‘God is dead’. What Nietzsche meant.


It’s true. Nietzsche did say ‘God is dead’, but contrary to the way he is too often quoted (even by popular apologists!) Nietzsche was NOT referring to a being called God who had experienced death. He believed no such thing, and therefore was not making a theological statement. Rather, more subtly, he was observing that “the belief in the Christian god has become unbelievable”. Here’s the full quote: “‘‘The greagod_is_deadtest recent event – that ‘God is dead,’ that the belief in the Christian god has become unbelievable – is already beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe. For the few at least, – the suspicion in whose eyes is strong and subtle enough for this spectacle — some sun seems to have set and some ancient and profound trust has been turned into doubt.” (Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, trans. Walter Kaufmann <New York: Random House, 1974>…

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Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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