This study shows how Kierkegaard's mature theological writings reflect his engagement with the wide range of theological positions which he encountered as a student, including German and Danish Romanticism, Hegelianism and the writings of Fichte and Schleiermacher. George Pattison draws on both major and lesser-known works to show the complexity and nuances of Kierkegaard's theological position, which remained closer to Schleiermacher's affirmation of religion as a 'feeling of absolute dependence' than to the Barthian denial of any 'point of contact', with which he is often associated. Pattison also explores ways in which Kierkegaard's theological thought can be related to thinkers such as Heidegger and John Henry Newman, and its continuing relevance to present-day debates about secular faith. His volume will be of great interest to scholars and students of philosophy and theology.
In this new collection, Oxford theologian George Pattison translates and selects Søren Kierkegaard's previously neglected writings on spirituality--works that greatly deepen our understanding of the influential thinker. In philosophy and literature, Kierkegaard ("By far the most profound thinker of the nineteenth century"--Ludwig Wittgenstein) is generally perceived as epitomizing existential angst. However, there is much more to Kierkegaard than the popular image of the "melancholy Dane" or the iconoclastic critic of established Christendom. Alongside the pseudonymous books for which he is largely known, Kierkegaard also wrote many devotional works, which he called "upbuilding" or "edifying" discourses. Taken as a whole, these writings offer something very different from the popular view--they embody a spirituality grounded in a firm sense of human life as a divine gift.