Posted in Philosophy

Philosophy and “death of God” theology

Here is what I gather from my understanding of continental philosophy, Hegelian dialectics, political theory and the “death of God” theology so far.

According to Wikipedia, continental philosophy is a set of 19th- and 20th-century philosophical traditions from mainland Europe. It includes theories on existentialism, post-structuralism, phenomenology, deconstructionism and so on. Well-known philosophers in Europe during this period include Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida.

Dialectics is a method of argument or exposition that systematically weighs contradictory facts or ideas with a view to the resolution of their real or apparent contradictions.

In particular, Hegelian dialectics comprises three dialectical stages of development: thesis, antithesis and synthesis. First, the thesis gives rise to its reaction, an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis, and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis. The synthesis then becomes a new thesis which will in turn be negated by a new antithesis, leading to a new synthesis in future, as part of an ongoing progression towards an end goal, which is freedom.

Political theory or political philosophy refers to a general view, or specific ethic, political belief or attitude. Slavoj Zizek, a Sloven philosopher and cultural critic, writes widely on political theory, besides film theory, cultural studies, theology and psychoanalysis.

The “death of God” theology

According to Wikipedia, the death of God theology is a theological movement in which the belief in the traditional theistic God is either absent, or God is posited as having “died” in a historical or pre-historical event. One of the main proponents of such theology is John Caputo.

I think it has an important part in postmodern theology in critiquing and deconstructing religious concepts of god. It also liberates people from the kind of god that exists as a theological concept, ideological construct and/or psychological crutch, so that when freed from the idolisation and idealisation of god, people can discover their own truth and experience the presence in the absence that is beyond words.

It is interesting to see the significance of the cross in terms of the death of god, of which William Blake “celebrates a cosmic and historical movement of the Godhead that culminates in the death of God himself”. Similarly, the article noted that “The most (in-)famous proponent of the Death of God was the German philosopher and proto-existentialist Friedrich Nietzsche, who was largely responsible for bringing the phrase “God is Dead”. It reminds me of the zen koan “when you meet Buddha on the road, kill him.” Only by killing Buddha or killing God in terms of dropping all ideologies and theories of Buddha or god will we experience a transformation in our outlook, a paradigm shift, a reconstruction or a resurrection that brings forth new life that produces peace and freedom, so to speak.

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I am a beloved child of Divine Love/Great Spirit, and so are you. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. My main interests in life include Nature, music, spirituality, inspiration, philosophy, sports, reading and photography.

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