This section addresses a question raised by the book’s overall argument: what does it really mean to say that Christian asceticism has shaped the basic ideas and practices of existential thought? Does existentialism become a religion? Does it become Christian? Or perhaps religion itself might become less “religious”? Engaging with contemporary debates over the problematic relation between Christianity and secular modernity, this section proposes a new approach to the critique of religion, in which concerns about debt and legitimacy are sharply distinguished.
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