Nietzsche vs. Dylan: Fight for the 21st-Century Soul
Talbot School of Theology
I was a mostly clueless 17-year-old, a senior in high school, when I had one of my first genuine philosophical insights.
Dr. Chris, my humanities teacher, had finished a unit on the thought of Fredrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche despised “cows”—those who mindlessly follow the herd rather than charting their own course. The heroic supermen of Nietzsche’s universe (Übermenschen) were those who brazenly defy moral expectations, who possess the courage to do their own thing, consequences be damned.
It hit me like a lightning bolt. If I were to commit myself to Nietzsche’s call to radical self-expression, wouldn’t I be abiding by this dead German’s dogmas, following his demands on my existence like a good little cow? I had no idea at the time that this catch-22 in Nietzsche’s thought would explain our culture’s most pressing contradictions today.
The Gospel Coalition
Williams, Thaddeus John, "Nietzsche vs. Dylan: Fight for the 21st-Century Soul" (2022). Faculty Articles & Research. 756.