Friedrich Nietzsche, who was born in 1844, fell silent in 1889, and died eleven years later, was the first great philosopher of the twentieth century. What made, and makes, him so important, is that he recognized with great clarity and impressive foresight the most troubling and persistent problem of modernity, the problem of values. His attempts to resolve this problem were not successful, but they did uncover depths of issues that still defeat our best efforts today.Let’s begin with his notorious declaration that “God is dead” (first in The Gay Science, 1872). Secular thinking is a commonplace today, but in Nietzsche’s time this declaration was strikingly prophetic. The point of the claim is not so much to assert atheism: although Nietzsche was certainly an atheist, he was far from being a pioneer of European atheism. Rather, his observation is sociological, in a way: he means that Western culture no longer places God at the center of things. In another way, the term ‘sociological’ is quite misleading, for there is nothing ‘value-neutral’ in Nietzsche’s assertion. The death of God has knocked the pins out from under Western value systems, and revealed an abyss below. The values we still continue to live by have lost their meaning, and we are cast adrift, whether we realize it or not. The question is, what do we do now?