The fascist Jesus : Ernest Renan's Vie de Jesus and the theological origins of fascism.

Lentz, Ralph E. II. (2014) The fascist Jesus : Ernest Renan's Vie de Jesus and the theological origins of fascism. thesis, University of Wales, Trinity St David.

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Abstract

My study of Renan and his Vie de Jésus is an attempt to answer the question of how the “quest of the historical Jesus” contributed to the formation of Fascist political theology. It is a study of why and how the “Academic Jesus” of scientifically trained scholars became the “Fascist Jesus” of politicians like Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Through a detailed examination of Renan’s Vie and his other writings, I propose that fascism was not the result of an excess of irrationality, but rather an excess of Modern rationalism resulting from the late Medieval and early modern rejection of the ancient mystical epistemology and ontology expressed in both Socratic philosophy and Judeo-Christian theology. Second, I argue that Renan’s and other modern scholars’ (e.g., Jakob Hauer and Walter Grundmann) anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism did not stem from any orthodox Christian affiliation, but rather from their embracing of a revival of the Marcionite heresy and Enlightenment idealism. Taken as a whole, my work is an argument for viewing the problem of Christian theology, the “historical Jesus,” and the origins of fascism as the resurgence of a non-liturgical, neo-Sophism and its rejection of ancient mystical, participatory rationality centered in the Church’s worship of Jesus Christ. Positively, I am arguing that the orthodox ecclesial-mystical Jesus is the “historical” Jesus—and the only Jesus capable of restraining the monsters of Modern Western political science—whether of Fascism, or any yet to come; this is the only Jesus upon which a sustainable life-giving polity can be founded.

Item Type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Additional Information: Series: Carmarthen / Lampeter Dissertations;.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fascism, Theology
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 08:51
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2015 10:14
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/352

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