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Re: [Kierkegaardian] Digest Number 97

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  • Jonathan Glenn
    Beware, my b*tt. Don t be concerned that you ll get jumped on in this group- the truth is that there is precious little dialogue on this list, so please feel
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 22, 2004
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      Beware, my b*tt. Don't be concerned that you'll get jumped on in this group- the truth is that there is precious little dialogue on this list, so please feel free to contribute. While it may well have been true that SK would have shied from a close association with existentialism or any other "ism", and while it is certainly true that Camus declined the association, the fact is that many have, and do, associate both with what they term existentialism. And the reason may be in the fluidity of the definition. I hold that there is no coherent school of thought that should be called "existentialism"; rather, there is an existential approach to thought. So one might rightly be called an existentialist Christian, for example, and the term would denote an approach to christian thought; but to say that one is a Christian existentialist, I suggest, conveys no meaning that I can understand.

      kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com wrote:

      There are 2 messages in this issue.

      Topics in this digest:

      1. new member
      From: jaimelynn_tx
      2. Re: new member
      From: Mederic Laitier


      Message: 1
      Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 20:29:54 -0000
      From: jaimelynn_tx
      Subject: new member

      Hello, all. I am a huge fan of S.K. I have just started reading some
      of his works. I really enjoyed his Sickness Unto Death. He did a
      good job of explaining the aesthetical, ethical, and religious life.
      The last paragraph in the section on the universality of despair was
      so well-written. Early on in the book, his wording is a little
      confusing, but everything comes together as he further reveals his
      thoughts on despair. I am also reading The Plague by Camus...another
      great existentialist.


      Message: 2
      Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 05:32:55 -0700 (PDT)
      From: Mederic Laitier
      Subject: Re: new member

      Cheers New Member!

      And be careful when using categories!

      Existentialism had not been invented at the time of
      Kierkegaard, as far as I know.

      Rather sure he would not have enjoyed being
      associated. with anyone actually; his thought being
      so... Profound.

      As for Camus, he always claimed not to be, NOT TO BE
      an existentialist; for existentialism in France during
      the 50s meant Sartre, and they no longer really got on
      too well at that time.

      So beware, beware...

      Never the less, If not yet read, Enten... Eller is
      quite bit of a master piece (either/Or in english).

      The Post Scriptum though remains the most significant
      if any of his works may so be called.

      Good Luck with Your kierkegaardian studies!


      If looking for a bliliography:


      S�ren Kierkegaard - Works

      (Source: http://www.littlebluelight.com/)

      From the Papers of One Still Living, On Andersen as a
      Novelist with Constant Reference to his Work, Only a
      Fiddler, Published Against His Will (1837) Af en endnu
      Levendes Papirer, Udgivet mod hans Villie
      A review of Hans Christian Andersen's novel, Only a
      Fiddler , published while Kierkegaard was a student.
      The review attacks Hans for having no philosophy of
      life and counters the Romantic concept that genius
      must be nurtured with the assertion that each man must
      find an idea to live or die for.

      The Concept of Irony (1841) Om Bergrebet Ironi med
      stagigt Hensyn til Socrates
      Kierkegaard's dissertation that examines the figure of
      Socrates, his use of irony and his contemporaries'
      deficient views on the subject. The work highlights
      the lack of irony in Hegel and uses it to show the
      defects of the philosopher's thought. The work
      explains that irony works to free man by negating
      personal and cultural ideas through humor. Socrates
      ironically claimed ignorance so his interlocutors
      would explain their ideas about a subject. This
      ironic, feigned ignorance enabled Socrates to point
      out faults with the ideas, thereby freeing the
      interlocutor from his defective concepts and

      Public Confession (1842) Aabenbart Skriftemaal
      An article where Kierkegaard denies the authorship of
      several articles he wrote under pseudonyms,
      complaining about the unmerited praise he received.
      This sheds light on the origins of Kierkegaard's
      dialectic use of pseudonyms.

      Either/Or (1843) Enten/Eller
      A two part work that contrasts the esthetic and
      ethical views of life. The lengthy work features the
      personal notes, essays and psychological experiments
      in seduction of an aesthete and a series of letters
      written by a judge to the aesthete extolling the
      virtues of marriage and the ethical life. The
      dialectic structure of the work offers no resolution,
      or Hegelian 'synthesis,' for the two opposed views of
      life and, in this way, functions as both a critique
      and parody of the Hegelian philosophy.

      Who is the Author of Either/Or? (1843) Hvo er
      Forfatteren af Enten-Eller
      An article written to create distance between the work
      and its author by positing different theories about
      who the author could be.

      A Word of Thanks to Professor Heiberg (1843)
      Taksigelse til Hr. Professor Heiberg
      An article ironically praising Heiberg's review of
      Either/Or while really attacking his misunderstanding
      of the work as a curious literary fantasy without
      realizing its greater dialectic depth.

      A Little Explanation (1843) Et lille Ind�g
      An article written to distance himself from the work
      by asserting that there is really no similarity
      between the sermon at the end of Either/Or and a
      sermon Kierkegaard preached a short time earlier.

      Johannes Climacus, or De omnibus dubitandum est. A
      Narrative (1843 composed, published posthumously)
      Johannes Climacus, eller De omnibus dubitandum est. En
      A work that criticizes the Cartesian idea of beginning
      with a doubt to obtain knowledge and the Hegelian
      system of objective knowledge. The works asserts that
      knowledge can only be subjective and is only possible
      through faith in God. Precursor to Philosophical
      Fragments and Concluding Unscientific Postscript.

      Fear and Trembling (1844) Frygt og Baeven
      Uses the example of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac to
      explore the 'teleological suspension of the ethical' -
      the demand of absolute faith in God's command despite
      its absurdity or immorality.

      Repetition: An Essay in Experimental Psychology (1844)
      Gjentagelsen: Et Fors�g I den experimenterende
      Traces a correspondence between a bachelor and a young
      man in love who is anxious about marriage because it
      entails an ethical duty to one person (repetition).
      The other option is recollection whereby the man
      leaves his beloved and lives in the memory of their
      love only poetically.

      Philosophical Fragments (1844) Philosophiske Smuler
      Details the necessary subjective element in acquiring
      knowledge by exploring the doctrine of incarnation and
      whether eternal happiness can be based on a historical

      Concept of Anxiety (1844) Begrebet Angest
      Explains that anxiety is a result of the freedom to
      choose between good and evil. Original sin makes us
      sinners, not because of Adam's choice, but because
      each man eventually chooses sin when faced with the
      same anxiety of freedom Adam confronted. Man loses his
      freedom in sinfulness and his anxiety increases as he
      becomes more aware of being trapped by his sinful

      Prefaces: Light Reading for People in Various Estates
      According to Time and Opportunity (1844) Forord.
      Morskabsl�sning for enkelte St�nder efter Tid og
      A series of 8 prefaces to imaginary works that
      satirize the Copenhagen literati.

      Stages on Life's Way (1845) Stadier paa Livets Vej
      The sequel to Either/Or begins by revisiting the
      esthetic sphere with a banquet (based on a Platonic
      dialogue) featuring the seducer and a number of
      pseudonyms and characters from Kierkegaard's other
      works. The second part revisits the ethical sphere
      with a lengthy essay by Judge William praising
      marriage as the fulfillment of human life and erotic
      love. The third part lays out the religious sphere
      with a series of imaginary journal entries about a man
      in love who is torn over his commitment to his
      beloved. The religious sphere is a passionate forward
      looking commitment to the eternal (God) which allows
      one to rest peacefully and joyfully in the paradox
      between the esthetic (the immediate) and ethical,
      whose demands are impossible to fulfill.

      A Cursory Observation Concerning a Detail in Don
      Giovanni (1845) En flygtig Bem�rkning betr�ffende en
      Enkelthed i Don Juan
      Examines the many comic elements of Mozart's Don
      Giovanni and contends that Don Juan turns out to be an

      Concluding Unscientific Postscript (1845) Afsluttende
      uvidenskabelig Efterskrift
      A sequel to Philosophical Fragments which contends
      that all truth must be appropriated subjectively and
      that there are no assurances of objective knowledge.
      He uses the paradoxical figure of Christ as both human
      and divine to highlight that there is no logical way
      of understanding this (as in Hegel synthesis); one can
      only have a passionate subjective commitment to this
      truth (or any other truth).

      The Activity of a Traveling Esthetician (1845) En
      omreisende �sthetikers Virksomhed, og hvorledes han
      dog kom til at betale Gj�stebudet
      The article exposed a prominent academic as a
      contributor to a disreputable scandal sheet (Corsair)
      in retaliation for the academic's sloppy and negative
      review of Stage's on Life's Way.

      The Dialectical Result of a Literary Police Action
      (1845) Det dialektiske resultat af en literair
      Another attack on the Corsair and its gossiping
      written in hope of spurring its talented young editor
      on to better things.

      The Two Ages: A Literary Review (1846) En literair
      Anmeldelse. To Tidsaldre
      In a review of a contemporary novel, Kierkegaard
      attacks his 'age' for having no passion and 'leveling'
      the individual into mass groups.

      Works Of Love (1846) Kjerlighedens Gjerninger
      An essay that examines the commandment of "Love your
      neighbor as yourself.' The work emphasizes the
      ineffable quality of love, examines who is a
      'neighbor,' and how true (selfless) love is only
      possible through knowing God and becomes a natural
      expression of faith.

      Phister as Captain Scipio (in the Comic Opera
      Ludovic): A Recollection and for Recollection (1846)
      Hr. Phister som Captain Scipio (i Syngestykket
      Ludovic): En erindring og for Erindringen
      Explores the concept of reflection by examining the
      art of acting, using the example of Joachim Ludvig
      Phister's portrayal of Captain Scipio in the opera,

      "The Single Individual": Two "Notes" Concerning My
      Work As An Author (1847 published 1859) "Den Enkelte";
      Tvende "Noter" betr�ffende min Forfatter-Virksomhed
      A work on Kierkegaard's authorship and how the concept
      of 'that single individual' informs his body of work.

      The Crisis and A Crisis in the Life of an Actress
      (1848) Krisen og en Krise I en Skuespillerindes Liv
      Examines the performance of an actress (the wife of
      Heiberg, a prominent literary figure) contending that
      only as an adult could she truly play the role of
      Juliet because the recollection of her youth was not
      available in her performances of the role in her

      The Point of View for My Work as an Author (1848
      written published 1959) Synspunktet for min
      A full account of Kierkegaard's authorship including
      his process of writing, the roles played by each of
      the pseudonyms and autobiographical information
      surrounding his writing.

      On Authority and Revelation (The Book on Adler) (1848
      written, published posthumously) Bogen om Adler
      Examines the concepts of genius and inspiration using
      the case of a pastor (Adler) who claimed that one of
      his works was dictated to him Christ and then later
      said it was merely a work of 'genius.'

      Two Minor Ethical-Religious Essays (1849) Tvende
      ethisk-religieuse Smaa-Afhandlinger
      Examines the concepts of martyrdom, genius and divine

      On My Work as an Author (1849) Om min
      A shorter and less frank work that Kierkegaard
      published instead of Point of View.

      Armed Neutrality, or My Position as a Christian Author
      in Christendom (1849) Den bev�bnede Neutralitet eller
      Min Position som christelig Forfatter i Christenheden
      Kierkegaard attacks established Christianity and
      explains his position of armed neutrality as a
      Christian in Christendom. The work also provides a
      portrait of Kierkegaard's ideal Christian.

      The Sickness Unto Death (1849) Sydommen til D�en
      A companion to The Concept of Anxiety which explores
      the concept of despair in relation to the eternal. The
      work explores different types of despair: not to be
      conscious of having a self (a complacent, unreflective
      personality), not to will to be oneself (an
      inauthentic personality who is always in flight from
      himself), and the will to be oneself (the defiant
      personality that insists on being whatever it
      conceives of). The solution to these various forms of
      despair is first to accept the offensive paradox of
      Christ in faith in order to have your sins forgiven
      and the to place your 'self' in God's hands.

      Practice in Christianity (1850) Ind�velse I
      Aims to introduce the authentic 'offensive'
      Christianity of the New Testament into Christendom,
      the established church which tries to minimize the
      offense in order to serve the world.

      An Open Letter, Prompted by a Reference to Me by Dr.
      Rudelbach (1850) Foranlediget ved en Yttring af Dr.
      Rudelbach mig betr�ffende
      A response to a proposal to reform the church through
      political means. Kierkegaard contends that the only
      solution for reformation is to dismantle the church
      and rebuild it anew on a spiritual basis.

      For Self Examination (1851) Til Selvp�velse
      Three essays that concern getting the individual to
      relate himself to God as opposed to relying on a
      relationship mediated by an institution. The work
      details the narrow way of following Christ, dying to
      the world and to oneself so that the Holy Spirit may
      bring true love, instead of the many forms of self
      love that the world calls love.

      Judge for Yourself! For Self-Examination, Recommended
      to the Present Age. Second Series (1851 written
      published 1879) D�mmer selv! Til Selvpr�velse,
      Samtiden Anbefalet. Anden R�kke
      Explores the lack of compromise essential to
      Christianity through the concept of suffering and the
      imitation of Christ.

      Articles of the Fatherland (1854 - 55) Faedrelandet
      A series of 21 articles that attack the established
      church for dampening the true message of Christianity
      and preventing the radical conversion experience by
      establishing that every Dane is a Christian at birth.

      This Must Be Said-So Let It Be Said (1855) Dette skal
      siges; saa v�re det da sagt
      Contends that the church is so corrupt that it is
      better not to attend service.

      The Moment or Attack upon Christendom (1855)
      �jeblikket or Hvad Christus d�mmer om officiel
      Ten tracts published right before Kierkegaard's death
      that attack the established church for its practices
      that that clearly deviate from the New Testament. The
      attack was so vicious - with titles like "The Priests
      are Cannibals, and That In the Most Odious Way" - that
      many thought Kierkegaard had lost his mind.

      What Christ Judges of Official Christianity (1855)
      Hvad Christus d�mmer om officiel Christendom
      Another attack on official Christianity that claims
      priests are perjurers who would be held accountable by
      Christ for leading the masses astray if Christ were to
      return today.

      The Changelessness of God: A Discourse (1855) Guds
      Uforanderlighed. En Tale
      Based on a Sermon about James 1:17, the work extols
      God's constancy and encourages the reader to rest in
      it, but to also be mindful of their actions because
      they will be judged by God with the same unbending


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