Re: [Kierkegaardians] Re: new to S. K. group too
- Teresa --
In my reading of K, and what I think K (well, Climacus) was getting at
in the text Jim S. quoted, is that the key here is our response to the
doctrine of the incarnation. I agree with your previous post -- I
agree that K was not primarily concerned with us getting our doctrine
right; that subjectivity is the truth. But it is a doctrine that we
hold to subjectively in the very end -- in the leap to RB -- and that
is the doctrine of the incarnation. What I believe Jim S's quoted
text describes is the nature of a fully subjective appropriation of
the doctrine of the incarnation.
In Climacus's opinion there is simply no way that the idea of the
monotheistic God being born as an infant, living, dying, and then
rising again can make sense to a rational mind. So we have to, in
Climacus's words, "crucify our intellect" to fully and subjectively
appropriate the doctrine of the incarnation, because it is an offense
to rational thought. Once we've done that, however, we've fully
become a Christian. This is I believe Climacus's argument at the end
Now I don't believe this contradicts the command to "love the Lord
your God with all your mind...", partially because Kierkegaard argues
in, I think, the Point of View essays that his goal is for his readers
to "reflect ourselves into simplicity" -- we're to use our minds fully
to the point where we see they can't help us anymore, then tell them
where to get off. I also don't believe it's a contradiction because
while our subjective appropriation of the doctrine of the incarnation
crucifies the intellect, that doesn't mean we abandon our minds in the
practice of our religion completely. We are simply always aware of
the limitations of intellect -- it cannot help us at all with the one,
very most important thing -- but our lives do consist also of many
other secondary things, even secondarily important religious things.
However, there is a footnote in CUP in which Climacus seems to say
that this whole process he describes is really for the reflective
thinker, that "simple folk" who, say, live out in the country and are
not burdened with difficult reading, with philosophy, or with complex
and abstract thought do not need what Climacus argues in CUP. They
can simply believe in faith.
On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 1:58 PM, Teresa Riley
> Hi Jim,--
> I'm not meaning to suggest that using our intellect means K believes we
> arrive at all the answers. I worded that loosely.
> Kierkegaard if anyone loved Scripture. Scripture tells us to love God with
> our hearts and minds.
> I just think he believed that. It's different from saying you can trust in
> yourself to reason everything. I know K wrote against doing that (and I
> would too!). If you trust in your ability to reason...then reason becomes
> your god. I'm just saying I don't know of any quote that explicitly says we
> have to go against our intellect all together to be in relationship with
> God. Going beyond our understanding/reason is one thing.
> Thanks for the engagement.
> On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 11:57 AM, jimstuart46 <jjimstuart@...> wrote:
>> You write:
>> "… we don't set aside intellect to be in relationship with our creator.
>> Rather, we love him with all our mind by wrestling through the tough
>> questions with him. He gave us our intellect and he wants us to use it."
>> Actually Kierkegaard argues the opposite.
>> K talks in "Concluding Unscientific Postscript" of the leap from the
>> sphere of Religiousness A (an imminent form of religious belief) to the
>> sphere of Religiousness B (a fully transcendent form of religious faith
>> which he associates with Christianity). In making this leap, K's pseudonym
>> Johannes Climacus says that the individual moves beyond the understanding,
>> even `against the understanding'. The individual has to sacrifice his
>> intellect if he wishes to become a Christian.
>> K is generally very distrustful of the intellect and the use we make of
>> our reasoning faculty.
>> Jim Stuart
> Eph. 3:14-21
- Don -- I'll visit the group page and try to hunt down previous
responses that I thought addressed your concerns. I receive/respond
to this list via email rather than the group page, so it's unnatural
for me to include references to post numbers.