Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. Kierkegaard strongly criticized both the Hegelianism of his time and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Church of Denmark. Much of his work deals with religious themes such as faith in God, the institution of the Christian Church, Christian ethics and theology, and the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. His early work was written under various pseudonyms who present their own distinctive viewpoints in a complex dialogue. Kierkegaard left the task of discovering the meaning of his works to the reader, because "the task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted". Scholars have interpreted Kierkegaard variously as an existentialist, neo-orthodoxist, postmodernist, humanist, and individualist. Crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, he is an influential figure in contemporary thought.
Fear and Trembling (Unabridged)by Soren Kierkegaard, Johannes De Silentio
As one of Soren Kierkegaard's most widely read works, Fear and Trembling presents careful arguments about important biblical topics. Most notably, Kierkegaard acts more-or-less as a defense attorney for Abraham for his even contemplating the murder of his son. In the book, Kierkegaard considers whether Abraham was not subject to the ethical laws of the everyday universe that the rest of us live by every day--when he was acting under the direction of God (e.g. when God asked him to kill his own son). For a complete explanation and polemics of Kierkegaard's views, this book is highly recommended. That the subject matter of Fear and Trembling greatly disturbed Kierkegaard becomes readily obvious in the first pages. If the arguments presented are examined carefully, it is a topic whose implications may very well shock the modern-day theologian as well.
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