By Christopher B. Barnett
Søren Kierkegaard has been known as many stuff, from brooding genius and "melancholy Dane" to the daddy of existentialism. but, instead of make clear the character of Kierkegaard’s writings, such labels have usually obscured different very important facets of his authorship. Such, certainly, is the case with Kierkegaard’s status as a non secular author.
In From melancholy to religion: The Spirituality of Søren Kierkegaard, Christopher B. Barnett endeavors to therapy this challenge. He does so in overarching methods. First, he orients the reader to Kierkegaard’s grounding within the Christian non secular culture, in addition to to the Dane’s personal authorial tension on subject matters akin to upbuilding, non secular trip, and religion. moment, Barnett keeps that Kierkegaard’s spirituality is better understood during the numerous "pictures" that populate his authorship. those photos are deemed "icons of faith," given that Kierkegaard always recommends that the reader examine them. during this method, they either signify and speak what Kierkegaard sees because the achievement of Christian existence.
In the top, then, From depression to religion not just deals a brand new means of drawing close Kierkegaard's writings, but in addition exhibits how they could serve to light up and to deepen one's dating with the divine.
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Additional resources for From Despair to Faith: The Spirituality of Søren Kierkegaard
Simon D. Podmore, Kierkegaard and the Self ahead of God (Bloomington: Indiana college Press, 2011), 122. ninety nine. Ibid. , 128. a hundred. SKS 21, NB9:22 / JP four, 4372. one zero one. Podmore, Kierkegaard and the Self prior to God, 129. 102. SKS 21, NB9:22 / JP four, 4372. 103. SKS 26, NB33:54 / JP four, 4384. 104. SKS five, 322 / EUD, 333. one zero five. SKS five, 322–23 / EUD, 333. 106. 2 Cor. 2:12. Cf. SKS five, 323 / EUD, 334. 156 Icons of religion: The Bible ecstasy, that the thorn within the flesh festers. religious trial is however the flipside of religious beatitude. They “correspond to one another. ”107 accordingly, even if Paul is called the good champion of religion, his thorn within the flesh additionally discloses certainly one of faith’s such a lot profound mysteries—that its pleasure isn't natural, that its bliss is ever fleeting. Over opposed to all demeanour of earthly sufferings, the individual of religion could come to think that regulate has ultimately been attained, due to the fact neither the epithets of oppressors nor the discomfort of disorder are in a position to hectic her. however the thorn within the flesh punctures such hopes and, in doing so, reminds one who religion involves the very abyss of “powerlessness. ”108 Kierkegaard back invokes the determine of Paul: To were stuck up into the 3rd heaven, to were hidden within the bosom of beatitude, to were multiplied in God, and now to be tethered by way of the thorn within the flesh to the thralldom of temporality! To were made wealthy in God, inexpressibly so, and now to be damaged right down to flesh and blood, to dirt and corruption! 109 this can be, in keeping with Kierkegaard, one of those religious imprisonment: Paul had skilled the everlasting and its consolations of forgiveness and love, simply to be chase away into the “fragile earthen vessel”110 of temporal lifestyles. What’s extra, he now discovered that solace particularly doesn't are available in this global and that one “can aspire to it merely in religion. ” 111 Implicit in Kierkegaard’s element this is that religion consistently comprises a wish to begin over, to show round. not anyone exemplifies this want larger than Paul, whose conversion to Christianity occasioned a brand new identify, let alone a brand new lifestyle. And but, says Kierkegaard, “there used to be however a reminiscence. ”112 Paul should have remembered 107. SKS five, 324 / EUD, 335. 108. SKS five, 325 / EUD, 337. 109. SKS five, 325 / EUD, 337. one hundred ten. SKS five, 326 / EUD, 337. 111. SKS five, 328 / EUD, 339. 112. SKS five, 329 / EUD, 341. 157 From depression to religion his earlier life—his persecution of Christians, his false impression of God’s will, his manifold disasters. 113 without doubt, those anxieties wounded Paul’s self belief and forged doubt on his conversion. yet he realized they can be conquer in basic terms via pain. He needed to leisure in them, instead of struggle opposed to them. during this method, religion turns the angel of devil into “an emissary of God. ”114 having said that, the thorn within the flesh isn't absolutely got rid of during this lifestyles. “There is not any safeguard in time,”115 as Kierkegaard states. this can be a part of the “terror”116 of the upbuilding. regardless of how demanding one attempts to alter one’s existence, regardless of how deeply one’s earlier looks buried, there's consistently the potential of “relapse” or, at the least, “anxiety in regards to the relapse.