Feb 19, 2005

Proposal for an independent study with Dr. Blum on Death of God Theology:

Primarily, I’m interested in studying the posing and answering of the question I’ll provisionally phrase, “How does one respond to the absence of God?”

I’m proposing a consideration of “Death of God theology,” from Nietzsche’s tale of a madman shouting “God is dead” to Derrida’s analysis of the deconstruction of presence, and the “death of the author” as it might apply to God. I imagine the class divided into three parts:

1. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard.
        a. Jewish approach, esp. Martin Buber’s Eclipse of God.
        b. Protestant approach, esp. Thomas Altizer.
        c. Catholic approach, esp. Graham Greene’s “Catholic Agnosticism.”
3. Derrida.

Secondarily, I’m interested in (re)looking a few key scriptural stories that concern doubt or absence (Job, “doubting” Thomas’ doubt, Jesus on Golgotha, and the martyrdom of the three Hebrews in Daniel) and also exploring the way the Death of God questions are related to the more traditional questions of theodicy and God’s existence.