Talk

Western Cultural Overview: The Death of God, Modernism and Existentialism

Date recorded: 22 May 2011 | Speaker: Chris Watkin | Event: ELF Workshop
Western Cultural Overview: The Death of God, Modernism and Existentialism
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Description

This session considers Nietzsche’s account of the "death of God" in his parable of the madman, exploring what it means (and what it doesn’t mean!) that "God is dead" in Western culture. We see how the death of God leads to the death of meaning, man, and the author. We then follow this current through the modernism of the early twentieth century to the heyday of existentialism on the Parisian left bank of the 1950s, picking up themes from the thought of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. No prior philosophical knowledge is assumed, and the session is introductory in nature. Most of the material will be familiar to those who have studied these areas at university level. Each of these sessions will include a "toolbox" section on how to appreciate and engage with the ideas covered from a Christian point of view, as well as time for discussion.