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Kierkegaard's Concept of Faith

By Merold Westphal / Eerdmans / 2014

$27.99

Print: $35.00

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Overview

In this book renowned philosopher Sören Kierkegaard discusses biblical, Christian faith and its relation to reason.

Across five books—Fear and Trembling, Philosophical Fragments, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Sickness Unto Death, and Practice in Christianity—and three pseudonyms, Kierkegaard sought to articulate a biblical concept of faith by approaching it from a variety of perspectives in relation to one another. Westphal offers a careful textual reading of these major discussions to present an overarching analysis of Kierkegaard’s conception of the true meaning of biblical faith.

Though Kierkegaard presents a complex picture of faith through his pseudonyms, Westphal argues that his perspective is a faithful and illuminating one, making claims that are important for philosophy of religion, for theology, and most of all for Christian life as it might be lived by faithful people.

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Key Features

  • Discusses Kierkegaard’s conception of the true meaning of biblical truth
  • Explores the impact of Kierkegaard’s work for philosophy, religion, and theology
  • Unpacks the writings of Sören Kierkegaard on biblical, Chrisitan faith and its relation to reason

Contents

  • Faith as the Task of a Lifetime
  • Faith as Trust in Divine Promises
  • Faith as Obedience to Divine Commands
  • Interlude– Three Questions In Medias Res
  • Faith as the Teleological Suspension of Reason
  • Faith as the Highest Passion
  • Faith as the Reception of Revelation
  • Faith as the Happy Passion That Overcomes Offense
  • Faith as the Passionate Appropriation of an Objective Uncertainty
  • Faith as a Leap and a Striving
  • Faith as a Striving Pathos That Goes Against Reason
  • Faith as Willing to Be Oneself–Before God
  • Faith as Contemporaneity with Christ– Without Offense

Praise for the Print Edition

In this volume Merold Westphal illumines a central concept in Kierkegaard's pseudonymous writing—faith in all of its unique facets, their interrelation, and the broader philosophical and theological contexts out of which these ideas emerge and to which they continue to speak. Westphal clarifies and subsequently pushes forward a number of ongoing conversations in Kierkegaard scholarship yet also manages to invite the nonspecialist to hold up a mirror to critique and challenge his or her own trusting relation to God.

—Mark Tietjen, associate professor of philosophy and religion, University of West Georgia

Merold Westphal’s reputation as one of the most profound and lucid interpreters of Kierkegaard’s thought is further confirmed in this compelling and erudite book. . . . This work takes us right into the heart of a vision of Kierkegaard which is at once accessible and eloquent, scholarly and reflective, welcoming and challenging. A true companion to Kierkegaard's thought.

—Simon D. Podmore, lecturer in systematic theology, Liverpool Hope University

Product Details

About Merold Westphal

Merold Westphal is a distinguished professor of philosophy at Fordham University in Bronx, New York, where he has taught for more than 20 years. His many publications include Whose Community? Which Interpretation? Philosophical Hermeneutics for the Church, Christian Thought and Overcoming Onto-Theology.