“In order to swim one strips oneself naked – in order to aim at the truth one must undress in a much more inward sense, one must take off the inward clothing of thoughts, ideas, selfishness, and the like, before one is naked enough.” Soren Kierkegaard, Journals, 1854.
“In the realm of thought there is a haggling, an up-to-a-certain-point understanding, which just as surely leads to nonsense as good intentions lead to hell.” Soren Kierkegaard, Journals, 1844.
“If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the bottom of everything there were only a wild ferment, a power that twisting in dark passions produced everything great or inconsequential; if an unfathomable, insatiable emptiness lay hid beneath everything, what would life be but despair?”
Thoughts on Reading Kierkegaard
In a previous post, I argued that Kierkegaard was not an irrationalist, as he is commonly viewed. In this post I want to address a few more issues in reading and interpreting Kierkegaard. Why study Kierkegaard at all? If nothing else, understanding Kierkegaard helps us understand modern cultural phenomena better, especially postmodern epistemology, existentialism, and many issues related to the emerging church. In addition, many of Kierkegaard’s religious works, such as his Edifying Discourses, Works of Love, and Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing have (in my opinion) great devotional value. Those of us who are evangelicals can…
Was Kierkegaard an Irrationalist?
One of the most fascinating thinkers of recent times is Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the Danish philosopher and theologian often called “the father of existentialism.” I first discovered Kierkegaard while studying abroad in Britain in the fall of 2005, and was immediately drawn to him and began devouring his books. Once I was back in the states, I took two classes on him as I was finishing up my philosophy degree in college. Of extra-biblical writers, only C.S. Lewis has done more to shape my thinking, and no other personality in history except Christ has gripped me so poignantly. Reading…