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The Truth Is the Way: Kierkegaard's Theologia Viatorum (Veritas) Paperback – September 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Veritas
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: SCM Press; 1 edition (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0334043719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0334043713
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,184,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In the aptly named The Truth is the Way Christopher Ben Simpson gives an insightful and comprehensive reading of Kierkegaard's authorship, read as a theologian by a theologian, focusing on Kierkegaard's second "Christian" authorship as well as the more widely-known pseudonymous works."C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University

From the Back Cover

'In the aptly named The Truth is the Way Christopher Ben Simpson gives an insightful and comprehensive reading of Kierkegaard's authorship, read as a theologian by a theologian, focusing on Kierkegaard's second "Christian" authorship as well as the more widely-known pseudonymous works.'
 
C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University



'Kierkegaard is the strangest phenomenon: an enormously influential writer whose thought has nearly always been misunderstood, both by its advocates and by its opponents. Christopher Simpson's book provides us at last with a reliable and subtle reading that breaks with those of both existentialism and postmodernism. He shows us just why we have not yet caught up with the reflections of the Danish philosopher and why the full reach of his critical understanding must be understood as the reach of his Christian theology.'
 
John Milbank, Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics and Director of the Centre of Theology and Philosophy, University of Nottingham

More About the Author

Christopher Ben Simpson lives in Lincoln, Illinois. He is the author of Religion, Metaphysics, and the Postmodern: William Desmond and John D. Caputo (Indiana University Press, 2009), The Truth is the Way: Kierkegaard's Theologia Viatorum (SCM Press, 2010 and Cascade Press, 2011), Deleuze and Theology (T&T Clark, 2012), Merleau-Ponty and Theology (T&T Clark, 2014), and the editor of The William Desmond Reader (SUNY Press, 2012) and Theology in the Present Age (Pickwick Publications, 2013).

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Seth Thomas on February 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rare is the new work of Kierkegaardian scholarship that meets a genuine need, but Dr. Simpson's The Truth is the Way is one of these singular few. His brief and accessible survey of Kierkegaard's corpus (itself neither brief nor easily accessible) has much to recommend it, but perhaps the greatest contribution this book provides is the sense it is able to make of the seemingly promiscuous intermingling of philosophy and theology throughout Kierkegaard's authorship. Countless pages have been penned discussing, proposing, denying, and debating systematic understandings of Kierkegaard's philosophy and thought, but there is surprisingly little on offer for those who seek an understanding of the way Kierkegaard's theology informs, guides, and develops along with the rest of his thought. Surprising indeed, given that Kierkegaard understood his task as primarily theological: not, as histories of modern philosophy would have it, that of the introduction of existentialism to 60's France, but of the reintroduction of Christianity into Christendom. As he himself said of his own work, "the fundamental idea in the whole authorship...is the issue and the task of becoming a Christian--what this means and how one does it."

At the heart of both the originality and value of Dr. Simpson's work is the seriousness with which it takes this claim. Most introductory works on Kierkegaard either work their way through the authorship book by book, summarizing the main ideas and presenting the reader with a broad but rather disjointed picture of the Dane's ideas (of which M.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Nelson on February 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Understanding the purpose and intention of Kierkegaard's corpus is no easy task, especially in light of the many existential philosophers who would interpret his body of works through the lens of their ideology, as well as the seemingly disparate stances of his pseudonymous writings. Dr. Simpson's approach is one both comprehensive and compelling. His copious use of the author's writings and source materials create a strong case for the deeply Christian roots of Kierkegaard's ideology that many atheistic existentialist critics tend to gloss over or ignore in favor of the stances of his earlier pseudonymous works. Simpson's writing is well-paced and easy to follow, his position thought out and clearly backed by Soren's own writings, and the copious footnotes are never a hindrance but rather provide an excellent foundation for one hoping to develop a solid and defensible position of Kierkegaard's religious views. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to get a clearer picture of Kierkegaard's theological framework and be edified by his beliefs and understanding simultaneously.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Duncan Reyburn on March 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
Ludwig Wittgenstein called Kierkegaard "by far the most profound thinker of the nineteenth century" (and when someone like Wittgenstein says something like that, we would do well to pay attention). The trouble, however, is that Kierkegaard's profundity seems to be rather tightly bound to his complexity. If Kierkegaard is trying to take us on a journey, there can be no doubt that the map he provides requires some careful deciphering. For this reason, I find Christopher Ben Simpson's book truly remarkable. It manages to present a kind of clear distillation of Kierkegaard's thinking -- a helpful guide to this great guide's intellectual cartography -- without diluting or distorting it. The overall presentation allows various points of discussion to flow beautifully from one theme to the next without ever once leaving the feeling of being disjointed or rushed.

This is not a book to hasten through. It deserves to be savored as the work of a careful and respectful writer.

In my view, what makes Simpson's 'The Truth is the Way' particularly noteworthy is its presentation of Kierkegaard's thinking as being bound to a series of tensions or paradoxes (William Desmond's idea of the 'metaxological' is noted as being a helpful hermeneutic key). Paradox, for Kierkegaard, marks a kind of 'higher rationality' that marries both 'either/or' and 'both/and'; it seeks truth beyond the univocal, equivocal and the dialectical. Being is between -- 'interesse'. To keep in tune with the truth requires vigilance for making decisions in this between -- regarding right relationships with God, ourselves, others and the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Greenspan on June 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
Too often, assistant professors and graduate students* take Kierkegaard's writings and assume the role of cartographer, charting two-dimensional maps of landscapes that demand to be explored first hand. That SK intends to lose his readers in the contours of these landscapes renders the most adept scholarly positioning systems futile at best and distracting at worse. Simpson's primer, however, functions more like a compass than a roadmap, orienting the reader in the midst of Kierkegaard's canon by pointing due north to its Christological center.

It is a note within a footnote--the parenthetical phrase `(Theologia viatorum [theology of wayfarers])'--that strikes Simpson as a point of entry to Kierkegaard's entire authorship in his primer The Truth is the Way: Kierkegaard's Theologia Viatorum. Here Simpson illumines what Kierkegaard saw quite clearly: theology suits its reader best when it meets her in medias res (in the middle of things), as a wayfarer on a journey yet to be completed. As Simpson makes plain, Kierkegaard's "systematically incomplete" corpus repeatedly points to the incomplete character of human existence, ever resisting the systematic closure of those who would "transpose the whole content of faith into conceptual form" (Simpson, 1; FT 7). To this end, Kierkegaard and his pseudonyms confound readers with riddles, revocations, false starts, and aporias. That Simpson situates these twists and turns within a broader theological project--and, in so doing, signs Kierkegaard's name to the terms and ideas of his pseudonyms--is at once risky and compelling. Risky because the first thing one learns in a Kierkegaard seminar is: Do not confuse the pseudonyms with Kierkegaard!
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