Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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WHAT IS UN GREEK IN CHRISTIANITY.  The Greeks did not regard the Homeric gods as raised above them like masters, nor themselves as being under them like servants, as the Jews did.  They only saw, as in a mirror, the most perfect examples of their own caste; an ideal, therefore, and not an opposite of their own nature.  There is a feeling of relationship, a mutual interest arises, a kind of symmachy.  Man thinks highly of himself when he gives himself such gods, and places himself in a relation like that of the lower nobility towards the higher; while the Italian nations hold a genuine peasant faith, with perpetual fear of evil and mischievous powers and tormenting spirits.  Wherever the Olympian gods retreated into the background, Greek life was more sombre and more anxious.  Christianity, on the contrary, oppressed man and crushed him utterly, sinking him as if in deep mire; then into the feeling of absolute depravity it suddenly threw the light of divine mercy, so that the surprised man, dazzled by forgiveness, gave a cry of joy and for a moment believed that he bore all heaven within himself.  All psychological feelings of Christianity work upon this unhealthy excess of sentiment, and upon the deep corruption of head and heart it necessitates; it desires to destroy, break, stupefy, confuse, only one thing it does not desire, namely moderation, and therefore it is in the deepest sense barbaric, Asiatic, ignoble and unGreek.  
 

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