Is religion a defense mechanism?

In defense of religion

Peter Strasser's "Way Out" regains the philosophy of transcendental issues

By Christoph Schmitt-Maaß

Discussed books / references

The voices of the unconventional defenders of Christianity are increasing: at the same time as Slavoj Zizek's contribution "The fragile absolute. Why it is worth defending the Christian heritage", Peter Strasser presents his view of Christianity. The Graz philosophy professor not only presents the outstanding one Significance of the Christian faith for European-American culture; rather, he has written a small treatise that calls on readers to become aware of Christian values ​​- politically explosive material.

The starting point of Strasser's reflection is the renewed relevance of the connection between power and death: Genetic research and the clone debate focus on the old idea of ​​human immortality through self-infliction - once more. Strasser presents this unskeptical thinking as an aspect of the "titanism of the modernists"; However, it shows to what extent Christian values ​​offer not only alternative concepts, but also ways out of the dilemma of morality, ethos and feasibility.

Of course, Strasser's position is not new and certainly not revolutionary: Blumenberg had already met Heidegger in this way. Strasser, however, not only renews this criticism, he also refines it: Ultimately, modernity falls apart into naturalists and constructivists. Strasser points out which fundamental conceptual mistakes are common to both positions. Naturalism, which insists that everything is nature and therefore inner-worldly and therefore there can be no transcendence of any kind, and constructivism, according to which everything is only constructed and rejects truth and objectivity, both come up against a limit: religion is dead, but the questions remain the same. According to Strasser, religious thinking is characterized by the fact that it does not answer religious questions from the sphere of everyday life, but rather to integrate religion into the everyday world and thus tries to find answers.

In doing so, Strasser is never concerned with establishing new contexts of delusion (esotericism or postmodernism), but rather with a rational examination of questions of transcendence. Strasser's source of information is always the razor-sharp thinker Pascal, who guarantees that Strasser's efforts do not perish in the infinite.

As controversial as Strasser's design is (as it is not based on arbitrariness), it is also appealing. His analysis does not shy away from taking a vehement position and wresting the esoteric cover from the anything-goes postmodernists.