This text appears in at the beginning of Max Scheler's Ressentiment, a slim volume of philosophy of phenomenology in which the author challenges Nietzsche’s assertion that Christianity stems from resentment and slave morality. Scheler argues Nietzsche’s error lies in equating contemporary Christian values as actual and original Christian values. According to Scheler, the Christianity Nietzsche criticizes is not truly Christianity at all, but rather a Christianity perverted by ressentiment values, which Scheler equates with bourgeois morality and its inherent grounding in resentment.
I believe Scheler explores a crucial problem, one that has plagued Christianity since the end of the Middle Ages. Not only have resentment morality and values utterly eclipsed Christianity in society, but they have acted as a kind of poison in which Christianity has been marinating for centuries. The problem for contemporary Christians is twofold in this regard. On the one hand, the distinction between resentment values and Christian values has been completely blurred. On the other hand, authentic Christian values appear flawed and weak when set against the ruling resentment values system.
So much of what I have been encountering online lately can be boiled down the problems Scheler identified in his little book. It’s been a few years since I read Ressentiment, but I think I will revisit it in the very near future and write some observations about the book on this blog. I have a feeling Scheler’s insights would be timely and helpful and add a valuable perspective to many of the topics I have seen fellow bloggers exploring and addressing over the past few weeks.