Friedrich Nietzsche, Miscellaneous Maxims and opinions (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche).

Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions, the first supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1879.  A second supplement, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten) followed in 1880.

  

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Previous Section   97. OF THE FUTURE OF CHRISTIANITY   Next Section

Of the Future of Christianity.  We may be allowed to form a conjecture as to the disappearance of Christianity and as to the places where it will be the slowest to retreat, if we consider where and for what reasons Protestantism spread with such startling rapidity.  As is well known, Protestantism promised to do far more cheaply all that the old Church did, without costly masses, pilgrimages, and priestly pomp and circumstance.  It spread particularly among the Northern nations, which were not so deeply rooted as those of the South in the old Church's symbolism and love of ritual.  In the South the more powerful pagan religion survived in Christianity, whereas in the North Christianity meant an opposition to and a break with the old-time creed, and hence was from the first more thoughtful and less sensual, but for that very reason, in times of peril, more fanatical and more obstinate.  If from the standpoint of thought we succeed in uprooting Christianity, we can at once know the point where it will begin to disappear — the very point at which it will be most stubborn in defence.  In other places it will bend but not break, lose its leaves but burst into leaf afresh, because the senses, and not thought, have gone over to its side.  But it is the senses that maintain the belief that with all its expensive outlay the Church is more cheaply and conveniently managed than under the stern conditions of work and wages.  Yet what does one hold leisure (or semi-idleness) to be worth, when once one has become accustomed to it?  The senses plead against a dechristianised world, saying that there would be too much work to do in it and an insufficient supply of leisure.  They take the part of magic — that is, they let God work himself {oremus nos, Deus laborei).  
 

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