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Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age

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Fr Seraphim Rose






What does Nihilism mean?” wrote Friedrich Nietszche. “—That the highest values are losing their value. There is no goal.…There is no Truth, no ‘thing in itself.’ There is no answer to the question: why?”

“Nihilism has become, in our time, so widespread and pervasive, has entered so deeply into the minds and hearts of all men living today, that there is no longer any ‘front’ on which it may be fought.” — Eugene (Fr Seraphim) Rose

In 1962, the young Eugene Rose the future Fr. Seraphim) undertook to write a monumental chronicle of the abandonment of Truth in the modern age. Of the hundreds of pages of material he compiled for this work, only the present essay has come down to us in completed form. Here Fr. Seraphim reveals the core of all modern thought and life—the belief that all truth is relative—and shows how this belief has been translated into action in our century. Today, four decades after he wrote it, this essay is more timely than ever. It clearly explains why contemporary ideas, values, and attitudes—the “spirit of the age”—are shifting so rapidly in the direction of moral anarchy, as the philosophy of Nihilism enters more deeply into the fiber of society. Nietszche was right when he predicted that the 20th century would usher in “the triumph of Nihilism.”

“Atheism, true ‘existential’ atheism burning with hatred of a seemingly unjust or unmerciful God, is a spiritual state; it is a real attempt to grapple with the true God.… Nietzsche, in calling himself Antichrist, proved thereby his intense hunger for Christ.” — excerpt from Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age

This new second edition contains a superb essay entitled “The Philosophy of the Absurd,” written by Fr. Seraphim at the same time that he was working on “Nihilism.”


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