- Series: Kierkegaard as a Christian Thinker
- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Eerdmans (November 30, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802868053
- ISBN-13: 978-0802868053
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,088,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Eros and Self-Emptying: The Intersections of Augustine and Kierkegaard (Kierkegaard as a Christian Thinker) Paperback – November 30, 2013
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-- Brite Divinity School
"What has Hippo to do with Copenhagen? In this superb study Lee Barrett displays how, for all of their differences, Augustine and Kierkegaard unexpectedly share a vision of the Christian life as a journey circling around two central themes: the heart's restless desire-filled journey to God and God's self-emptying journey to the individual. . . . Barrett's command of each thinker's writings, historical context, and reception is complete. . . . Best of all, he shows how reading both Augustine and Kierkegaard as rhetorical and dialectical thinkers challenges us to rethink traditional Catholic and Protestant binary oppositions. The result is an important contribution not only to studies of Augustine and Kierkegaard but also to constructive Christian theological reflection."
-- Stetson University
"One could hardly ask for a finer or more highly nuanced treatment of the convergences and divergences, both direct and indirect, between Augustine and Kierkegaard than Barrett has given us in this rich comparative study of these two great theologians of love."
-- University of Otago
"Lee Barrett has done a great service to the scholarly community in providing this study of the relationship between Augustine and Kierkegaard. His attention to the pastoral purpose of their respective writings has yielded a theologically astute and wonderfully insightful account of the commonalities and divergences between these two great thinkers. Readers of Augustine and of Kierkegaard will surely benefit from Barrett?s study, but so too will anyone interested in what the Christian journey of faith involves."
David R. Law
-- University of Manchester
"In this erudite and thought-provoking book Lee Barrett provides a penetrating study of Augustine and Kierkegaard, adroitly demonstrating the interactions between the theological concerns of these two seminal thinkers. By organizing his study around the themes of eros and kenosis, journey and desire, Barrett skillfully articulates an Augustinian-Kierkegaardian vision of the Christian life that speaks powerfully today. Essential reading for anyone interested in the theological Kierkegaard."
Andrew J. Burgess
-- University of New Mexico
"Kierkegaard scholarship has long needed a definitive study of the Augustine-Kierkegaard relationship; and this is it. . . . This book will be valuable not just for students of Augustine, at the dawn of state-sponsored Christendom, or of Kierkegaard, at its twilight, but also for anyone who wants to understand the whole of Western Christianity at its heart."
Reviews in Religion & Theology
“Lee Barrett offers an extremely helpful and exciting comparative study between St Augustine of Hippo and Kierkegaard. . . . There is much to be grateful for here in Barrett’s fabulous book, as he elevates the discussion above tired stereotypes and helps readers of Kierkegaard to see more significant pathways for future research.”
Review of Metaphysics
“The comprehensive vision that Barrett sketches in Eros and Self-Emptying lays much of the invaluable historical and thematic groundwork that all further supplemental and critical engagements will be built upon. For that and much more, we are in Barrett’s debt for many years to come.”
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Top Customer Reviews
In an age of binary thinking, when individuals are simplified and prematurely sorted from one another, Barrett's books is an important mental and spiritual exercise. Beyond reconciling important aspects of Augustine and Kierkegaard's work, Barrett helps the reader to think critically about the ways we, the readers, are thinking too simplistically about the thoughts of others. He reveals the power of secondary sources upon Kierkegaard's understanding of Augustine. In so doing, the reader cannot help but critically reflect on their own ability to be persuaded by secondary sources rather than primary. This work is important, not only because of the theological history and recovery that it provides the reader. It is also important to read this work to more fully appreciate our own exercise of epistemology. The book refines critical thinking. It unsettles easy assessments and enables a more loving reception for the imagination and argumentation of those who seem to be so unlike ourselves. Ultimately, this book invites us to consider what the shared theological foundations might be in some of our most polarizing theological conversations. Our Christian environment needs Barrett's nuanced attentions to two thinkers for the strengthening of all thinkers.
A most profound moment in the book is at the end when Barrett stretches outside the theological discipline and into the realm of physics. He notes the reality of wave and particle as "irreconcilably different" but "equally necessary" for understanding our physical world. So too, the "paradoxical pairing" of Augustine and Kierkegaard reveal a fundamental concern for love, passion and devotion to God. Irreconcilable but equally necessary has me thinking about my neighbors, friends and enemies which brings us back around to Eros and Self-Emptying.