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Alejandro Nava

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293533

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293533.001.0001

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Christian Soul and the Revolt of the Slave

Christian Soul and the Revolt of the Slave

(p.82) 3 Christian Soul and the Revolt of the Slave
In Search of Soul

Alejandro Nava

University of California Press

This chapter considers how Friedrich Nietzsche had seized on a fundamental fact about Christianity: that it bears the ignoble mark of a slave. In Nietzsche's view, Christianity represents a slave revolt against all the noble principles of antiquity and the introduction of base and grotesque values into Western civilization. As an affront to classic aristocratic taste, Christianity took vengeance on Rome by adopting the ghetto tongue and style of its Jewish brothers and sisters and used it to curse and subvert the patrician values of Greco-Roman culture. For Nietzsche, these “oriental slaves” upended the cherished achievements of Greco-Roman culture and instigated a carnival-like subversion of Roman hierarchies, a world turned upside down.

Keywords:   Friedrich Nietzsche, slavery, slave revolt, Greco-Roman culture, antiquity, Western civilization, oriental slaves, Roman hierarchies, Christianity

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