Top critical review
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Heavy going but, in the end, hugely rewarding.
on 15 March 2000
Forget 'The Twilight of the Idols', just head straight for 'The Anti-Christ', an incredible diatribe against western Europe's dominant cultural and religious institution. After reading this outpouring of vitriol, the reader comes to realise (after long suspecting it) that Christianity, in a specifically European context, is not the great spiritual adventure its adherents make it out to be, but is rather the imported Middle Eastern moral system which has somehow found its way to the very top of the western world's power structure. Nietzsche's idea, that Christianity is the anti-European religion of the weak, the spiteful and the jealous, is like intellectual hand grenades being thrown at the foundations of European power and culture. Nietzsche's absolutely uncompromising stance against Christianity and the eloquence and knowledge with which he argues, indeed, rams home, his point makes this monograph compelling and fascinating. Whereas previously, writers, philosophers and academics may have studied the finer theological points of Christianity without questioning its supreme role in European life, Nietzsche is outraged by the malignant influence of this stifling, foreign religion in the arts and affairs of his continent. He unashamedly wants to expose the cultural forces of the time as a weak, pathetic and sycophantic reflection of Christianity's malicious stranglehold on his continent's wild, pagan, liberated pulse. This is the work of a furious and passionate thinker, a man blinded by bitter delusions of militant grandeur. However, Nietzsche was also a man who saw through the veil of selfless humility and piousness which so often hides the sinister, self-serving wishes of the religious elite. This book is brain food, thankfully, genetically unmodified, and like Nikos Kazantzakis' 'The Last Temptation', is essential to anybody who wishes to know the squalid, mundane truth behind the sordid words and intentions which are all too often presented as divine doctrine.