Tragedy, Recognition, and the Death of God: Studies in Hegel and Nietzsche

Hardcover | October 20, 2012

byRobert R. Williams

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Hegel and Nietzsche are two of the most important figures in philosophy and religion. Robert R. Williams challenges the view that they are mutually exclusive. He identifies four areas of convergence. First, Hegel and Nietzsche express and define modern interest in tragedy as a philosophicaltopic. Each seeks to correct the traditional philosophical and theological suppression of a tragic view of existence. This suppression of the tragic is required by the moral vision of the world, both in the tradition and in Kant's practical philosophy and its postulates. For both Hegel andNietzsche, the moral vision of the world is a projection of spurious, life-negating values that Nietzsche calls the ascetic ideal, and that Hegel identifies as the spurious infinite. The moral God is the enforcer of morality. Second, while acknowledging a tragic dimension of existence, Hegel andNietzsche nevertheless affirm that existence is good in spite of suffering. Both affirm a vision of human freedom as open to otherness and requiring recognition and community. Struggle and contestation have affirmative significance for both. Third, while the moral God is dead, this does not put anend to the God-question. Theology must incorporate the death of God as its own theme. The union of God and death expressing divine love is for Hegel the basic speculative intuition. This implies a dipolar, panentheistic concept of a tragic, suffering God, who risks, loves, and reconciles. Fourth,Williams argues that both Hegel and Nietzsche pursue theodicy, not as a justification of the moral God, but rather as a question of the meaningfulness and goodness of existence despite nihilism and despite tragic conflict and suffering. The inseparability of divine love and anguish means thatreconciliation is no conflict-free harmony, but includes a paradoxical tragic dissonance: reconciliation is a disquieted bliss in disaster.

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Hegel and Nietzsche are two of the most important figures in philosophy and religion. Robert R. Williams challenges the view that they are mutually exclusive. He identifies four areas of convergence. First, Hegel and Nietzsche express and define modern interest in tragedy as a philosophicaltopic. Each seeks to correct the traditional p...

Robert R. Williams is Professor Emeritus of Germanic Studies, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is Past President of the Hegel Society of America (1998-2000), and author of Schleiermacher the Theologian (1978), Recognition: Fichte and Hegel on the Other (1992), Hegel's Ethics of Recognition ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:October 20, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199656053

ISBN - 13:9780199656059

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Recognition1. Hegel and Nietzsche on Master and Slave2. Aristotle, Hegel, and Nietzsche on Friendship3. The Agon, Recognition, and CommunityPart II: Tragedy4. Hegel's Conception of Tragedy5. Nietzsche on TragedyPart III: Overcoming the Kantian Frame: The True Infinite6. Hegel's Concept of the True Infinite7. Hegel's Recasting of Theological ProofsPart IV: God beyond the Death of God8. Theogenesis, Divine Suffering, Demythologizing the Demonic9. Nietzsche on the Death of God and Eternal Recurrence10. Hegel on the Death of God: the Inseparability of Love and Anguish11. Nietzsche's Aesthetic Theodicy12. Hegel's Death of God Theodicy