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Kierkegaard, Honesty, and Grace (200 Years Later)

Kierkegaard, Honesty, and Grace (200 Years Later)

Three days past Kierkegaard’s 200th birthday, some great articles have cropped up examining his legacy. The New York Times, for instance, featured a great mini-summary of his legacy; more interestingly, at aeon, atheist Julian Baggini writes a fantastic essay about his personal relationship with Kierkegaard’s thought: He was an existentialist a century before Jean-Paul Sarte, more rigorously post-modern than postmodernism, and a…

"Just a Reflection of a Reflection": Arcade Fire's Rendition of Kierkegaard's Reflective Age

“Just a Reflection of a Reflection”: Arcade Fire’s Rendition of Kierkegaard’s Reflective Age

“There’s an essay by Kierkegaard called The Present Age that I was reading a lot that’s about the reflective age. This is like in [1846], and it sounds like he’s talking about modern times. He’s talking about the press and alienation, and you kind of read it and you’re like, ‘Dude, you have no idea how insane it’s gonna get.’”—Win Butler in Rolling Stone Arcade Fire’s newest album Reflektor has brought out…

Kid Kierkegaard Chose...Poorly

Kid Kierkegaard Chose…Poorly

“Here I stand…not at a crossroads—no, but at a multitude of roads, and therefore it is all the harder to choose the right one.” —Kierkegaard, in a letter to P.W. Lund, 1835 When I first read the above line by Christianity’s favorite philosopher, I thought, well, of course he faced a deluge of indecision in his white-haired smoky-armchaired nineteenth-century affluence—tea or coffee today? Hegel or Kant? Reading or writing? But I found it…

S. Kierkegaard on the Anxiety of Alienation and Dizziness of Freedom

S. Kierkegaard on the Anxiety of Alienation and Dizziness of Freedom

Somewhat recently, Gordon Marino, a professor of philosophy and director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College, authored a piece for The NY Times on Søren Kierkegaard’s experience with anxiety entitled, “Kierkegaard, Danish Doctor of Dread.” The subject here being a man who once described his pervasive dread in the following terms: “All existence makes me anxious, from the smallest fly to the mysteries of the…

The Decisive Question About Faith

The Decisive Question About Faith

This comes from a new book out by Kierkegaard scholar, Gordon Marino, The Existentialist’s Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age . Marino divides his chapters up among the crucial talking points of the famous existentialists — Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Camus, Sartre — and this particular passage comes in the chapter on faith. While everyone in that stable of noteworthy thinkers found religious faith to be an absurd…

Another Week Ends: Grindelwald and Kierkegaard, Homer and the Other, Faith and Fear, Athletica and Aging

Another Week Ends: Grindelwald and Kierkegaard, Homer and the Other, Faith and Fear, Athletica and Aging

1. The National Review published a take on the Roy Moore scandal that focuses less on the man’s misdeeds and more on the guiding theology that Moore’s Christianity espouses. David French’s article suggests there are two competing temptations within the Church today, one of which is total cultural assimilation (“the Church becomes the world, and the logic for its distinct existence disappears”) and the other being its opposite: the sectoring off…

Kierkegaard on Erotic Love, Divine Sorrow and True Imputation

Kierkegaard on Erotic Love, Divine Sorrow and True Imputation

We’re embarking on one of Kierkegaard’s bizarre thought-experiments here, on the love of God in Christ. It’s anthropomorphic, it’s controversial, and it’s all possibly a crock of you-know-what…but it’s deeply moving and, to this blogger’s mind, it brings out some brilliant aspects of God’s love and imputation’s reality. God’s eternal motive with regard to man is to make His love…

Wheeling and Dealing with the Devil: Kierkegaard on the Intolerable Self

Wheeling and Dealing with the Devil: Kierkegaard on the Intolerable Self

If there is a band that has been a bit overplayed lately, Bastille would be it. But while you’ve probably heard their song “Pompeii”, you probably haven’t heard “Icarus”. The song, of course, is based on that famous Greek myth about a man named Daedalus who makes wings out of wax for his son, Icarus. Tragically, though Daedalus warned Icarus to avoid flying near the sun, Icarus just couldn’t help himself; so his…

Architects, Madmen and Ernest Becker's <i>The Denial of Death</i>

Architects, Madmen and Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death

Freud, Kierkegaard, and the drug lord Heisenberg…A free peek into the Love & Death Issue, which people continue to tell us is their favorite issue thus far. Here is Ethan’s piece on the classic, Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death. If you subscribe to the magazine, and add the code JESSEPINKMAN in the notes section of your order, we’ll send a free copy to a friend of your choosing. And on the pedestal, these words…

Another Week Ends: St. Paul’s Gift, Princeton’s Fifth Quintile, Biden’s Kierkegaard, Russia’s Soul, Pixar’s SadLab, and the Peak of Television

Another Week Ends: St. Paul’s Gift, Princeton’s Fifth Quintile, Biden’s Kierkegaard, Russia’s Soul, Pixar’s SadLab, and the Peak of Television

1) After the seriously powerful interview Colbert conducted with Vice President Joe Biden, Quartz did a closer look on the guiding philosophy that helped Biden endure the loss of his son Beau. If you’ve not watched the interview, well, go ahead and do that, but Biden describes a note that his wife left him on his mirror, which read, “Faith sees best in the dark,” which comes from Kierkegaard. Apparently, says Joel Rasmussen of Kierkegaard’s…

Nobody Knows Yourself When You're Down and Out: Kierkegaard on the Mirage of Health

Nobody Knows Yourself When You’re Down and Out: Kierkegaard on the Mirage of Health

From his Sickness unto Death, a passage where Kierkegaard compares spiritual sickness – i.e. despair – to physical unhealth, and then diagnoses seemingly everyone with a degree of this condition, even those who believe themselves healthy: This observation will no doubt strike many as paradoxical, an exaggeration, and a gloomy and discouraging view besides. Yet it is none of these things. It is not gloomy; on the contrary it tries to…

Kierkegaard on the (Lost) Offense of Christianity

Kierkegaard on the (Lost) Offense of Christianity

[T]ake away the possibility of offense, as they have done in Christendom, and the whole of Christianity is direct communication; and then Christianity is done away with, for it has become an easy thing, a superficial something which neither wounds nor heals profoundly enough; it is the false invention of human sympathy which forgets the infinite qualitative difference between God and man. -Søren Kierkegaard, “The Offence,” Training…