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Schopenhauer on Christ, Suffering and the Negation of the Will




This paper seeks to illuminate Schopenhauer’s notion of the negation or denial of the will by investigating the figure of the saint within his philosophy. We argue that various discussions in Schopenhauer’s works of the possible role of Christ as exemplar reveals an underlying Christological understanding of self-denial as a model for the saint. The connection between Schopenhauer’s approach to Christ and Kant’s Christology in Religion within the Bounds of Mere Reason is also explored. We note how Schopenhauer builds upon on the Kantian demythologization of the Incarnated Christ in order to uncover the moral and existential spirit that underlies Christianity. In addition, we outline how a recognition of the symbolic importance of Christ for Schopenhauer suggests features of the denial of the will that have been overlooked in the literature, involving the intellectual transcendence of suffering through the cultivation of a state of emotional unresponsiveness. It is argued that this reflects a deeper connection between Schopenhauer’s philosophy and Christian thought than is often recognised.


Head. (2020). Schopenhauer on Christ, Suffering and the Negation of the Will. International Journal of Philosophical Studies,

Acceptance Date Feb 17, 2020
Publication Date Feb 24, 2020
Journal International Journal of Philosophical Studies
Print ISSN 0967-2559
Publisher Routledge
Keywords Schopenhauer, Kant, Christology, sainthood, negation of the will
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