Societal flourishing- a Nietzschean worldview or St. Benedict’s abbey?
Between Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals and Benedict of Nursia’s Rule, one can see a way of thinking differently about virtue stemming from asceticism. Coming from different time periods and backgrounds, both speak about practices of asceticism and whether or not such practices can contribute to an improvement of human society. In the process of examining these two works, one can conclude that both have wisdom to share. While Nietzsche understands the problem in the origins of asceticism, St. Benedict charges his followers to act with strict adherence to ascetic values. Between these two thinkers, one an influential philosopher, the other a spiritual guru, arguments are presented that address the question of what human society should look like.