Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rudd, Anthony. Review of W. Glenn Kirkconnell's KIERKEGAARD ON ETHICS AND RELIGION. NDPR (May 2009).

Kirkconnell, W. Glenn. Kierkegaard on Ethics and Religion: from Either/Or to Philosophical Fragments. London: Continuum, 2008. This book is an attempt to read Kierkegaard's early pseudonymous writings in the light of his early (non-pseudonymous) Upbuilding Discourses, and vice versa. Kirkconnell notes in his brief introductory chapter that we tend either to read only the pseudonymous works or to read them and the Discourses separately from one another. But, he notes, "Kierkegaard imagined an ideal reader who would divine the works were related and would compare the two series to one another . . . noting the contrasts and convergences between them" (2). So he proposes, as a hermeneutical experiment, that we should read these works in the order in which they were written, looking for connections between the signed and the pseudonymous works. And, he concludes: "This experiment does indeed yield interesting results" (146). Kirkconnell argues that his approach brings out the religious agenda underlying even what seem to be largely secular works such as Either/Or and Repetition, and shows the development of an increasingly rigorous religious outlook, from Judge William's accommodating inclusion of the religious within an autonomous, humanistic ethics in Either/Or to the radical Lutheran emphasis on human sinfulness and the need for grace in the Fragments. . . . Read the rest here:

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