Speaking in Tongues: Glimpsing Nietzsche’s "Unknown God"

Mr. Donald James Hauka
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Fredrich Nietzsche and a Pentecostal Pastor may seem like strange travelling companions, but they walk hand in hand at least part way down the road to transcendence. Using the Birth of Tragedy as a guide, I propose to draw parallels between Attic Tragedy as interpreted by Nietzsche and the rites of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, a charismatic, fundamentalist Protestant denomination which practices “speaking in tongues” during its worship services. In doing so, I’ll attempt to explain a mystical experience that I and two other teenagers had at a summer bible camp nearly 30 years ago. For after years of puzzling over its meaning, Nietzsche has at last shown me the path to transcendence that my friends and I took, as well as the fork in the road where we parted ways to end up at separate altars. During this journey, I’ll describe the surprising number of similarities between Attic Tragedy’s psychological dynamics as described by Nietzsche and that of the “Born-Again” Pentecostals. There are a unexpected number of them, which is perhaps why Nietzsche chose to play a referential joke in choosing the name “Dionysiac” for his antichrist.

Keywords: Frederich Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy, Pentecostal Church, Transcendence, Joseph Campbell
Stream: Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Speaking in Tongues

Mr. Donald James Hauka

Graduate Student (Master of Arts Degree), Graduate Liberal Studies, Simon Fraser University

Don Hauka has worked as a journalist, screen writer, playwright and college instructor. He worked at the Province newspaper for nearly 20 years, covering B.C. and Canadian politics. He adapted his first novel, "Mr. Jinnah: Securities," into a TV movie for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (broadcast in October, 2003). The first Jinnah MOW, "Pizza 911," aired the previous year and was nominated for a Gemini Award for best TV movie. A writer for radio as well as television, his first non-fiction work, "McGowan's War," was released in 2003 by New Star Books. His latest book, co-authored with colleague Salim Jiwa, "Margin of Terror: The Untold Story of the Air India Tragedy," is to be published this August by Key Porter Books of Toronto. While he writes on a wide variety of subjects, Hauka's passions are history, mythology and politics.

Ref: H05P0894