Jan-Olav Henriksen

Psychology in Nietzsche's Criticism of Religion

On Splitting and Loss of Orientation

[Psychologie in Nietzsches Religionskritik. Über Spaltung und Orientierungsverlust.]

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Published in English.
In this study, Jan-Olav Henriksen sheds new light on the psychological dimensions behind Nietzsche's criticism of religion. He demonstrates the fundamental split that Nietzsche saw between his own worldview and a religious one, as well as the loss of orientation that followed the rejection of religion.
Friedrich Nietzsche claimed to be a psychologist. This claim is substantiated in his criticism of religion. In this book, Jan-Olav Henriksen provides new perspectives on Nietzsche's contribution to such criticism by applying elements from attachment theory and self-psychology. The result is that Nietzsche's insights into the problematic elements in religion point beyond what he was able to articulate based on the psychological resources available to him. Henriksen sheds new light on the psychological dimensions in Nietzsche's individualism, his understanding of God, morality, metaphysics and emotions, and demonstrates how Nietzsche's criticism of religion is rooted in both psychological splitting and a profound loss of the orientational resources religion provided in his childhood.
Survey of contents
Chapter 1: Introduction: The Task
Chapter 2: Psychological Theories for Interpreting Nietzsche's Philosophy of Religion
Chapter 3: A Context of Discovery: Nietzsche's Early Years
Chapter 4: The Split
Chapter 5: The Death of God – the Loss of Attachment and Orientation
Chapter 6: The Ambiguous Ideal: Jesus and the Split
Chapter 7: Preserving the Split: Morality
Chapter 8: Nietzsche's Anti-Metaphysics: Psychological Consequences
Chapter 9: Human Beings and Their Religion
Chapter 10: Overcoming Dependence on others: Compassion, Love or Charity, and Ressentiment
Chapter 11: Acknowledging and moving beyond Nietzsche's psychological Criticism of Religion

Jan-Olav Henriksen Born 1961; 1990 Dr. theol.; 2000 Alan Richardson Fellow at the University of Durham, UK; 2002 Dr. philos.; since 1994 professor of systematic theology at MF Norwegian School of Theology; currently also Dean of Research; member of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, NJ.


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