did not own. Rather, I shall turn precisely to explaining how the knowledge of the essential-Nietzsche, or the knowledge of Nietzsche’s will to truth/illusion, is impossible, insofar as Nietzsche’s way to it cannot reveal it.Nietzsche...

  6. 1. FROM DIONYSIAN TRAGEDY TO CHRISTIANITY
    (pp. 1-24)

    My task concerns reconstructing the Nietzschean history of Christianity. This aphorism gives us the best access to this task in terms of its possibility, actors, substance, and movement. Nietzsche unfolds in this aphorism his vivid retrospective observation of the development of Christianity. From the viewpoint of feeling, religion is being enacted by two types of men, noble and rabble. There are, in accordance with this, two types of religion: a noble-religion whose essence is the feeling of gratitude, and a rabble-religion whose essence is the feeling of fear. Moreover, the latent understanding of the history of Christianity in terms of...

  7. 2. FROM JUDAISM TO CHRISTIANITY
    (pp. 25-51)

    Nietzsche’s pre-Christian history includes Judaism as a second path leading to Christianity, in parallel to the Greek one. Nietzsche’s historical conception of Judaism results in the division of Judaism into three phases: the biblical era (or Early Judaism), the second temple era (or Priestly Judaism),¹ and Diaspora Judaism.² This division derives from Nietzsche’s “anti-anti-Semite”³ spirit (following his distancing from Wagner and Schopenhauer).⁴ Nietzsche’s family and personal history offers explanations as to why Nietzsche identified strongly with the Jewish minority in his culture and why Jewish-Christian relations in nineteenth-century Germany are central to an understanding of Nietzsche’s thought.⁵ In addition, Nietzsche’s...

  8. 3. JESUS-CHRIST AND THE TWO WORLDS OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY
    (pp. 52-81)

    How does Nietzsche’s history of Christianity continue its development toward early Christianity? Or, put otherwise: Why does the history of pessimism not remain Platonic and priestly Jewish? What (dead) ends did the Greek and the Jewish paths result in? And how did such ends come to constitute the conditions that make the emergence of the Christian faith possible? In Nietzsche’s words, the relevant question is one about how such faith becomes demanded:

    The faith demanded … by original Christianity, in the midst of a skeptical and southern free-spirited world that looked back on, and still contained, a centuries-long fight between...

  9. 4. PAUL: THE FIRST CHRISTIAN
    (pp. 82-104)

    The comparison of Socrates and Jesus entails that, for Nietzsche, the idea of the instrumentality of reason and religion is mediated through Socrates and Paul. Therefore, a preliminary comparison between Socrates and Paul becomes necessary. Nietzsche says that Socrates “had initially sided with reason” concerning “the question whether regarding the valuation of things instinct deserves more authority than rationality.”¹ In a similar manner, he writes that Paul had also initially sided with the Jewish law: “In his youth he had himself wanted to satisfy it [fanatically].”²Only after this initial stage, or only “in the end,” Socrates discovered something: “privately...

  10. 5. SCIENCE AND ART AFTER THE DEATH OF GOD
    (pp. 105-130)

    Once Nietzsche discovers Christianity as an unauthentic lie with the help hismoderngenealogical consciousness, a tight linkage between Christianity and Modernity comes to the fore, thereby making room for the formulation of the following points. First, the Nietzschean criticism of Christianity is not independent, but connected to his criticism of Modernity. Nietzsche’s criticism of Modernity constitutes the starting point, according to which he proceeds to criticize Christianity within a history culminating in Modernity. Second, the Christian-modern continuum, which this history establishes, points to the discovery of Christianity’s lack of naive simplicity as one belonging to Modernity. The case is...

  11. 6. BEYOND MODERN TEMPORALITY
    (pp. 131-150)

    The impact of Nietzsche’s genealogical criticism of Modernity implies that, until Nietzsche, Modernity held a false self-consciousness of being affirmative of life. If this is the case, Modernity should be in some form worldly, a form according to which the ascetic character of modern science-morality remained so far hidden. To approach the form in which Modernity appears to be worldly, it is time to recall that, for Nietzsche, paradisiacal science remained a survivor after the priest waged a war against it. Now science, which has become modern, remains bound to the context of its continuous-discontinuous relationship with Christianity. Modern science...

  12. NOTES
    (pp. 151-184)
  13. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 185-196)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 197-209)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 210-210)