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Spiritual Writings: A New Translation and Selection

Overview

In this new collection, Oxford theologian George Pattison translates and selects Søren Kierkegaard's previously neglected writings on spirituality—works that greatly deepen our understanding of the influential thinker. In philosophy and literature, Kierkegaard ("By far the most profound thinker of the nineteenth century"—Ludwig Wittgenstein) is generally perceived as epitomizing existential angst. However, there is much moreto Kierkegaard than the popular image of the “melancholy Dane” or the iconoclastic critic ...

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Spiritual Writings: A New Translation and Selection

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Overview

In this new collection, Oxford theologian George Pattison translates and selects Søren Kierkegaard's previously neglected writings on spirituality—works that greatly deepen our understanding of the influential thinker. In philosophy and literature, Kierkegaard ("By far the most profound thinker of the nineteenth century"—Ludwig Wittgenstein) is generally perceived as epitomizing existential angst. However, there is much moreto Kierkegaard than the popular image of the “melancholy Dane” or the iconoclastic critic of established Christendom. Alongside the pseudonymous books for which he is largely known, Kierkegaard also wrote many devotional works, which he called "upbuilding" or "edifying" discourses. Taken as a whole, these writings offer something very different from the popular view—they embody a spirituality grounded in a firm sense of human life as a divine gift.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fascinating and perplexing in equal measure, these exegeses on gospel and biblical sayings display a side of the great 19th-century philosopher Kierkegaard (1813–1855) that is considerably less familiar to modern readers than his status as a protoexistentialist. Editor Pattison (The Philosophy of Kierkegaard) offers 16 texts organized loosely around three themes--"Gift," "Creation," and "Love"--that show the philosopher at his most passionate and poetic, but also, a surprise in light of his radical theology, at his closest to the views of religious orthodoxy. Throughout, the author focuses on short pieces of scripture, interrogating their meaning psychologically. This allows for examination of a variety of everyday experiences from a Christian perspective, particularly doubt, difference, desire, anxiety, and silence. While the editor provides a useful introduction, his thematic style of selection and organization makes for a large degree of repetition. Despite such occasional tedium, Kierkegaard's lyricism, insight, and passionate insistence on the enduring value of scripture are frequently a wonder to behold. (Nov.)
Rowan Williams
“George Pattison offers us a deeply valuable introduction to a great philosopher.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061875991
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Pages: 298
  • Sales rank: 713,565
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) lived in Copenhagen, Denmark. His books include Works of Love and Spiritual Writings (translated and edited by George Pattison).

George Pattison is a professor of theology at Oxford University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword George Pattison xi

A Note on the Translation xxix

Part I The Gift: ?Every Good and Every Perfect Gift is From Above?

1 Understanding the Gift 3

2 Evil and the Gift 23

3 Giving and Receiving 41

4 ?The Lord gave, the Lord took away, blessed be the name of the Lord? 63

Part II Creation: What We Learn From the Lilies and the Birds

5 Be Satisfied with Being Human 85

6 The Glory of Being Human 113

7 The Blessedness Promised to Being Human 135

8 The Anxieties We Invent Ourselves 151

9 The Anxiety Caused by Being in Two Minds 165

10 Silence, Obedience, and Joy 179

Part III Love: At the Feet of the Savior

11 The Look of Love 227

12 Love and Sin 243

13 Learn from a Woman 255

14 A Parable of Love 269

15 Luke 7:47 279

16 1 Peter 4:8 289

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