Much has been said about Nietzsche's "Death of God" and Lyotard's "Grand Meta-Narratives".
This post combines a few of my own thoughts on these subjects.
This is one of my favorite summaries of Nietzsche:
The primary aim of the article is to persuade readers to alter a common misunderstanding about Nietzsche. Namely, that Nietzsche should be depicted as an enemy of compassion (which is a concept central to both Modern Liberalism and Modern Conservatism - they mostly disagree about the State's role in managing compassionate activities).
First, Frazer contrasts Nietzsche against other landmark philosophers (who, perhaps surprisingly, all argued that empathy is undesirable) by aligning Nietzsche with Schopenhauer (one of the few philosophers who argued for the merits of compassion).
Second, Frazer repudiates the claim that Nietzsche presents an altogether original philosophy situating Nietzsche's work firmly within the Aristotelian Virtue Ethics tradition.
On the second point, my take on certain Nietzschean concepts (and some famous philosophical concepts) is that they are but subtle repackagings or rebrandings of previous concepts (I think these can be mostly intersubstituted without too much loss):
I've further critiqued Nietzsche here.
Here's one of the most interesting notions to come out of modern philosophy (regardless of the viability of postmodernism as a concept or critique). It intersects other intriguing notions like Wittgenstein's Language Games (https://ndpr.nd.edu/reviews/wittgenstein-s-form-of-life/).
While Lyotard's focus is on the nature of knowledge at the end of the 20th century (and, how it has and will change). The concept can be extracted from this wider work on society and epistemology.
A quick pass through the history aisle shows just how influential certain pervasive ideas have been in structuring future and past societies:
Clearly, a single book or idea can be greatly influential. Adherents of the world's five largest religions know that. As do the uncountable heresies, rebels, dissenters, scientists, philosophers, etc. who have challenged them.
Here, Grand Meta-Narratives are more than mere stories. They contain within them similarly powerful religious ideas and give substance, meaning (by way of teleology), and inspiration for the creation of whole societies and civilizations.
A teleology gives meaning to a subject in the same way that a story is told from beginning to end. A teleology situates a subject within the context of a history - a narrative progression from start to finish.
I think we can reasonably recast Nietzsche's thesis about the Death of God as the victory of skepticism and the end of Grand Meta-Narratives.
The absence or decline of a unifying narrative is concurrent with a feeling of aimlessness, anomie, malaise, fragmentation, division, epistemic failure, and so on.
A few questions?