Lumen Fidei - page 4

entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ,
the morning star which never sets.
An illusory light?
2. Yet in speaking of the light of faith, we can
almost hear the objections of many of our con-
temporaries. In modernity, that light might have
been considered sufficient for societies of old,
but was felt to be of no use for new times, for a
humanity come of age, proud of its rationality
and anxious to explore the future in novel ways.
Faith thus appeared to some as an illusory light,
preventing mankind from boldly setting out in
quest of knowledge. The young Nietzsche en-
couraged his sister Elisabeth to take risks, to
tread “new paths… with all the uncertainty of
one who must find his own way”, adding that
“this is where humanity’s paths part: if you want
peace of soul and happiness, then believe, but if
you want to be a follower of truth, then seek”.
Belief would be incompatible with seeking. From
this starting point Nietzsche was to develop his
critique of Christianity for diminishing the full
meaning of human existence and stripping life
of novelty and adventure. Faith would thus be
the illusion of light, an illusion which blocks the
path of a liberated humanity to its future.
3. In the process, faith came to be associated
with darkness. There were those who tried to save
Brief an Elisabeth Nietzsche
(11 June 1865), in:
Werke in
drei Bänden
, München, 1954, 953ff.
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