Dionysus, Christ, and the Death of God, Volume 2
Christianity and Modernity
Studies in Violence, Mimesis & Culture
Published by: Michigan State University Press
Imprint: Michigan State University Press
This magisterial reflection on the history and destiny of the West compares Greco-Roman civilization and the Judeo-Christian tradition in order to understand what both unites and divides them. Mediation, understood as a collective, symbolic experience, gives society unity and meaning, putting human beings in contact with a universal object known as the world or reality. But unity has a price: the very force that enables peaceful coexistence also makes us prone to conflict. As a result, in order to find a common point of convergence—of at-one-ment—someone must be sacrificed. Sacrifice, then, is the historical pillar of mediation. It was endorsed in a cosmic-religious sense in antiquity and rejected for ethical reasons in modernity, where the Judeo-Christian tradition plays an intermediate role in condemning sacrificial violence as such, while accepting sacrifice as a voluntary act offered to save other human beings. Today, as we face the collapse of all shared mediations, this intermediating solution offers a way out of our moral and cultural plight.
Giuseppe Fornari’s formidable work, contained in two massive volumes over which he labored for more than twenty-five years, presents an all-encompassing “new science” of human culture. It reformulates received methods so they suit real phenomena, with an unapologetic breadth of learning and with a bold independence from departmental conventions, all expressed with a trenchancy that achieves a full understanding of history’s universal relevance to life as it has been revealing itself since the earliest epochs of hominization. Fornari’s is a great work of remembering man and God. The first philosopher to rival Eric Voegelin since his death in 1985, Fornari magnificently expresses the calling of the true scholar: to remember reality, never to dis-member it.~Paul Caringella, Trustee of the Eric Voegelin Literary Trust