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Kierkegaard and Eastern Orthodox Thought


A Comparative Philosophical Analysis


The continuing popularity and influence of Søren Aabye Kierkegaard remains something of a minor miracle.Kierkegaard himself would undoubtedly find some humor in this development as a part of his overall philosophical project was to provide a full-frontal assault on the growing dominance of ‘objective’ thinking and the hyper-professionalization of all areas of human thought and life. This book provides yet another attempt to engage with the biting wit and philosophical insights of Kierkegaard’s philosophy.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-3947-3
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Apr 11,2019
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 319
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-3947-3
$95.00

Throughout the years, there has been an extensive engagement with the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard from the perspective of Western philosophy and theology. Kierkegaard’s thought has been examined through the lenses of Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, existentialism, post-modernism, feminism, and literary theory, to name just a few. Scholars have also offered fruitful comparative analyses of Kierkegaard’s work in relation to Asian philosophical and religious traditions such as Buddhism. It is therefore surprising that the engagement between Kierkegaard’s philosophy and that of Eastern Orthodox philosophy and thought has heretofore been minimal. 

This volume offers a comparative analysis of Kierkegaard’s philosophy in relation to the philosophy, theology, and spiritual practices of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Kierkegaard’s philosophy of sin, his epistemology, and his philosophy of personhood are all analyzed in light of the Eastern Christian tradition. This hermeneutical lens allows important elements of Kierkegaard’s philosophy to shine forth, many of which have heretofore not received their due attention in studies of his works. 

Throughout the years, there has been an extensive engagement with the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard from the perspective of Western philosophy and theology. Kierkegaard’s thought has been examined through the lenses of Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, existentialism, post-modernism, feminism, and literary theory, to name just a few. Scholars have also offered fruitful comparative analyses of Kierkegaard’s work in relation to Asian philosophical and religious traditions such as Buddhism. It is therefore surprising that the engagement between Kierkegaard’s philosophy and that of Eastern Orthodox philosophy and thought has heretofore been minimal. 

This volume offers a comparative analysis of Kierkegaard’s philosophy in relation to the philosophy, theology, and spiritual practices of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Kierkegaard’s philosophy of sin, his epistemology, and his philosophy of personhood are all analyzed in light of the Eastern Christian tradition. This hermeneutical lens allows important elements of Kierkegaard’s philosophy to shine forth, many of which have heretofore not received their due attention in studies of his works. 

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Contributor Biography

Ágúst Magnússon

Ágúst Ingvar Magnússon was born in Reykjavík, Iceland. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Marquette University. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Table of Contents (v)
Acknowledgments (vii) 
Preface (ix)

Chapter 1. Setting the Stage: The Inscrutable Joy of the Melancholy Dane and the Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (1)
Kierkegaard’s Philosophical Project (3) 
Kierkegaard’s Relations to Christianity Reconsidered (10) 
Would the Real Kierkegaard Please Stand Up: Reception and Interpretation (22) 
The Orthodox Church (27) 
A Brief Summary of the Road Ahead (34)

Chapter 2. For the Wages of Sin is the Sickness Unto Death: Anxiety and Despair in Light of the East (37) 
The Development of the Doctrine of Original Sin in Eastern and Western Christianity (37) 
Kierkegaard and Augustine (50) 
Luther’s Understanding of Original Sin (54) 
Kierkegaard’s Reading of Luther (58) 
Kierkegaard’s Philosophy of Sin (62) 
The Developing Self: Stages on Life’s Way (81) 
Kierkegaard on Free Will and Grace (86) 
A Few Words on Essence and Energies (97)

Chapter 3. The Crucifixion and Resurrection of the Understanding: Kierkegaard’s Epistemology in Light of the East (105) 
Kierkegaardian Consciousness and Interesse / Subjective and Objective Knowledge (106) 
Orthodox Writings on Consciousness and Thinking (115) 
Interlude: Passion in Kierkegaard and Eastern Orthodoxy (121) 
Crucifying the Understanding (132)
Subjective Knowledge in Kierkegaard (150)
Second Interlude: Essentialism and Existentialism in Kierkegaard and Maximus the Confessor (160) 
Suffering as a Form of Knowing (166) 
Apophaticism and Communion (170)

Chapter 4. Being as Love: Personhood and Communion (189) 
Paradox and Personhood (189) 
The Relational Self (216) 
Social and Political Dimensions in Kierkegaard and Eastern Orthodoxy (242)

Chapter 5. Concluding Unscientific Remarks on the Ecclesiastical Event (265) 
Sacraments and Worship in Kierkegaard (266) 
The Ecclesiastical Event and the Healing of Time in the Eastern Orthodox liturgy (275)

Concluding Remarks (278)
Bibliography (281)
Index (303)

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