Sartre's Three Gods

in Sartre Studies International
Author: Daniel O'Shiel1
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  • 1 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.

Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture


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