Kierkegaard, Religion and the Nineteenth-Century Crisis of Culture

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Kierkegaard is often viewed in the history of ideas solely within the academic traditions of philosophy and theology. The secondary literature generally ignores the fact that he also took an active role in the public debate about the significance of the modern age that was taking shape in the flourishing feuilleton literature during the period of his author-ship. Through a series of sharply focussed studies, George Pattison contextualizes Kierkegaard's religious thought in relation to the debates about religion, culture and society carried on in the newspapers and journals read by the whole educated stratum of Danish society. Pattison relates Kierkegaard not only to high art and literature but also to the ephemera of his contemporary culture. This has important implications for our understanding of Kierkegaard's view of the nature of religious communication in modern society.
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Editorial Reviews

Pattison (practical theology, U. of Aarhus, Denmark) contextualizes Kierkegaard's religious thought in relation to the debates about religion, culture, and society that took place in the newspapers and journals read by educated Danes of the period. Chapters are comprised of extensively revised, previously published articles and cover topics including Kierkegaard and the world of the feuilletons and the reception of . Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
'A set of studies that are genuinely original and thought-provoking.' John Saxbee, Church Times

'Kierkegaard's purpose, in these feuilleton writings, is 'to help us to develop, to refine and to sharpen the way in which we read our cultural situation, the way in which to read the signs of the times'. But before we can benefit from his wisdom in that regard, we have first to learn how to read Kierkegaard; and this is exactly what Pattison helps us to do in this always erudite and often entertaining collection.' Church Times

'Pattison's scrupulously researched work uncovers a Kierkegaard in many ways unfamiliar, and along the way counters a few myths that have grown up around him.' The London Magazine

'No one who studies Kierkegaard should be able to ignore it, and it should have something to offer all who are seeking to think what it means to live in and beyond modernity.' Theology

'... has performed the long-neglected and inestimably valuable service of situating Kierkegaard within the homiletic, academic, literary, and feuilleton literature of Denmark ... a very full and satisfying discussion by this most astute, well-informed, and profound contemporary commentator on Kierkegaard.' The Heythrop Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521811705
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1590L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

GEORGE PATTISON is Lecturer in Practical Theology at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

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Table of Contents

List of abbreviations
1 The sublime, the city and the present age 1
2 Kierkegaard and the world of the feuilletons 25
3 The present age: the age of the city 50
4 'Cosmopolitan faces' 72
5 Food for thought 96
6 A literary scandal 116
7 The reception of Either/Or 137
8 New Year's Day 154
9 Kierkegaard and the nineteenth century (1) Manet 177
10 Kierkegaard and the nineteenth century (2) Dostoevsky 198
11 Learning to read the signs of the times 222
Bibliography 245
Index 252
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