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Nietzsche: From his Protestant Origins to the Anti-Christ

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German Consulate General New York

871 United Nations Plaza

New York, NY 10017

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The German Consulate General Co-Presents:

Elysium – between two continents and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany present, Nietzsche: From his Protestant Origins to the Anti-Christ a special approach to Martin Luther on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Michael Lahr will outline and reconstruct the extraordinary train of thought of Nietzsche; Gregorij von Leitis will read key passages of Nietzsche’s works.

Raised in a Protestant rectory, Nietzsche first enrolled as a student of theology. But already during his first year at the university he turned away from Christianity and decided to focus solely on the studies of philology. Nietzsche’s encounter with the philosophy of Schopenhauer and his friendship with Richard Wagner spurred a process of emancipation: Nietzsche became one of the great critical diagnosticians of his time and a moralist, but at the same time one of the most pronounced critics of Christianity. For his contemporaries he seemed to be the Anti-Christ, mostly because of his dictum “God is dead“. As the “prophet of the overman” he assailed the philistine lifestyle of his bourgeois contemporaries and tried to lay a new foundation for morality “beyond good and evil”. And yet, in his most polemic book “The Anti-Christ”, the figure of Jesus was spared all criticism.

Gregorij H. von Leïtis, Founding Artistic Director of Elysium, has been working as a director at various theatres in Europe and the US for over 40 years. In the summer of 2003, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit by German Federal President Johannes Rau for his merits in promoting understanding between peoples by way of art. In April of 2016 the President of the Republic of Austria Dr. Heinz Fischer bestowed the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art on him. In 1983, he founded the Elysium Theater Company in New York, which he headed as Artistic Director till 1990, when he was called to be the Intendant (Artistic Director) of the Landestheater Mecklenburg,Neustrelitz. Since 1993 he has been Artistic Director of Elysium

Michael Lahr studied philosophy and adult education at the College of Philosophy in Munich and at the Jesuit University Centre Sevres in Paris. He is author and editor of the book The Erwin Piscator Award, and a co-author of the volume of essays Bilder des Menschen (Images of Man). As the program director of Elysium he has unearthed numerous works by artists who had to flee their home country under the pressure of the Nazi regime, or who were murdered. Many of these compositions were performed for the first time in concerts in Europe and the U.S. He gives introductory lectures for all Elysium programs.

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German Consulate General New York

871 United Nations Plaza

New York, NY 10017

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