Nietzsche's Protestant Fathers: A Study in Prodigal Christianity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Nietzsche's Protestant Fathers

A Study in Prodigal Christianity, 1st Edition

By Thomas R. Nevin


282 pages

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pub: 2018-10-25
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Nietzsche was famously an atheist, despite coming from a strongly Protestant family. This heritage influenced much of his thought, but was it in fact the very thing that led him to his atheism? This work provides a radical re-assessment of Protestantism by documenting and extrapolating Nietzsche’s view that Christianity dies from the head down. That is, through Protestantism’s inherent anarchy.

In this book, Nietzsche is put into conversation with the initiatives of several powerful thinking writers; Luther, Boehme, Leibniz, and Lessing. Using Nietzsche as a critical guide to the evolution of Protestant thinking, each is shown to violate, warp, or ignore gospel injunctions, and otherwise pose hazards to the primacy of Christian ethics.

Demonstrating that a responsible understanding of Protestantism as a historical movement needs to engage with its inherent flaws, this is a text that will engage scholars of philosophy, theology, and religious studies alike.


"Nietzsche’s Protestant Fathers offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and works of some of the thinkers who preceded Nietzsche"….."Nevin presents a succinct and well-articulated analysis of the life and work of Luther, Boehme, Leibniz, and Lessing."

Michael Laminack, University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology

Table of Contents

Introduction: Nietzsche, Companion and Commentator

1 Martin Luther Denies Love to God

2 The Evil in God: Jacob Boehme Finds the Cosmos

3 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Presumes to Scan God

4 The Prodigality of Reason: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Conclusion: Nietzsche Facing Christianity

About the Author

Thomas R. Nevin is Professor Emeritus at John Carroll University, USA, and a Life Member of Clare Hall at Cambridge University, UK. His previous books include The Last Years of Saint Therese (2013) and Therese of Lisieux (2006).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Religious
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Atheism
RELIGION / Philosophy
RELIGION / Christianity / Protestant
RELIGION / Christian Theology / General
RELIGION / Theology