Democracy and Resentment: Testing Scheler’s and Nietzsche’s Christian Resentment Theories on the Case of Protestantism
Keywords:Resentment, Envy, Protestantism, Martin Luther, Nietzsche, Scheler, Christianity
AbstractThe general perspective on the process of democratisation is a positive one, one that transmits progress and evolution. But Tocqueville and Scheler explain that the process of democratisation also has downsides. For instance, increasing equality generates more envy. Furthermore, Scheler explains that envy also lays the basis for resentment. This analysis looks at this interdependence of democracy and resentment within the case of Christianity. It looks at one of the most relevant examples of democratisation within Christianity, Protestantism. Based on Nietzsche’s and Scheler’s Christian resentment theories, this paper analyses whether Protestantism’s proposal of reformation is indeed resentful. In order to do so, it tests both theories on ‘The Freedom of a Christian’, a speech by Martin Luther. To which extent can one identify either Scheler’s or Nietzsche’s understanding of resentment in The Freedom of a Christian?