Religious dogs in Nietzsche and Kafka

Kohlenbach, Margarete (2010) Religious dogs in Nietzsche and Kafka. Oxford German Studies, 39 (3). pp. 213-227. ISSN 0078-7191

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Albeit grotesque, the idea of religious dogs helps us to understand and criticize the power relations inherent in religion. The first part of the present paper analyzes two notes from Nietzsche's Nachlass that envisage an analogy between the relations of dogs to humans and of humans to God. Placed in their historical context of Darwinism and naturalistic conceptions of culture, these notes shed light on Nietzsche's critique of religious attitudes to domination. The second part - a reading of Kafka's 'Forschungen eines Hundes' - situates the analogy between the dog-human and human-God relationships at the centre of the story's irony. Kafka's use of the analogy differs from Nietzsche's by emphasizing the cognitive dimension of religious aspirations and giving less weight to the subordination to a more powerful agency. In the context of Kafka's work as a whole, however, the story suggests an approach to the relations between power and religion that is incompatible with Nietzsche's understanding of life as will to power. © 2010 Maney Publishing.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Depositing User: Margarete Kohlenbach
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:52
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2012 21:37
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