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The Sickness Unto Death: A Christian Psychological Exposition For Upbuilding And Awakening (Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol 19) (v. 19) Paperback – November 1, 1983


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The Sickness Unto Death: A Christian Psychological Exposition For Upbuilding And Awakening (Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol 19) (v. 19) + Fear and Trembling/Repetition : Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol. 6 + The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin (Kierkegaard's Writings, VIII) (v. 8)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (November 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691020280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691020280
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The definitive edition of the Writings. The first volume . . . indicates the scholarly value of the entire series: an introduction setting the work in the context of Kierkegaard's development; a remarkably clear translation; and concluding sections of intelligent notes."--Library Journal

Language Notes

Text: English, Danish (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Ordered as a bargain, reduced-price, used book.
Stephen R. Edmondson
With Kierkegaard however, he is so enjoyable and fun to read, you hardly notice your're reading philosophy.
K. Follmer
One such concept is man's intense desire to understand or somehow obtain proof of the existence of God.
Ross James Browne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Ross James Browne on April 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
_The Sickness Unto Death_ is a good place to start reading Kierkegaard. It is shorter than most of his works, and provides a good overview of his most important concepts. One such concept is man's intense desire to understand or somehow obtain proof of the existence of God. Because of our intense fear of death, we are constantly seeking out ways to relieve our doubt concerning the immortality of the soul. Kierkegaard examines this death-drive with remarkable insight, stating that it is in some ways noble, but in other ways is a gross imposition upon God, and a disrespect for God's privacy. In one passage, Kierkegaard suggests that we seek out reasons to experience despair simply in order to drag God across hot coals; that is, in order for us to reach a satisfactory understanding of the existence and/or goodness of God, we have a tendency to go out of our way to find reasons NOT to believe in God. Sometimes these reasons consist in outward examples of atrocities and widespread acts of destructive evil. Other times our despair is of a more inward form, in which we seek to disprove God because of our own shortcomings in avoiding sin. In other words, if we are evil, and consider ourselves to be abnormally bad sinners, we have a vested interest in disproving God; because of our fear of punishment, the existence of God runs counter to our best interests. On the other side of the spectrum, Kierkegaard portrays the more virtuous type of faith as one that avoids higher levels of understanding. Considering the over-abundance in this world of acts we percieve to be evil, it stands to reason that God does not WANT to be fully understood.Read more ›
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
In sum, Kierkegaard shows that despair is the inability to live with oneself. We all experience depression, disappointment, and anxiety rooted in the identities we strive to establish apart from the one we were meant to have in God. Therefore, there is no greater truth to eradicate despair than this: that God has made us for relationship with Himself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Him. Only when a person relies on his perfect relationship with God, and not his imperfect relationship with his parents, his society, his friends, as the sole criterion for the worth of his soul will he find rest from despair.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tom on September 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
With the many words of review of Kierkegaard, I thought a few should be written in honor of the Hongs, who have render such clear translations. Some of the difficulties of understanding SK are not because of his writing style or the nature of the concepts he was communicating, but less than poetic translations of his work.
The Hongs have remedied that, so now we merely have to contend with what SK had to say. I for one am grateful for their contribution.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Follmer on June 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a student at St. Olaf College, I got Kierkegaard pretty much thrown at me. The professors Hong translations of Kierkegaard are the most erudite I've seen. They own the largest Kierkegaard library in the world... They know their stuff. It's definitely worth the extra money over and against the penguin translation.

"The self is a self which relates itself to itself or is a relation relating itself to itself in the relation."

Don't get too flummoxed by the first page, it gets better.

One thing I like about Kierkegaard is that he knows how to WRITE. Other philosophers lose common literary skills that make writing enjoyable, for example, Kant. You cannot sit down and read 200 pages of a Critique of Pure reason straight, your head will explode. With Kierkegaard however, he is so enjoyable and fun to read, you hardly notice your're reading philosophy.

This book however, I wouldn't recommend to beginners, I'd choose either "Either/Or" or "The two ages"
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M Teresa Trascritti (book reviews) or Francis Trascritti (kindle links) on October 14, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Based on Kierkegaard's book, it is clear that despair is essential for a person to realize he is not a "self," and thereby turn to God; but many people choose to create a self on their own-they become a carbon copy of everyone else in the world. I was intrigued by Kierkegaard's insights. From what I understood, there are two possibilities a person can have: (1) There is the possibility of becoming the self that God intended for the person, or (2) The alternate possibility when one manufactures a "self" then for the rest of his or her life, strives to attain it. The "fantastic" is the result of one's idea of self that is always being improved and refined from the previous "self." However, a person can only have a self if God gives it to him or her. The "sickness unto death" is when the person does not realize this until he or she faces death and had lived a life in sin (sin was explained as the spiritual and actual position of a person in comparison to God).

The person had a chance to live in "actuality," but instead was in despair and now is left with the "sickness unto death." Kierkegaard offered an insight to the human soul that ought to be the foundation to understanding the psyche of the Christian. His work is still relevant, and had probably ushered the Christian psychology movement into existence. It would be safe to say that he is a "founding father" of Christian psychology and was a very observant man. This book is not easy to read, but it is worth the effort.
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