What are some good dialoging points you gleaned from existentialist philosophers?

David!
Hello. :slight_smile: Thanks for being on the forum this week. It’s so great to have you here!

I was intrigued to learn from your book that, in your early years, you were heavily influenced by the writings of existential philosophers. Do their writings still resonate with you in any way today? Presumably you read them through a different filter nowadays, but given how their ideas are so influential in our modern western world, as Christians, where are some good dialoging points with them?

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Hi Kathleen,

Thank you for the nature of your question being on something different to sexuality or gender, and for responding to my book! I think I still resonate with the writings of existential philosophers. I think it’s helpful to understand their context, the prejudices of 1960s/70s France, colonialism etc. Especially when reading L’etranger from Camus, or Sartre’s Existentialism is a Humanism, what has struck me is the political importance of their thinking as a critique of the oppression of the colonial “other” in the French consciousness of the time. The second thing is that Sartre became very critical of ‘humanism’, a kind of easy optimism of living without God. For Sartre, it wasn’t that he could know there was no God, but that it simply didn’t change the prejudices and problems of humanity - he wanted to find something deeper that could solve that issue. That is where I find the conversation with those who are yet to place their trust in Christ can get very interesting. You may be interested in looking at Kate Kirkpatrick’s work on Sartre and theology, with a short introduction here: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/theforum/sartre-does-god/

Blessings,
David.

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