Daniel Came: "Nietzsche as a Christian Thinker"


Daniel Came delivers his talk 'Nietzsche as a Christian Thinker' for the 2017-2018 Humane Philosophy Project/Ian Ramsey Centre seminar at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford.

Abstract: My aims in this talk are threefold: (i) to develop and defend a reading of Nietzsche I have presented elsewhere that ascribes to him a pervasive concern with a secular variant of the Christian project of theodicy; (ii) to argue that it follows from Nietzsche’s interest in theodicy that he is complicit with the putatively life-denying presuppositions of Christianity; and (iii) to assess Nietzsche’s later attempts to move away from the project of theodicy in the direction of a notion of life-affirmation that is free from the negative valuation of life inherent in his earlier approach. According to the interpretation of this later view that I'll advance here, Nietzsche comes to adopt a deflationary position in respect of the whole question of theodicy. However, as I'll conclude, even in his most strenuous efforts to free himself from the project of theodicy, he retains a sense of the world as standing in need of redemption, and so is never fully outside the Christian tradition.

Daniel Came is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Lincoln. Previously, he was College Lecturer in Philosophy at St Hugh’s College, Oxford and Junior Research Fellow in Philosophy at Worcester College, Oxford. His research interests lie primarily in Post-Kantian European Philosophy and the Philosophy of Religion. He is the editor of Nietzsche on Morality and the Affirmation of Life (OUP, 2018) and Nietzsche on Art and Life (OUP, 2014), and has published articles in various journals, including European Journal of Philosophy, Journal of Value Inquiry, and European Journal for the Philosophy of Religion.

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