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The Social Logic of Late Nihilism: Martin Heidegger and Carl Schmitt on Global Space and the Sites of Gods
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political Science.
2014 (English)In: European Review, ISSN 1062-7987, E-ISSN 1474-0575, Vol. 22, no 02, 244-257 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article compares, thematically, two prominent but problematical twentiethcentury critics of nihilism: Martin Heidegger and Carl Schmitt. Both spoke of the spread of a global space, tied to tendencies towards the reduction of everything to a reserve of resources, a development both connected to a pursuit of intense but ultimately insignificant experiences. For Schmitt, nihilism stems from the disconnection of the global order from its European, Christian origins. For Heidegger, nihilism represents, rather, the culmination of a European, metaphysical tradition. Furthermore, while Schmitt appears to see a counterpoint to nihilism in the sacred sites of Christianity, representing the ultimate metaphysical exception of Christian revelation, Heidegger proposes a view of sacred sites as tied to the appearance of a god as something strange and enigmatic, which has often been reduced within Christian, theological thought. In conclusion, I situate the two critiques in relation to Karl Jasper's notion of an Axial Age and the developments of a contemporary global space. This way of situating the two critiques will show how Heidegger actively attempted to handle two fundamental developments which Schmitt sought to elude: the increasingly intense relativisation of Christianity in relation to other major religious traditions, and the relativisation of claims concerning religious revelations and theophanies in relation to the scientific and technological spatiality and temporality of the global space.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 22, no 02, 244-257 p.
Keyword [en]
Christianity; cultural history; historical perspective; religion; twentieth century
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-23464DOI: 10.1017/S1062798714000088ISI: 000336506700006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84900820132OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-23464DiVA: diva2:718044
Available from: 2014-05-19 Created: 2014-05-19 Last updated: 2015-01-08Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf