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Works of Love Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061713279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061713279
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 3.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About 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).

Customer Reviews

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You shall love YOUR NEIGHBOR.
Wordsworth
Kierkegaard's penetrating study will forever change the Christian who desires to obey the greatest command to love God and his neighbor.
Todd Kunkler
Every other line I just have to pause to shake my head and wonder how he is even able to see the the things he writes.
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe on August 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is literally impossible. I mean those words in every possible semantic combination. This man's heart has been to places I can only dream of. Every other line I just have to pause to shake my head and wonder how he is even able to see the the things he writes. And then he proceeds to capture these ideas in words. Everything is logically consistent and even harder to do, spiritually consistent. Kierkegaard really clarified for me the battle and the difference between holy, eternal logic versus earthly, temporal logic. I especially like the last 2 chapters: his definitions of transparency and eternal repetition. I get chills thinking about it. Props to the translator. She has done an excellent job and the notes included in the back were not just anecdotes but served to elucidate some of the more difficult ideas.

Overall, I just felt so blessed by this book. I've read my fair share of books and by chapter 2, Works of Love became the best book I had ever read. For anyone reading Kierkegaard, consider also Purity of Heart is to Will one Thing, The Sickness unto Death and the amazing classic Fear and Trembling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Todd Kunkler on June 12, 2012
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Best, deepest reflection on Christian love ... and on being a Christian to others. Kierkegaard's penetrating study will forever change the Christian who desires to obey the greatest command to love God and his neighbor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cultural ghost on August 15, 2013
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"Works of Love" is argument-driven and therefore fits well into our modern day back-and-forth between secular and religious perspectives. Kierkegaard's position is simple: Love itself is a hidden in the lives and actions of individuals, and therefore much of our rhetoric about love is superficial and selfish. As a prescription, Kierkegaard argues that the Christian God is essential to understanding and realizing love - just as love is hidden, so to is God, and finding one is entangled with finding the other.

Kierkegaard's arguments are more compelling and thoughtful Christian argument than modern readers are used to (though they are not targeted to atheists and do not deal with scientific materialism). Kierkegaard rewards non-Christian readers by taking the Christian directive "love your neighbor as yourself" and examining it. He does not "preach" and no one can confuse his writing with a sermon. This is basically applied philosophy, with a emphatic emphasis on how one should live and what that way of living means. Kierkegaard covers topics like remembering the dead, dealing with strangers (neighbors), and most poignantly dealing with one's self.

The most striking claim, in my mind, was Kierkegaard's argument that one has to love oneself first before one can love another ("as yourself"). Properly loving one's self is a major topic for casual and intellectual readers alike in today's carnivals of self-help carnivals and ethical-carousels. The writing and conceptual depth of this book reward the reader with a coherent argument for Christian love. Agreeing with Kierkegaard is not required, but thinking is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wordsworth on April 26, 2013
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In his genius Kierkegaard wants us to know that by "works of love" he is describing the rigor of being a loving Christian. Kierkegaard advises that God wants us to love our neighbors, which Kierkegaard considers God's "royal law." Kierkegaard stresses this point three times with the emphasis on three different points: YOU shall love your neighbor. You SHALL LOVE your neighbor. You shall love YOUR NEIGHBOR. But who is your neighbor? Your neighbor is anyone whom you see. Your neighbor lives next to you. He is a homeless man in the street. Your neighbor collectively is humanity. So how shall we love our neighbor? Kierkegaard believes that in his words: "Love builds up." By this he means that love is a constructive spiritual force working for humanity in our universe. The opposite of love tears down, deconstructs and destroys. So a loving person builds up his neighbor and in doing so strengthens both himself and his neighbor, as well as their community. This continuous method of conducting yourself every day in the best interests of your neighbor may be considered "eccentric" by many of your neighbors. You are expected by your neighbors always to act of out of self-interest. But it is by conducting yourself as a loving person by acting in the best interest of others that you achieve integrity and integrity has a positive power of its own. Through self-renunciation one gives up oneself to gain one's own soul -- very gnostic. K. says that we should, however, not conduct ourselves with love with the expectation that it will be reciprocated because then this act of love simply becomes another expression of self-interest. "Love seeks not its own," he advises us. Kierkegaard says that love believes all things and yet is never deceived.Read more ›
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Chell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
I became drawn to Kierkegaard as a college junior, beginning with "Fear and Trembling," then proceeding to the other major works, continuing through "Sickness Unto Death" and "Concluding Unscientific Discourse" in one of the few college courses in which I did any real work. The passion served me well for life, equipping me to read the Greek philosophers as well as Nietzsche and most of the major structuralist and post-structuralist thinkers of the last century. Perhaps more importantly, it gave me the conceptual framework, or "aesthetic sensibilities," to make sense of challenging modern literature--from Flannery O'Connor's epiphanic short stories to a recent film like "This Is No Country for Old Men" (which could just as easily have been based on an O'Connor short story).

The meaning of the title of the latter work, a Coen Brothers' movie, could be paraphrased roughly as: "this mortal existence is no unproblematic, easy life as you get older, finding it increasingly difficult to evade the fact of your own mortality and aloneness along with the ever diminishing amount of time you will have to make sense of your existence in this finite world." The major characters in the film all intuit this disturbing reality at some level, but only the retiring sheriff, Tommy Lee Jones, can began to grasp the truth by the end of the story. The other characters proudly assume they can beat death (youthful pride) or that if they simply do and think nothing, "something" will happen--maybe they'll get lucky and score a jackpot, or have one last turn with an attractive body in bed, or who knows, maybe they'll be one of the chosen ones who receive a pass when God makes an appearance in their lives before mortality runs its inevitable course. (Or, as so many are wont to say nowadays, "Whatever.
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