Nietzsche on Christ


“If the falsification which begins with the Gospels and which find their definitive form in St Paul are taken into account what is left of Christ, what is his personal type, what is the sense of his death? What Nietzsche calls the “gaping contradiction” of the Gospel must guide us. What these texts allow us to guess of the true Christ is as follows; the glad tidings that he brings, the suppression of the idea of sin, the absence of all ressentiment and of all spirit of revenge, the consequent refusal of all war, the revelation of a kingdom of God on Earth as a state of the heart and above all the acceptance of death as the proof of his doctrine” (Nietzsche and Philosophy, 155).

I feel as if Nietzsche bases his understanding of the historical Jesus on the Gospel of John. More to come…


6 Responses to “Nietzsche on Christ”

  1. Dave Mesing Says:

    That’s an interesting observation. The way I look at it is that Nietzsche hated Paul more than anyone else, almost as a kind of rival. With Christ, however, he is somewhat ambivalent at times.

    Do you think Nietzsche and Philosophy would be a good place to start reading Deleuze?

  2. Jeremy Says:

    Yeah, I’ll have to reflect more on this.

    I’d suggest that and his essay Pure Immanence.

    Then read What is Philosophy?

    I’ve read those three along with a couple of introductions, and this holidays I’m gearing up for his masterpiece Diff and Rep.

  3. Dave Mesing Says:

    Thanks. I’m planning to check out the introduction in the Routledge Critical Thinkers series, although those are sometimes more geared towards literary theory. I probably should wait a few more weeks before inquiring more, because I need to start interlibrary-loaning stuff instead of buying it. (To that end, I won’t have a choice soon).

  4. Jeremy Says:

    Well, I’ve read a couple of introductions. I didn’t find the Routledge introduction helpful at all (although usually they are fairly solid). I’d recommend finding Goodchild’s Deleuze and the Question of Philosophy or perhaps Todd May’s introduction.

  5. Richard Smyth Says:

    I would second–even third–the Todd May introduction: an excellent text.

    As for Nietzsche’s Christ, it is the Christ describe in his THE ANTI-CHRIST that makes the most sense to me…

  6. Dave Mesing Says:

    Thanks for the recommendations – I’ll take a look at the May introduction. One of the reasons that I was drawn to the Routledge one is that I’m starting to think about the approach I will take in my lit theory class next semester.

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