Without the ontological distinction between Being and Becoming, without the tragic worldview, without becoming aware of the implied theology of the contemporary historical sciences, and without overthrowing the optimism of modernity, we cannot read the ancients. In a sense, then, my thought retraces Nietzsche’s path. Heidegger is also influential but for the contrary reason. In contrast to Nietzsche, Heidegger is deeply Pauline: he tries to reclaim the Greek heritage for Christianity after Nietzsche showed that classical philology is subservient to Christianity. The Nay Science does something similar to this Nietzschean project for Indology. It is a critique of modernity as exemplified in what is basically a form of Rassenkunde (racial anthropology) masquerading as an Enlightenment science.
Aristotle, of course, is very influential for Christian theology, especially through St. Aquinas’s rediscovery. Heidegger also attributed his interest in philosophy to an early reading of Aristotle (via Brentano’s On the Manifold Senses of Being in Aristotle). The question of whether Aristotle already represents a deviation from Platonic thought, and whether this facilitates his reception in Christianity is a complex one. On the one hand, classicists like Lloyd P. Gerson and my friend Arbogast Schmitt read him sympathetically. This is in keeping with the neo-Platonic reading. On the other hand, we cannot deny differences like the criticisms Proclus raises of Aristotle’s notion of four causes.