Nietzsche As a Theological Resource

Merold Westphal

in Overcoming Onto-Theology

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780823221301
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235483 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Nietzsche As a Theological             Resource

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This chapter reflects on the possibility of a Christian appropriation of postmodern insights and entertains the possibility of Nietzsche as a resource. This essay plays two roles. First, it notes the understanding of human understanding as interpretation rather than intuition and, moreover, interpretation from the perspective of historically contingent and particular presuppositions. The discussion of Nietzsche's perspectivism and the discussion of objections that can be raised to it are as relevant to Heidegger and Derrida as they are to Nietzsche. Second, it argues that hermeneutical philosophy consists of two major branches, the hermeneutics of finitude and the hermeneutics of suspicion. The argument for a Christian appropriation of these, even when developed by postmodern philosophers with no love for Christianity, is theological. The hermeneutics of finitude is a meditation on the meaning of human createdness, and the hermeneutics of suspicion is a meditation on the meaning of human fallenness.

Keywords: Nietzsche; perspectivism; hermeneutical philosophy; finitude; suspicion

Chapter.  6652 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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