By Vattimo, Gianni; Caputo, John D.; Robbins, Jeffrey W
John D. Caputo is Thomas J. Watson Professor of faith and arts and professor of philosophy at Syracuse collage and the David R. cook dinner Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Villanova college. His most modern books are The weak point of God: A Theology of the development and Philosophy and Theology. Gianni Vattimo is emeritus professor of philosophy on the college of Turin and a member of the ecu Parliament. His books with Columbia collage Press are Christianity, fact, and Weakening religion: A discussion (with René Girard), now not Being God: A Collaborative Autobiography, Art's declare to fact, After the dying of God, discussion with Nietzsche, the way forward for faith (with Richard Rorty), Nihilism and Emancipation: Ethics, Politics, and the legislations, and After Christianity. Jeffrey W. Robbins is affiliate professor of faith and philosophy at Lebanon Valley university.
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Extra resources for After the Death of God
As Vattimo writes, “If, in the multicultural world, I set out my system of religious, aesthetic, political and ethnic values, I shall be acutely conscious of the historicity, contingency and finiteness of these systems, starting with my own” (9). This more positive reading of the history of secularization and more hopeful, if not optimistic, reading of the postmodern as the postmetaphysical leads to Vattimo taking distance from what he calls the “tragic and apocalyptic Christianity of Dostoevsky33 with whom we began and about whom Caputo will conclude our dialogue.
DOSTOYEVSKY, “The Grand Inquisitor” It is a fine line between the servant becoming the master and the exchange of one master for another. Perhaps, as Dostoyevsky suggests, the Christianization of culture was a devil’s bargain from the start. Such is the argument of those like Elaine Pagels whose appreciation of the early Gnostic literature points to a time before the Christian community came to be defined by a specific set of authorized beliefs. As Pagels tells it and as our increasing knowledge of the Gnostic literature confirms, the first centuries of the church was a time of great diversity in terms of beliefs and practices.
Perhaps the Grand Inquisitor was right—we human beings cannot be trusted. We must be directed and ruled. We must be fed and clothed. And if not by the church, then by whom? And even if the church has lost its way, who among us is really willing to follow the way of the cross? Therefore, when the Grand Inquisitor speaks, we hear his sadness, pathos, and even resignation. Ecce homo—“behold the man”—the one who betrays his true love, the one who suffers for our sakes so that in our weakness we might be saved, the one who knows the truth while the rest of us live by our illusions.