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Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing Paperback – October 20, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Søren 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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449563864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449563868
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian, generally recognized as the first existentialist philosopher.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By silent c on March 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Coming from a reformed Christian perspective with very little exposure to Kierkegaard, I was sometimes puzzled by this book but mostly challenged in my spiritual life, relentlessly so. This book made Puritan introspection seem comparatively shallow. If you are looking for extreme depth, you've got it here. He is exploring the idea of double-mindedness found in book of James to prepare the Christian for confession. This work asks questions you may have never thought to ask. Of course he is trying to get the individual to spiritually be laid bare before God in his double-mindedness. Is the work without hope since it should drive the honest person to despair in his own heart's purity? I don't believe the book is without hope. Christ is in there a few times in direct reference, but mostly assumed or the gaping hole created by our ties to the temporal and lack of eternal-mindedness and inability to truly will one thing. As spiritual shock-therapy, it works for me. It is my second read, the first being in college nearly 20 years ago. Had a similar effect then, but it is still the only Kierkegaard book I've ever read.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Maxon A. Bruno on November 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd say that when one is reviewing a book, they should focus on the content of the book. However, since several versions of a particular book may be available, then the reviewer should also take into consideration the quality of the translation and the editing.

It is with much regret that I must rate a book written by Kierkegaard 3 stars. I'd give it a lower rating, but since content is more important, the lowest I could give it is a 3. Here's why: The editor, whoever he may be, did a horrible job! There averages around 3 spelling/errors per page. When I first was reading the book, these mistakes were easily ignored since these things are bound to happen. However, as I flipped through the pages and found spelling error upon spelling error, they became distractions. Nowhere is this worse than with Kierkegaard's content. The Danish philosopher requires so much care and patience when reading, and when these errors spring up more often than Justin Bieber fan's, then it becomes an annoyance. If I would have known that this particular edit was awful, I would have spent the extra 6-7$ for a book that was actually edited.

Spelling errors aren't the only issue with the physicalities of the book. The actual font and ink is cheap. If you look closely, you can see that there are several white dots in each letter. This tells me a few things: 1. The printer was old, and 2. it was designed to cut corners (costs). Furthermore, there was no index. There is also no words on the spine, ya know, where the name "Kierkegaard" and "The Purity of Heart..." ought to be. So when you have it on the shelf, it's a blue book, a mysterious book, an unnamed book!

I also take issue with the translator's comment about calling Kierkegaard the "Danish Pascal".
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Parsons on February 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
This work aims at preparing the reader to enter into the "office of confession," and probes deeply into the inner motivations for choosing to become an authentic self. Considered a classic of devotional literature, it sometimes reads obscurely (e.g., the "Good" is never really defined), yet at other times is radiantly clear (e.g., on the call to live self-consciously and with responsibility). As with all of SK's non-psuedonymous works, "Purity of Heart" makes for worthy reading which will provoke and challenge you.
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49 of 58 people found the following review helpful By John C. Tittle on April 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Kierkegaard's Purity of Heart is one of his most accessible works. Like in Sickness Unto Death, Purity of Heart cuts to the heart. Through irony, dialogue, and parable, Soren slices through the masks and fascades we construct that delude us into thinking that all is well with our soul. With the skill and precision of a surgeon's hand, Kierkegaard opens up the true condition of our motivations in life and faith. Kierkegaard is not afraid to stare in the face the dark side of our humanity. In Purity of Heart we see that only through this brutal honesty can we become our true selves and find healing. Kierkegaard boldly asserts that only by joining with providence and the Great Physician's hand can we "will one thing"--the good. The good is all that is true, eternal, and authentic. The good is all that comes from God. Scant writers this day in age know the human condition more intimately than the great Danish theologian/philosopher. Come and join Kierkegaard and take the leap of faith!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Mcqueen on February 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
In an age of popular books on self improvement that concentrate on listing habits and prescribing do's and dont's, here is a work that brings matters upstream into the inner landscape of human motivation and will. The existentialist Soren Kierkegaard has left us a challenging, provoking and truthful examination of the heart and mind, from which ensue all of the popular habits and prescriptions. What is double mindedness? How is it formed, and what does it look like? What is the ultimate goal and purpose of the countless habits and traits we read about? How are our deepest motivations and ambitions conflicted, and what duplicitous damage is caused by those inner conflicts? Thousands of books are transactional; this one is transformational. Though not an easy read, Purity of Heart draws the complexity of modern behavioral science into its single common denominator. This book can help to renew one's mind and change one's outlook on life.
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