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The Banalization of Nihilism
Twentieth-Century Responses to Meaninglessness
The Banalization of Nihilism
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Karen L. Carr - Author
N/A
Hardcover - 208 pages
Release Date: February 1992
ISBN10: 0-7914-0833-7
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0833-9

Out of Print
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 208 pages
Release Date: February 1992
ISBN10: 0-7914-0834-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0834-6

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"This book is an important contribution to the growing literature on nihilism and its role in contemporary culture. The commonalities the author demonstrates among such seemingly disparate thinkers as Nietzsche, Barth, and Rorty are illuminating, and I found especially intriguing her claim that Nietzsche and Barth are closer to one another than either is to Rorty." -- Donald A. Crosby, Colorado State University

After a historical and conceptual overview of the changing face of nihilism in the last century, Carr examines Nietzsche's diagnosis of nihilism as modernity's major crisis. She then compares the responses to nihilism given by the early Karl Barth and by Richard Rorty.

To some, nihilism is losing its crisis connotations and becoming simply an unobjectionable characteristic of human life. Carr argues that this transformation ultimately absolutizes community preference and reflects an increasing inability to criticize and change the existing structures of thought. The author contends that the uncritical acceptance of nihilism, which characterizes much of postmodernism, ironically culminates in its complete opposite--dogmatism.

Karen L. Carr is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lawrence University.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

PART I: THE UNCANNIEST OF ALL GUESTS

1. The Problem of Nihilism

2. Understanding Nihilism

PART II: NIHILISM AND CRISIS

3. Nietzsche and the Crisis of Nihilism

The Nature of Nietzsche's Concern with Nihilism
Human Interpretation and the Demand for Meaning
The Advent of the "Uncanniest of All Guests"
Nihilism: Disease or Cure?

4. Karl Barth and the Theology of Crisis

The Theological Context of Der Roemerbrief
A Soteriology of Ambiguity
Religious Nihilism
The Legitimation of Crisis

5. Richard Roty and the Dissolution of Crisis

The Postmodern Mood
The Anti-Foundationalist Critique of Philosophy
Deconstruction, Differance, and Play
Postmodernist Bourgeois Liberalism
Deconstructing Nihilism

PART III: THE RESOLUTION OF NIHILISM

6. Discontented versus Unrepentant Nihilists

Conclusion

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index



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