Friedrich Nietzsche

The Moral Project of Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good and Evil”

By |2019-06-26T17:21:21-05:00June 26th, 2019|Categories: Education, Friedrich Nietzsche, Great Books, Morality, Philosophy|

Friedrich Nietzsche has long been smeared as a ghastly nihilist who repudiated all conceptions of morality. Critics point to the title of his famous work, Beyond Good and Evil, which appears to call for the repudiation of morality, as well as contain his vociferous condemnations of eternal moral standards. With his proclamation that “God [...]

Telling Lies

By |2019-06-21T12:34:08-05:00June 17th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, E.B., Eva Brann, Friedrich Nietzsche, Homer, Iliad, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Odyssey, Plato, St. John's College|

We should learn to cultivate the unwillingness to tolerate the unwitting, untold lie in the soul, and the wit and wisdom to transmute the unavoidable lying of any utterance into the telling lies that reveal truth… The first lecture of the school year is, by an old tradition, dedicated to the freshmen among us. Whether [...]

The Nietzschean Shakespeare

By |2018-06-14T10:11:26-05:00June 13th, 2018|Categories: Books, Ethics, Friedrich Nietzsche, History, Philosophy, William Shakespeare|

Friedrich Nietzsche has no explanation for the process by which Christianity conquered Rome, by which the strong accepted the morality of the weak. When it comes to a depth of understanding of the development of Christianity, William Shakespeare is the true superman… Shakespeare’s Rome: Republic and Empire by Paul A. Cantor (University of Chicago Press, [...]

Reflections on Christ and the Classics

By |2019-01-03T15:48:07-05:00January 20th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gospel Reflection, Great Books, History, Homer, Virgil|

In a certain way, Christ is both priest and offering, a self-sacrifice transcending both concepts. This is something the classical world found disquieting… The extent to which the pagan classical world and Christianity are able to tell a common story has had an uneven history. In late antiquity, the Church Fathers were reluctant disciples [...]

“Crime and Punishment”: A Timeless Psychological Masterpiece

By |2018-10-06T16:59:01-05:00November 14th, 2017|Categories: Friedrich Nietzsche, History, Literature, Western Tradition|

“There are chance meetings with strangers that interest us from the first moment, before a word is spoken,” writes Dostoevsky in Crime and Punishment. And such is the impression made upon us by Dosteovsky’s incredible psychological masterpiece… “Personally, I require a ceiling, although a high one. Yes, I like ceilings, and the high better [...]

Anthropology and the Death of the Individual

By |2019-07-23T11:16:34-05:00October 19th, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Death, Friedrich Nietzsche, History, Philosophy, St. Thomas Aquinas, Truth, Walker Percy|

Do you believe in a higher power, something that transcends the “human organism”? If this question is trivialized or ignored, we enter the very sound and soul of despair… Anthropology is the scientific study of human beings. Philosophy, literally translated, is the love of wisdom. Philosophical anthropology, then, is the scientific study of humans [...]

Wonder and Wickedness: The Anatomy of Good and Evil

By |2019-03-07T10:25:41-05:00March 24th, 2017|Categories: Ethics, Faith, Friedrich Nietzsche, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Virtue|

The way of humility leads, via the rolling road of wonder, to the heaven-haven of the reward. The way of pride leads, via the thorny path of prejudice, to a hell of one’s own devising... “For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!” In Tolkien’s magnum opus, The Lord of the [...]

Leo Strauss: Escaping the Stifling Clutches of Historicism

By |2017-12-20T00:17:36-05:00April 7th, 2016|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, Friedrich Nietzsche, Great Books, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, Leo Strauss, Plato, William F. Buckley Jr.|

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was a native of Germany. "I was," he reported near the end of his life, "brought up in a conservative, even orthodox Jewish home some­where in a rural district of Germany."[1] Strauss received his doctorate from Hamburg University in 1921. In 1938, he emigrated to the United States and commenced teaching political [...]

Superman vs. Mass Man in the Technocratic Age

By |2016-03-10T23:02:41-05:00March 10th, 2016|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Friedrich Nietzsche, Modernity, Romano Guardini|

The writings of German theologian, philosopher, and cultural analyst Romano Guardini (1885-1968), one of the most influential Catholic intellectuals in the 20th century, have come to the fore with the papacy of Pope Francis, well-known to be a great admirer of his. Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, has spurred a re-examination of Guardini’s apocalyptic writing The [...]

Eric Voegelin’s Gnosticism

By |2016-03-28T10:39:17-05:00February 16th, 2016|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Culture, Eric Voegelin, Featured, Friedrich Nietzsche|

In my previous essay, “Eric Voegelin: A Primer,” I had the privilege to offer a brief sketch of this German intellectual’s life and thought. In this essay, I would like to explore one of Voegelin’s three most important ideas: his critique of Gnosticism. As in the previous essay, I am drawing heavily upon the [...]

Eric Voegelin: A Primer

By |2016-02-01T22:38:45-05:00February 1st, 2016|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Eric Voegelin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Hope|

On my religious position, I have been classified as a Protestant, a Catholic, an anti-semitic, and as a typical Jew; politically, as a Liberal, a Fascist, a National Socialist, and a Conservative; and on my theoretical position, as a Platonist, a Neo-Augustinian, a Thomist, a disciple of Hegel, an existentialist, a historical relativist, and an [...]

On Nietzsche and Hamlet: How Shakespeare Mirrors Sick Moderns

By |2017-03-09T11:02:28-05:00September 17th, 2015|Categories: Christopher Morrissey, Friedrich Nietzsche, Myth, William Shakespeare|

Our stark choice is indeed as Nietzsche puts it, says René Girard. It is a choice between Dionysus and the Crucified: between the Biblical concern for the mob’s victim, on the one hand, or, on the other hand, the justifications and defenses of the lies of myth. The lies of myth are offered in [...]

Telling Lies

By |2018-11-21T08:39:09-05:00July 28th, 2015|Categories: Aristotle, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, Friedrich Nietzsche, Homer, Iliad, Odyssey, Plato, St. John's College|

The first lecture of the school year is, by an old tradition, dedicated to the freshmen among us. Whether you are speaking or listening, you are intended to hear and to judge. Although you may have allowed the talk of the world to persuade you that “being judgmental” is a social sin, judgments are what [...]

Is “Paradise Lost” a Christian Poem?

By |2018-09-20T14:24:43-05:00July 28th, 2015|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Friedrich Nietzsche, John Milton|

The concepts of the Apollonian and Dionysian are famously invoked by Nietzsche in the context of Greek drama, but not in such a way that we can transfer them directly to poetry and prose. Let it suffice to say that Apollo is typically represented as restrained, orderly, and logical; Dionysus is erratic, spontaneous, and emotive. [...]