College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

5. Slavishness, Democracy, and the Death of God

Fifth lecture of Professor Jeffrey Stout's Gifford Lecture series.

Event Details

Date: Tuesday 9 May 2017, 5.30 - 6.30pm

The lecture may be followed by questions. Latest finishing time is 7pm.

Venue: Business School Auditorium, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS

Lecture abstract

Emerson was concerned with how great transformations occur, what it is to stand for an ideal, and what democratic ideals demand of us. Modern Christians, he said, behave as if God were dead. Emerson used rhetorical and ethical categories to explain this. Nietzsche accepted much of that explanation, but regarded modern democracy as a secularized residue of Christian slavishness. If he was right, self-reliance is irreligious, and the urgent political question is not how to overcome domination, but who gets to dominate whom.

Lecture video

Related links

Click here for more information on the sixth lecture of the series.

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For lecture summaries and to take part in the discussion visit the Gifford Lectures Blog.