Friends, from Nietzche to the Coen brothers, enjoy this unusual reflection from PARSE friend A. E. Stoddard. What are the pastoral implications of a world unmoored from the divine prompt for justice? -Paul
I must confess that I’ve never read Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Gay Science in its entirety, but I’ve always been fascinated by the Parable of the Madman therein. In this famous nihilist’s tale, a lantern-wielding madman runs frantically through his village in the wee hours of the morning looking for God.
The madman cries out: “I seek God! I seek God!”
As he blunders through the darkness, he becomes the focus of much ridicule and scorn. The villagers chide him: “Has he got lost? …Did [God] lose his way like a child? …. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us?”
In the face of scoffing and laughter, Nietzche’s village idiot shockingly turns into village prophet and proclaims:
Whither is God? ... I will tell you. We ...1