12 January, 2007

The "death of God" brings about the annihilation of humanity

Before weblogging became popular, and back when I had time to read books, I used to keep some quotes on a webpage. I was looking that page over again tonight. Here is an observation from an interview of the Italian author Eugenio Corti, and is a nice antidote to the vitriol of the latest anti-religious rhetoric. (Click on "Read more".)

The second part [of post-Imperial Rome history as taught today] begins with the Renaissance, which represents the beginning of the modern age, or of progress.

In reality, the Renaissance brought about the rebirth of paganism. But this was no longer paganism in its ancient form. [Ancient paganism] made room for God, or at least for the pagan gods, so that Cicero could write, Apud nos omnia religione reguntur (among us everything is guided by religion), and in which figures such as Virgil, naturaliter christianus (the "natural" Christian) could appear.

The new paganism of the Renaissance, however, after having known Christ, pushed him away: it therefore opposed Christ, and opposed God. Departing from this point, we have arrived in our century at the proclamation of the "death of God," which constitutes the characteristic nucleus of contemporary lay philosophy.

This exclusion of God from the concrete life of society quickly produced bitter fruits from its very beginning. During the Renaissance, it produced a "mini-Hitler" or "mini-Stalin" in the person of Duke Valentine, whom Macchiavelli presented as the model of the new and "rational" politics, where the ends justify the means. It is no accident that in our day Gramsci [a founder of the Italian Communist Party], while furnishing the most modern study of the politics forecast by communism, named the Party "the New Prince."

Later, a second fruit typical of the exclusion of God from the society of men occured during the French Revolution: the tremendous massacre of the Vendee, that exhibited a character of genocide and deceit so very similar to those that appeared on a much greater scale in our century.

In the end its major fruit, at least until today, has been precisely the communist and Nazi carnage of our century, that brought about millions and millions of dead. The "death of God," in fact, brings as a strict consequence the nullification of man.

Of all this people are little aware, because ours is the age of half-truths, in conclusion, the age of deceit.
I should note that Corti's words betray a rosy view of both ancient paganism and medieval Christendom. His view of the Rennaisance and especially of modernity, on the other hand, I find refreshing.

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