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Slave Morality
(144 words)

[German Version]

This expression, common since F. Nietzsche, refers to an ethos that – allegedly as an act of self-effacement but in fact on account of deficient vitality – eschews direct self-assertion but subtly brings fatal consequences by distortion of a person’s life force.


F.D.E. Schleiermacher, “Rede zum Geburtstag Friedrichs des Großen,” 1817, in: idem, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, vol. I/11, 2002, 241–250

S. Kierkegaard, Frygt og Beeven, 1843; ET: Fear and Trembling, 1985

F. Nietzsche, “Jenseits von Gut und Böse,” 1886, in: idem, Werke, ed. K. S…

Cite this page
Heesch, Matthias, “Slave Morality”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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