Presentation on theme: "Kierkegaard for President. Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Life Writings: Journals & Papers: 20 volumes Collected Works: 20 Volumes What hope can one entertain."— Presentation transcript:
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Life Writings: Journals & Papers: 20 volumes Collected Works: 20 Volumes What hope can one entertain that one will fall into the hands of readers wholly ex improviso [without expectancy]? From the Papers of One Still Living
Kierkegaards Writings Early Academic and Polemic writings: From the Papers of One Still Living (1838), The Concept of Irony with Constant Reference to Socrates (1841) The Authorship Proper The Pseudonymous Works (aesthetic productivity): Either/Or (1842), Fear and Trembling, The Concept of Anxiety, Concluding Unscientific Postscript The Veronymous Works (religious productivity): Edifying Discourses, Christian Discourses, Works of Love (1847) Posthumous Works: The Point of View for My Work as an Author
Reading Kierkegaard Task: to make difficulties everywhere The problem of pseudonymity Existential truth and indirect communication The thing is to find a truth which is truth for me, to find that idea for which I want to live and die. (Papers, 1835) Only the truth which edifies is truth for you. (Either/Or, 1843) Truth is subjectivity. (Concluding Unscientific Postscript, 1845) Central problem: What does it mean to become a Christian?
Works of Love (1847) Some Christian Deliberations in the Form of Discourses Preface: indirect communication? II A. You Shall Love II B. You Shall Love your Neighbor II C. You Shall Love your Neighbor This is the essence of morality…the ethical task, which is the origin of all tasks (64). What about love? Basically we all understand the highest.
And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39 Introduction: As Yourself Christianity begins with the presupposition that all humans love themselves. Is this the highest? Why not love another more than oneself? This commandment teaches us what love is and how to love ourselves in the right way.
Elskov and Kjerlighed Self-love Preferential love Spontaneous love Erotic love Friendship This is the love that the poet praises. Self-denials love Unconditional love Eternal love The spirits love True love A work or action, not a mood or feeling; this is the love Christianity teaches
Who is the neighbor? The nearest, but not in the sense of preferential love Conceptually, it is a redoubling of one-self What philosophers call the other all people Self-love cannot endure redoubling or duplication To love your neighbor as yourself means that you shall love yourself in the same way as you love your neighbor when you love him as yourself. (39)
Who doesnt love himself in the right way? The activist/bustler The frivolous/light-minded person The melancholic/depressed person One surrendered to despair The practitioner or self-mortification One who attempts or commits suicide
II A: You Shall Love This is the royal law. To love is a duty. This is the mark of Christian love; it didnt originate from any human heart, and it is offensive. Make a test (44) This obligation to love is an alteration by the eternal. (41)
You Shall Love You shall love. Only when it is a duty to love, only then is love Eternally secured against every change, Eternally made free in blessed independence, Eternally and happily secured against despair. (44)
Eternally secured against every change Inclinational, spontaneous love changes It can be changed into something else From love to hate It can be changed within itself From love to jealousy It can be subject to testing, but no one would think to test love made eternal by being made a duty, since it has continuity and integrity. (47, 49)
Only when it is a duty to love, only then is love eternally secure. (47)
Eternally made free in blessed independence Should we praise the miserable independence of self-love? (52) Such love is dependent on the object of love. Love transformed by the ought of the eternal leads to true independence. Consider when another says I cannot love you any longer (54)
Eternally and happily secured against despair Despair is a disrelationship in ones inmost being. (54) Everyone who has not been transformed by the eternal is in despair. Despair is not the loss of the belovedthat is misfortune, pain, and suffering; but despair is the lack of the eternal. (55) A further proof that the duty of love is of divine origin: how would you counsel one in despair? (56)
II B: You Shall Love Your Neighbor On Christianity, paganism, erotic love and friendship Christianity has thrust erotic love and friendship from the throne… (58) Attack on Christendom (61) The poet writes of love of the one as the highest…ahh, to fall in love…but Christian love teaches love of all men, unconditionally all. (63)
Who is my neighbor and how can I love all human beings? The answer is easy…it is so much easier to find your neighbor than to find your soulmate, your other half. Because, the first person you meet as you go out is your neighbor whom you shall love. Wonderful! (64) Christianity is not opposed to sensuality as such but to selfishness. (65)
Love of ones neighbor Is not preferential love, but self-renouncing love Self-renunciation is Christianitys essential form. (68) Love to ones neighbor is love between two individual beings, each eternally qualified as spirit. (68) Contra merging, and love as spiritual
Love of ones neighbor To love ones neighbor means equality. Ones neighbor is ones equal. (72)
Our Duty to Love the People We See Love is an essential human need. Against fanaticism (to love the unseen God more than others). This duty requires one to find the given, actual person lovable, not to find a lovable person. When it is a duty in loving to love the people we see, then in loving the actual individual person it is important that one does not substitute an imaginary idea of how we think or could wish that this person should be.
Love Builds Up (I Corinthians 8:1) Language and Metaphor To build up considered in ordinary speech To build from the ground up, from a foundation Love is the only absolute There is nothing, nothing at all, that cannot be done or said in such a way that it becomes upbuilding, but whatever it is, if it is upbuilding, then love is present. Thus the admonition, just where love itself admits the difficulty of giving a specific rule, says, Do everything for upbuilding. (pp. 305)
In the spiritual sense love is the ground and foundation. Therefore this work of love means: Either, to implant love in another persons heart, Or, to presuppose that love is present in the other persons heart, such that this presupposition builds up love in him/her. Thus this work of love is about how the loving one upbuildingly controls himself.
In presupposing that love is present in the other person one does something to oneself. Such self-control and self-denial is very difficult. It is more difficult to control ones temper than to capture a city…. We can compare this upbuilding of love with the secret working of nature.
What, then, is love? Love is to presuppose love; to have love is to presuppose love in others; to be loving is to presuppose that others are loving. Love is not a being-for-itself quality but a quality by which or in which you are for others.
Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Søren Kierkegaard http://www.bruderhof.com/e-books/Provocations.htm