Summary[ edit ] Sloterdijk argues that the belief in transcendence emerged from a series of misunderstandings. These include the misunderstandings of vehemence and of the ability to think in hierarchies. Sloterdijk traces the emergence of the three major monotheistic religions. Judaism came to life as an anti-pagan protest against the Egyptians, Hittites and Babylonians. Its theology derives from a "triumph in defeat".
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Shelves: philosophy , religion This book, written by Peter Sloterdijk, dives into a philosophical analysis of the three monotheisms that have existed in Western Culture: Judaism, Christianity and Islamism. What is interesting about Sloterdijks analysis is to include the concept ofzeal into the equation. This analysis, then, is similar to a previous book, called Rage and Time, in which he analyzed rage as a form of thymotic disposition and how modernity never solved the problem of rage in its facade of rationality.
The book is This book, written by Peter Sloterdijk, dives into a philosophical analysis of the three monotheisms that have existed in Western Culture: Judaism, Christianity and Islamism. The book is divided in eight chapters: 1: The premises, 2: The formations, 3: The battle fronts, 4: The campaigns, 5: The matrix, 6: The pharmaka, 7: The parable of the rings and 8: After-zeal. The book is surprisingly simple to read, even with the mention of some philosophical concepts and religious ideas.
It has an Index and endnotes at the end of every chapter. Also, the book is short, so it could be read in one sitting. First, he dives into some premises and a historic description of the origin of the three religions. He wants to show the similarities and differences they had, and how they wanted for themselves the worship of a single god.
The point of showing all of this is to portray the conflict between the monotheisms as one that was full of bloodshed and war. Every iteration of the monotheistic zeal wanted, in some way, to reform the previous one, to purge it from its defects.
Meaning: that at the higher level there was no criticism or anything, reality displayed itself as it was. But the three monotheisms displayed this kind of stuff in different ways. One example Sloterdijk uses is the mono-linguistic interpretation used in Islamism and the poly-linguistic interpretation Christianity used for its evangelization. Somehow, Sloterdijk sees that contemporaneously the three monotheisms have lost force due to the change in thought brought forth in the Enlightenment, and then in its critique.
As a food for thought, there is a slight deviation in The parables of the rings, where Sloterdijk describes a fourth ideology, which was communism interpreted through Marx, put on as an example of atheistic zeal. He used this as an example of a failed form of zeal in the secular realm. All in all, this short book serves as a new critique of religion.
I do not think it is the best critique, but the effort of using the concept zeal and see its historical development in the three monotheisms proved to be interesting. This book proved that Sloterdijk still moves in the coordinates of psychopolitical interpretations, for he still works in themes that go beyond rationality.
I still think that the best critique of religion was made by Nietzsche, even if sometimes Sloterdijk downplays it a little by showing that it was somehow narrow in its scope of critique.
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