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← Book Review: On Evil by Terry Eagleton

TheVirginian's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by TheVirginian

Loved Grayling's dissection of an idiot.

Given that Eagleton once called Hitler an atheist (and by implication, Nazism would be an atheistic movement (The Nation, May 10, 2004, p.30) ), Eagleton has no qualifications to discuss evil. Nazism was, more than anything, a Christian movement whose actions must be understood in the context of Christian history and theology. When Hitler (brought up Roman Catholic, probably a generic Protestant in his last few years) declared that his Third Reich would last for a thousand years, he was essentially declaring himself the Christian deity's chosen agent to start the countdown to the Apocalypse.

For those who don't know, in the Middle Ages, theologian Joachim of Fiore synthesized various strands of apocalyptic theology into a grand, influential vision: the world would exist in 3 ages; Jesus started the second age, which would end when a Last Great Emperor would cleanse Christianity of corruption and destroy the penultimate Antichrist; this would start the third age, which would last 1,000 years and end with all the pyrotechnic special effects of the Book of Revelation, including the rise and inevitable fall of the ultimate Antichrist. Many Christians believed Antichrist would be a Jew, probably from the tribe of Dan.

Hitler vowed to wipe out atheism in Germany because he blamed it for all of the immorality and problems in that land; as Christians historically considered Jews to be atheists (for denying the divinity of Jesus) and therefore inherently immoral (all morality being of God), Hitler was simply carrying traditional Christian beliefs to their logical conclusion. That is evil, and it means Christianity is evil, not the "atheist Hitler" of post-WWII Christian (and Eagletonian) revisionism.

Sun, 16 May 2010 23:00:04 UTC | #470665