Slavoj Žižek | Is God Dead? | Full Film

Death of God theology is a predominately Christian theological movement, origination in the 1960’s in which God is posited as having ceased to exist, often at the crucifixion. It can also refer to a theology which includes a disbelief in traditional theism, especially in light of increasing secularism in parts of the West. The Death of God movement is sometimes technically referred to as “theothanatology,” deriving from the Greek theos (God) and thanatos (death).

Vahanian, Van Buren, and Hamilton agree that the concept of transcendence had lost any meaningful place in modern thought. According to the norms of contemporary modern thought, God is dead. In responding to this collapse of transcendence, Vahanian proposes a radically post-Christian alternative to traditional theism. Van Buren and Hamilton offered secular people the option of Jesus as the model human who acted in love. The encounter with the Christ of faith would be open in a church-community.

To what extent God may properly be understood as “dead” is highly debated among death of God theologians. In its strongest forms, God is said to have literally died, often as incarnated on the cross or at the moment of creation. Thomas J.J. Altizer remains the clearest proponent of this perspective. Weaker forms of this theological bent often posit this “death” as a metaphor or existential recognition of God’s existence outside of (or beyond) Being.

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