This book reconstructs the cornerstones of Jesus's moral teachings about how to lead a good, even exemplary, human life. It does so in a way that is compatible with the most prominent, competing versions of the historical Jesus. The work also contrast Jesus' understanding of the best way to lead our lives with that of Friedrich Nietzsche. Both Jesus and Nietzsche were self-consciously moral revolutionaries. Jesus refashioned the imperatives of Jewish law to conform to what he was firmly convinced was the divine will. Nietzsche aspired to transvalue the dominant values of his time -which themselves were influenced greatly by Christianity- in service of what he took to be a higher vision. The interplay of these radical versions of the good human life, seasoned with critical commentary emerging from modern findings in the sciences and humanities, opens possibilities and lines of inquiry that can inform our choices in answering that enduring, paramount question, "How should we live our lives?"
Raymond Angelo Belliotti is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He has published thirteen other books including Justifying Law (1992), Good Sex (1993), What is the Meaning of Human Life? (2001), Happiness is Overrated (2004), Dante's Deadly Sins (2011), and Shakespeare and Philosophy (2012). Belliotti has received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the William T. Hagan Young Scholar/Artist Award, the Kasling Lecture Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship, and the SUNY Foundation Research and Scholarship Recognition Award.
Editorial Foreword by Olli Loukola Preface Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations Introduction Introduction Nietzsche's Life Problems of Interpretation in Nietzsche My (Mis)Interpretation of Nietzsche Jesus: The Nature of Our World and Our Mission in It Family Relations Associating and Identifying with Undesirables Unsettling Established Rituals Interrogating Prevailing Norms of Just Distribution Material Minimalism Jesus and the Concept of Forgiveness Nietzsche: The Nature of Our World and Our Mission in It Perspectivism Genealogical Critiques Crafting a Worthy Self Values Nietzsche's Glad Tidings Master and Slave Moralities Going Beyond Good and Evil Eternal Recurrence Philosophy and Psychology Style and Rhetoric Tragic View of Life Jesus and Nietzsche Fundamental Understandings of Human Beings: Unconditional Love and the Will to Power The Power of Unconditional Love The Paradoxes of Agapic Love Parental Agape The Will to Power The Last Man and The Overman Nietzsche on Jesus Nietzsche on St. Paul and Christianity Nietzsche's Understanding of Jesus Jesus and Engagement in this World Daunting Normative Ideals The Perfectionism of Jesus Perfectionism and Unconditional Love Extending Unconditional Love Unconditional Love and Abstraction A Summary of the Perfectionism of Jesus The Ethic of Jesus and Contemporary Philosophy Jesus' Enduring Message The Perfectionism of Nietzsche Nietzsche's Vision Aristocratic Privilege A Summary of the Perfectionism of Nietzsche The Perfectionism of Nietzsche and Contemporary Philosophy Jesus and Nietzsche: Toward a Synthesis Notes Bibliography Index About the Author