Monday, January 25, 2010
Ferreira, M. Jamie. Review of Sharon Krishek, KIERKEGAARD ON FAITH AND LOVE. NDPR (January 2010).
Krishek, Sharon. Kierkegaard on Faith and Love. Cambridge: CUP, 2009. Krishek's general aims in this bold book are to show that Kierkegaard's normative revisioning of the concept of religious faith entails a normative revisioning of the concept of love, and that Kierkegaard's project in Works of Love fails to do justice to his best insights about love. In particular, Krishek argues that the model of faith in "two movements" found in Johannes de Silentio's Fear and Trembling is a necessary corrective to the model of love found in Works of Love. This entails a re-examination of both works, prefaced by a re-consideration of the ways in which Kierkegaard's various presentations of love raise issues about loss and resignation. The re-examinations of Fear and Trembling and Works of Love can be judged independently -- that is, the success of her argument about Fear and Trembling does not depend on the success of her argument about Works of Love. Moreover, whether or not her boldest challenge to Works of Love is convincing, her analysis makes illuminating distinctions and in the process introduces the reader to the most recent scholarship on Works of Love. For these reasons, the book is worthwhile reading for any Kierkegaard student or scholar. To an academic audience chastened over the decades by warnings not to put all the writing done by Søren A. Kierkegaard into one melting pot (but to distinguish clearly between pseudonymous writings and signed writings), Krishek's attempt to illuminate and amend one of Kierkegaard's signed religious texts (Works of Love) by reference to an earlier pseudonymous text (Fear and Trembling), and to show "how two of Kierkegaard's most noticeable voices, when joined together, create a clear and interesting ensemble" is provocative (141). Her justification is, I think rightly, that "the core of some of Kierkegaard's most important ideas can be traced back to his pseudonymous writings, and in some cases their expression in these writings is particularly lucid and illuminating" (141). In other words, Krishek usefully reminds us not to overlook the continuity, repetition, and complementarity in Kierkegaard's works. . . . Read the whole review here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=18629.