Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr. - Chair

Second Advisor

Timothy A. Renick

Third Advisor

James Winchester


Best known if not equally understood for having a madman proclaim the demise of God, Friedrich Nietzsche’s thought has served as a fecund resource for disparate groups advancing diverse agendas. This paper critically examines the phenomenon of invoking Nietzsche as the final word. This paper argues that, far from being a conversation-stopper, Nietzsche can be understood as enhancing dialogue, across disciplines and between groups such as philosophers and theologians more prone to militant rhetoric than fruitful dialogue. In order to validate this claim it will be necessary to examine in detail the two aspects of Nietzsche’s thought most often invoked as conversation stoppers: the madman’s proclamation of the death of God; and Nietzsche’s devastating critique of Christian morality. Ultimately, this thesis will conclude that when properly understood Nietzsche serves as a unique interpreter locating himself between modernity and postmodernity, as well as between philosophy and religious thought.

Included in

Religion Commons