Sunday, April 18, 2010

Five best books on blasphemy

Diarmaid MacCulloch is Professor of the History of the Church and Fellow of St. Cross College in the University of Oxford. His latest book is Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.

For the Wall Street Journal he named a five best list of books about blasphemy. One title on the list:
The Antichrist
by Friedrich Nietzsche

It takes the son of a preacher-man to do blasphemy properly; Nietzsche's father was a German Lutheran pastor. It's not Nietzsche's fault that the Nazis admired him—his anti-Semitic sister should shoulder much of the blame for manipulating his image, but even so ... In the urgent, jagged prose of "The Antichrist"—superbly translated into English by H.L. Mencken in 1920—Nietzsche pitches viciously into Christianity for pushing humankind off course, for exalting pity over strength. (In German, his title could also mean "Anti-Christian.") "Theologians are the enemy," he says, and "faith is a pathetic thing." The book is a howl of rage against the great German Protestant project of wedding Christianity to the Enlightenment. Nietzsche tries to forge a relationship with Jesus beyond the distortions brought by Christian piety and to rediscover true life behind shams.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue