Sartre's Three Gods

in Sartre Studies International
Daniel O'Shiel Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile

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I argue for three different concepts of God in Being and Nothingness. First I review the relevant scholarship with regard to Sartre, religion, and God. Second I show how Sartre uses three Gods in his ontological system: God as Nature, God as radical Otherness, and God as absolute Value. Third I show that Sartre's conception of the imaginary explains how a purer, more theoretical conception of God can be perverted into more anthropocentrised and anthropomorphised versions. Fourth I consider the consequences of sticking to more Sartrean notions which ultimately can emphasise humility, respect, and responsibility before Nature, the Other, and Value, thereby calling for a reduction of both anthropomorphism and -centrism in religious faith and our conceptions of God.

Contributor Notes

Daniel O'Shiel is a postdoctoral researcher and teacher working on an individual three-year project ‘Perception and Image: a Phenomenology of Virtual Technology’ for the Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científica y Tecnológica (FONDECYT, a subsidiary of the Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo de Chile (ANID)), at the Instituto de Filosofía, Universidad Diego Portales, in Santiago, Chile. His main interests are in phenomenology, philosophical anthropology, philosophy of technology, and environmental ethics.

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Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture


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