A Theological reading of “The Obsolescence of Man” by Günther Anders
Keywords:obsolescent man, world, apocalypse, technology, omnipotence, minimization, image/icon, media
Although Günther Anders explicitly confesses in several places that he is an atheist, his writing The Obsolescence of Man lends itself to broad theological readings. We do not understand by this last statement what is commonly accepted in the common mind, but rather we call theological reading the process of going through a given text by a theologian who is able to discover the theological meanings implicit in its content. If secular man has expelled God from the world of ideas, and with this act has degraded theology to the status of a discipline perfectly separate from all the other humanities or sciences, we propose, on the contrary, a restoration. The aim of a theological reading is the constitution of understanding and the elucidation of problems, without any obsession with solutions. The theologian engaged in such an endeavour is a historian of ideas who deals with their past, present and above all future. The right and ability of theology to account for everything is presumed axiomatic. Only in this way can we bring theology out of its imposed isolation and restore it to the world as the queen of the disciplines of the spirit. Therefore, we affirm that the theological reading we shall undertake of the Andersian occasionalism in The Obsolescence of Man will lead to a diagnosis of the degrading state of the world and of man today and will enable us to point out how to deal with the terrible assault to which the whole of humanity is being subjected by the technological revolution.