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Gabriel Vahanian dies at 85; key figure in 'God Is Dead' movement
L.A. Times ^ | 9/16/12 | Elaine Woo

Posted on 09/16/2012 9:38:46 AM PDT by Borges

Despite a provocative title, Gabriel Vahanian's book "The Death of God" caused no public stir when it was published in 1961.

By the middle of the decade, however, a massive upheaval was underway in American society and Vahanian, a little-known Syracuse University professor of religion, found himself at the center of a furious national debate.

The French-born academic entered the spotlight in 1965 when Time magazine's Easter week cover posed the question that Vahanian and other radical theologians had raised: "Is God Dead?" The arguments pro and con were still churning more than a year later, when the magazine noted that the easiest way to boost Sunday church attendance was to announce a sermon on the divine demise.

Vahanian, a key thinker in what became known as the "death of God" movement, died of natural causes Aug. 30 at his home in Strasbourg, France, said his son-in-law, Jeffrey W. Robbins. He was 85.

Time had named him one of the four best-known theologians of the movement, which, according to the magazine, argued it was "no longer possible to think about or believe in a transcendent God who acts in human history" and that Christianity "will have to survive, if at all, without him."

In Vahanian's view, America in the early '60s was a "post-Christian world," driven away from faith by the Holocaust and other World War II horrors.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: gabrielvahanian; godisdead; vahanian

1 posted on 09/16/2012 9:38:50 AM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

Well like it or not .... she is a believer now....


2 posted on 09/16/2012 9:41:02 AM PDT by Walkingfeather
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To: Borges

Now he is, and God still isn’t...


3 posted on 09/16/2012 9:41:02 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: Borges

.
.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h57UR-oIE_g

.
.


4 posted on 09/16/2012 9:42:02 AM PDT by Para-Ord.45
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To: Walkingfeather

He was apparently always a believer...just describing intellectual and cultural trends that he saw in the Western World.


5 posted on 09/16/2012 9:42:38 AM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

Okay, now we can go around saying “Vahanian is dead.”


6 posted on 09/16/2012 9:43:05 AM PDT by EggsAckley ("There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply!")
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To: EggsAckley

Doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?


7 posted on 09/16/2012 9:45:42 AM PDT by OrangeHoof (Our economy won't heal until one particular black man is unemployed.)
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To: Borges

Surprise!!!


8 posted on 09/16/2012 9:49:48 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (The Obamas = rude, crude and socially unacceptable)
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To: Borges

I thought that Nietzsche was the key figure in “God Is Dead” arena.


9 posted on 09/16/2012 9:52:45 AM PDT by Usagi_yo
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To: Conservative4Ever

Actually he wouldn’t have been surprised at all. Does anyone read the articles anymore or just comment based on the headline?


10 posted on 09/16/2012 9:54:05 AM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

Here is what I would like to know. God created particles that half a half-life of a nano second. On the other hand the universe as we know it today MAY last for another 100 trillion years or forever. Juxtaposed is the average life of a human being, maybe 70 years. Why create humans at all? If so, why such a short life span in time that may last forever? Why exist at all?


11 posted on 09/16/2012 10:03:27 AM PDT by Doc Savage ("I've shot people I like a lot more,...for a lot less!" Raylan Givins)
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To: Conservative4Ever

More fun to comment on someone else’s comment


12 posted on 09/16/2012 10:05:01 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (The Obamas = rude, crude and socially unacceptable)
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To: Borges
Does anyone read the articles anymore or just comment based on the headline?

Good heavens!! Are you suggesting reading the whole article? Okay, I read it. He sounded almost like an unsure agnostic. Sure he was involved with religion but he definitely did not sound like a Fundamentalist Christian. He found God interesting but not involved in day to day stuff. He was neither hot nor cold but lukewarm. That's my take.

13 posted on 09/16/2012 10:36:36 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Biden: "HOPE and CHAINS for all 57 states".)
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To: Doc Savage
Why create humans at all? If so, why such a short life span in time that may last forever? Why exist at all?

The "short life span" was not Gods doing. That was sin. Adam would still be alive today except the fatal error of not following Gods instructions. Eternal life was a conditional proposition at Creation.

14 posted on 09/16/2012 10:39:53 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Biden: "HOPE and CHAINS for all 57 states".)
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To: Borges
God is dead. - Vahanian

Vahanian is dead. - God

Stolen (and modified) from a '60s bumper sticker

15 posted on 09/16/2012 11:16:59 AM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (A moral wrong is not a civil right: No religious sanction of an irreligious act.)
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To: Usagi_yo

16 posted on 09/16/2012 11:30:39 AM PDT by Fiji Hill (Deo Vindice!)
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To: Borges

And God is still here,


17 posted on 09/16/2012 12:37:14 PM PDT by Del Rapier
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To: Doc Savage
Why create humans at all? If so, why such a short life span in time that may last forever? Why exist at all?

I have no questions why God created us. But if you think about it, we might not be at our intended peak of life expectancy. God created humans and humans created medicine. Compare today's longevity to that of 100 BC. Life expectancy was 35 yrs in some parts of the would. In the 1850's it was at 55 yrs of age.

Imagine what it could be in another 2000 yrs.

18 posted on 09/16/2012 1:37:13 PM PDT by submarinerswife (Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results~Einstein)
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To: Borges


19 posted on 09/16/2012 1:47:02 PM PDT by x
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To: Borges

Now he’s dead and he has discovered how very, very wrong he was. I wish he would have believed it beforehand.


20 posted on 09/16/2012 5:32:43 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: Doc Savage

We were put here to glorify God, period.


21 posted on 09/16/2012 6:57:39 PM PDT by Tolkien (Grace is the Essence of the Gospel; Gratitude is the Essence of Ethics.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

He was right in the sense of describing a cultural condition that became very explicit a few years later. He seems to have been a believer.


22 posted on 09/17/2012 12:26:00 AM PDT by Borges
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