Godhead and the Nothing by Thomas J. J. Altizer

By Thomas J. J. Altizer

Eminent theologian Thomas J. J. Altizer breaks new flooring via exploring the final word transfiguration of the Godhead as a query of the Nihil or nothingness and God. The Nihil is key to the whole actualization of the Godhead in that it totally happens in either a primordial and an apocalyptic sacrifice of the Godhead. almost unexplored by way of philosophical and theological considering, the Nihil is luminously enacted within the private expressions of the mind's eye, and so much truly and decisively so within the Christian epic culture. Altizer seems on the works of philosophers and theologians reminiscent of Spinoza, Barth, Hegel, Nietzsche, and epic writers reminiscent of Dante, Milton, and Blake to eventually posit a God that's inevitably a dichotomous God.

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Such judgment can be understood as a primordial sacrifice, as it certainly was by Kafka himself, a sacrifice continually enacted in his writing, and a sacrifice which is a primal source of the power of his writing, even as it is a primal source of the power of Beckett’s writing. If only through the writing of a Beckett or a Kafka, we can gain some awareness of the original power of the parables of Jesus, and it is just because this is a purely negative power that it can be so immediately overwhelming.

And this could very well be a repression which is released or abated in our deeper moments, moments in which we recall primordial sacrifice, and thereby renew or reenact that sacrifice. “God” is then truly absent for us, but only because primordial Godhead is recalled, but a Godhead which is the absolute act of sacrifice, and an act which we reenact in our deepest moments of recall. All such moments are the very opposite of passive moments, the opposite of a pure quiescence or a pure innocence, and thus the opposite of everything that a mythical language and symbolism can know as paradise.

Moreover, this absolute and apocalyptic destiny is now realized as the destiny, and as the necessary and inevitable destiny, of consciousness itself, for the depths of consciousness realize themselves only by way of the internalization and interiorization of this movement of absolute sacrifice. ” That which is seemingly most alien to our interior consciousness, the movement of sacrifice, and of an absolute sacrifice, is now unveiled both as our innermost destiny and as the deeper actuality of consciousness itself.

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