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Guilt Before God, or God Before Guilt? The Second Essay of Nietzsche's Genealogy

Guilt Before God, or God Before Guilt? The Second Essay of Nietzsche's Genealogy 030 Ridley (35-45) 3/21/05 12:12 PM Page 35 Guilt Before God, or God Before Guilt? The Second Essay of Nietzsche’s Genealogy Aaron Ridley he second essay of Nietzsche’s “polemic,” On the Genealogy of Morals, is T a rich and elusive piece, full of valuable hints and suggestions, but difficult finally to pin down. The essays that flank it are, in their own ways, more straight- forward, and have attracted the lion’s share of critical attention—the first essay for its account of the slave revolt in morality, the third for its account of the prin- cipal fruit of that revolt, the ascetic ideal. But the second essay is absolutely cen- tral, both as glue to hold essays 1 and 3 together and as a source of answers to questions that its companion pieces either elide or leave hanging. In my book, Nietzsche’s Conscience: Six Character Studies from the “Genealogy,” I offered a reading of the second essay in which I tried to clarify its main theme—the bad conscience—and to show how it fitted in with and illuminated the other two 1 2 essays. Mathias Risse, in a recent article, has objected to that reading. The imme- diate issue between us—and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Nietzsche Studies Penn State University Press

Guilt Before God, or God Before Guilt? The Second Essay of Nietzsche's Genealogy

The Journal of Nietzsche Studies , Volume 29 (1) – May 9, 2005

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 The Friedrich Nietzsche Society.
ISSN
1538-4594

Abstract

030 Ridley (35-45) 3/21/05 12:12 PM Page 35 Guilt Before God, or God Before Guilt? The Second Essay of Nietzsche’s Genealogy Aaron Ridley he second essay of Nietzsche’s “polemic,” On the Genealogy of Morals, is T a rich and elusive piece, full of valuable hints and suggestions, but difficult finally to pin down. The essays that flank it are, in their own ways, more straight- forward, and have attracted the lion’s share of critical attention—the first essay for its account of the slave revolt in morality, the third for its account of the prin- cipal fruit of that revolt, the ascetic ideal. But the second essay is absolutely cen- tral, both as glue to hold essays 1 and 3 together and as a source of answers to questions that its companion pieces either elide or leave hanging. In my book, Nietzsche’s Conscience: Six Character Studies from the “Genealogy,” I offered a reading of the second essay in which I tried to clarify its main theme—the bad conscience—and to show how it fitted in with and illuminated the other two 1 2 essays. Mathias Risse, in a recent article, has objected to that reading. The imme- diate issue between us—and

Journal

The Journal of Nietzsche StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: May 9, 2005

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