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Posts tagged "Soren Kierkegaard"

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

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 appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone…

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The Ugly Kid Joe of Discipleship

The Ugly Kid Joe of Discipleship

“I wish I had never met you.”

A person never wants to hear that from a friend. But I heard that on more than one occasion from two separate friends. Not only were these two guys my friends, but I was also discipling them — after a fashion. I’m sorry, I can’t say ‘discipling’ or ‘mentoring’ without squirming a bit. One reason is that I am only a few years older than these guys, and second, the amount of spiritual abuse and patriarchy that is loaded into those terms makes them difficult for me to use.

I was discipling two guys who felt…

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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 more endearing when I realized that he was writing as a twenty-two-year-old and that I’d had the same exchange of words with a dear friend the day before. Oh, Søren, the…

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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 in Christianity

Kierkegaard handles the problem of the “messianic secret” still, to me, better than almost anyone. That secret is the question of why Jesus, after healing people, often tells them to tell no one….

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FOMO and the Fear of a Better Option

FOMO and the Fear of a Better Option

FOMO’s not the whole story – nor is it new.

The Boston Magazine this week published a history of “Fear of Missing Out“, tracing its beginnings, like a careful epidemiologist, back to 2004, at Harvard Business School. Of greater interest were its comments on FOBO, Fear of a Better Option (more precisely, Fear that a Better Option Exists, but FOBO’s easier than FBOE, so there it is):

But this mentality had its costs: McGinnis and his group found they couldn’t commit to anything. Working with the rudimentary tools available to them (cell phones and address books), they developed complex algorithms to plan…

Bible Tuesdays: The Serpent in the Wilderness

Bible Tuesdays: The Serpent in the Wilderness

It’s become fashionable in some Protestant circles to talk about inspiring virtue not through dry rules or frustrated self-discipline, but through a vision of the moral life. ‘Living into the Kingdom’, or looking at a beautiful vision of God’s restoration in the eschaton and ‘mapping backwards’ (see Ethan’s TFA piece in The Mockingbird) to see how we act in light of God’s redemption are ideas and phrases enjoying broad use in American Christianity. Even those who haven’t read the intellectual mainstays of this idea (Wright, Smith, etc) still implicitly think this way. I know I’d rather show my children Caillou’s…

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"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 the inner philosopher in just about every critic attempting a review the Canadian band. This is Arcade Fire’s first album since their Grammy winning 2011 effort The Suburbs. Thanks to an…

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New Music: Arcade Fire's Reflektor

New Music: Arcade Fire’s Reflektor

This review comes courtesy of our friend Brooks Tate.

I was late to the Arcade Fire party. A friend gave me their first three albums on a flash drive, and those songs lived on my iPod unnoticed for more than six months. Their songs would appear and reappear, but I didn’t pay much attention. Then I don’t know when, but something happened, and I couldn’t listen to these songs enough.  And these weren’t just songs, but albums, with a common thread weaved through the whole. I know I’ve found a band when my favorite song is always on the move. At…

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Kierkegaard and Young Adult Anxiety

Believe it or not, we’re down to the penultimate video from last month’s conference in NYC. This one comes to us courtesy of a true expert in the field (zing!). Will “WB” McDavid:

You may download the recording of this talk by clicking here.

I Know This Moment To Be True: Some Thoughts on DT Max's Reading of His Biography of David Foster Wallace

I Know This Moment To Be True: Some Thoughts on DT Max’s Reading of His Biography of David Foster Wallace

We could not possibly be happier to bring you the following essay from Daniel Matthew Varley on one of our absolute favorite subjects. Please note: If you don’t feel like wading through the whole thing but would like to garner some nuggets about David Foster Wallace not found in the biography or elsewhere on the Internet nor probably anywhere else other than in DT Max’s head, skip to section three.

 

1. There were a handful of “David Foster Wallace moments” (DFWm) at the discussion of DT Max’s biography of said deceased author held on January 23rd at the 92Y Tribeca, which…

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Walker Percy on Naming Sparrows and Self

Walker Percy on Naming Sparrows and Self

This comes from the scientist-novelist’s essay, “Naming and Being,” in which he talks about symbols and meaning–and how humans derive their special meaning from naming and being named. In doing so, Percy also catches on to modern anxiety’s root cause: the human awareness and fear in the face of something unnameable. One is, as Freud might say, “afraid of nothing,” while at the same time, as Kierkegaard might say, afraid of “a summons to an authentic existence.” Anxiety, as Percy pronounces, is also the experience of the strange, unnameable self. Though we can categorize quite well any other thing, including…

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Loss Aversion, Expectation, Entitlement, and the Story of Job

Loss Aversion, Expectation, Entitlement, and the Story of Job

We’ve discussed loss aversion frequently – the behavioral psychology idea that losses hurt more than gains – and there’s a curious extension of it called anchoring.  Picture this scenario: someone doubles the size of an investment in the stock market over the span of ten years, and then she loses a quarter of it in a day.  One would imagine that she wouldn’t have a very charitable picture towards the market, thinking she’d gotten the short end of the stick in her investment.  These are real reactions too; psych-savvy investors frequently try to use human irrationalities like this to make…

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