Peter Sloterdijk

  • The trade secret of religions
  • Theopoeia: A Reevaluation of Religion as "Opium for the People
  • Geist Heidelberg, In dialogue

Detours are the most direct routes to the centre. The new work of Peter Sloterdijk is proof of this thesis: located outside of the realm of actuality, theopoetry, at first glance, deals with the attempts stored in the library of humanity to make God or the gods speak: either they speak directly themselves or they are indirectly reproduced by the poets in their actions and thoughts. Thus, for Sloterdijk, the insight is inevitable: religions refer to more or less elaborate literary procedures in their theopoetic founding documents, even if the accompanying dogmatics serve to make this fact forgotten. Religions are “literary products with the help of which authors compete for clients in the narrow market of attention of educated people”.

A study of the poetic stylistic devices used by religions in their narratives requires a reassessment of religions that leaves behind Karl Marx’s theses. Sloterdijk thus brings together elements of a critique of literary forms of representation as a critique of dogmatic as well as theological documents in the passage through history with his stupendous reading – and thus reaches the glowing core of the present, in which narratives or facts and alternative facts fight each other.

The philosopher, cultural scientist and author, Peter Sloterdijk, who taught at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe until 2017, explores these questions in an interview with Manfred Osten(Goethe and Happiness) .


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