After God

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-06-08
  • Publisher: Polity

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In his Critique of Cynical Reason, Peter Sloterdijk pursued an enlightenment of the Enlightenment in both its beginnings and the present. After God is dedicated to the theological enlightenment of theology. It ranges from the period when gods reigned, through the rule of the world-creator god to reveries about the godlike power of artificial intelligence. The path of this self-enlightening theology, which is carried out here by a non-theologian, must begin well before Nietzsche’s declaration of the death of God, and it must move beyond this dictum to explore the present and the future.

Since the early 20th century we have seen how the metaphysical twilight of the gods, which has preoccupied philosophers and theologians, has been accompanied by an earthly twilight of the souls.  The emergence of psychoanalysis, and more recently the development of the neuro-cognitive sciences, have secularized the old Indo-European concept of the soul and transferred many accomplishments of the human mind to computerized machines.  What remains of the eternal light of the soul after the artificial lights have been turned on?  Have the inventors of AI thrust themselves into the position vacated by the death of god?  Perhaps the distinction between God and idols will soon re-emerge here for the citizens of modernity, only this time in a technological and political register. For them, theological enlightenment – which is completely different from an instinctive rejection of religion – will be a fateful task.

This new work by one of the most original thinkers today will appeal to students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences, as well as anyone interested in religion, philosophy and critical theory today.

Author Biography

Peter Sloterdijk is Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at the Karlsruhe School of Design.  He is one of the most influential philosophers writing today and is the author of many books including The Critique of Cynical Reason, In the World Interior of Capital, Spheres, You Must Change Your Life and What Happened in the 20th Century?

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Twilight of the Gods: “Every world of gods is followed by a twilight of the gods.”

Chapter Two: Is The World Affirmable? On the Transformation of the Basic Mood in the Religiosity of Modernity, with Regard Primarily to Martin Luther
1. The Eccentric Accentuation
2. And They Saw That It Was Not Good
     3. The Derivation of the Reformation from the Spirit of Tempered Despair
     4. Protestant Entropy

Chapter Three: The True Heresy: Gnosticism; On the World-Religion of Worldlessness
1. Where Nag Hammadi Is Located
2. How the Real World Finally Became an Error
3. A Short History of Authentic Time
4. Gnosticism as Negative Psychology
5. Demiurgical Humanism – On the Gnosticism of Modern Art

Chapter Four: Closer to Me Than I Am Myself: A Theological Preparation for the Theory of the Shared Inside

Chapter Five: God’s Bastard: The Caesura of Jesus

Chapter Six: Improving the Human Being: Philosophical Notes on the Problem of Anthropological Difference

Chapter Seven: Epochs of Ensoulment: Suggestions for a Philosophy of the History of Neurosis

Chapter Eight: Latency: On Concealment
     1. Emergence of the Crypta
     2. Maximally Invasive Operation
     3. Boxing-in as Latency-Production
     4. Wadding up and Unfolding
     5. Intuitive Integral Calculus

Chapter Nine: The Mystical Imperative: Remarks on Changing Shape of Religion in the Modern Age
     1. Martin Buber’s Ecstatic Confessions as an Epochal Symptom
     2. Religion in the Age of the Experiment
     3. World Arena and Unmarked Space

Chapter Ten: Absolute and Categorical Imperative

Chapter Eleven: News about the Will to Believe: A Note on Desecularization

Chapter Twelve: Chances in the Monstrous: A Note on the Metamorphosis of the Religious

Domain in the Modern World, with Reference to a Few Motifs in William James
Editorial Note

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