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Fear and Trembling/Repetition : Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol. 6 Paperback – June 1, 1983
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there is a difference between the ethical and the religious. confusion over the two has caused great tragedy in human affairs in the past and will continue to do so in the future. kierkegaard's magnum opus "fear and trembling" deals with the relationship between the ethical and the religious spheres, and thus remains relevant even to a modern audience.
kierkegaard wrote "fear and trembling" because he felt the christianity of his time had become too easy, too sugar-coated for the masses to swallow. faith loses its importance when the church becomes more interested in expanding and maintaining its reach than in the underlying message; faith, by its very nature, should be a difficult thing to attain. like many reformers before him, kierkegaard saw christianity as corroding from within. on the other hand, hegelian philosophy had also spread across europe in the early nineteenth century and was encroaching on territories even outside of philosophy, given the ambitious scope of hegel's project. the philosophers were threatening to co-opt the spiritual through logic: hegel's self-realization of "geist," the german word for both "mind" and "spirit." it is in this setting that kierkegaard wrote his most important book, addressing the dangers to christianity from within and without.
"fear and trembling" should be read in the context of the rest of kierkegaard's pseudonymous works for its message to be understood.Read more ›
'Fear and Trembling' presents a very penetrating, and ultimately disturbing, investigation into the personal and 'existential' implications of the religious concept of faith, as illustrated by the story of Isaac's sacrifice in Genesis 22.
Reviewers like to analyse the text either in respect to the biography of Kierkegaard, or of his literary output (or in relation to the other book in this collect, 'Repetition'), which are fair enough, but nevertheless, this book stands on its own with the question of whether religious faith can be a 'teleological suspension of the ethical.' This sounds like it could be a tendious philosophical excercise, but his erudition and literary skill constantly defies ones attempt to reduce or domesticate the paradoxes which he throws forward to his reader. The text still today offers each reader a choice of his own.
Abraham's anguish is the anguish of a loving father, for whom the ethical duty of a father is inviolable. But his God demands it. Abraham doesn't simply obey -- in his actions, he must reconcile the irreconcilable. The victory of Abraham's faith is his resolution to carry out God's command, fully and intentionally preparing to give up Isaac, while at the same believing, by "virtue of the absurd", that Isaac will be returned to him, that he will lose Isaac and also regain him.
For Kierkegaard, this faith is the elevation of the individual, in the individual's own relationship to God, above the universal, the demands of secular, ethical life. In another essay, The Present Age, Kierkegaard complains that faith has become secularized in the church, in which faith is the duty of everyone, to be fulfilled by all in the same way. To him, this is a lowering of faith to something within the universal, what is demanded of everyone and explicable as the duty of man per se.
In faith, by contrast, the "individual is higher than the universal" in a way that is incomprehensible philosophically, precisely because the duty of the individual cannot be universalized and explained in the common terms of reason.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If it is assumed that anyone who reads a book for one or another superficial reason unrelated to the book is not a genuine reader, then there perhaps are not many genuine readers... Read morePublished 6 months ago by sully
Another great philosophers book. I would recommend to any and all.Published 13 months ago by David M. Penn
The reader must know at least some history of philosophy and who the author read himself in order to piece it together.Published 22 months ago by spurscwby
Book was new, as promised, but the binding cracked almost immediately -- this isn't the seller's fault, but that of the publisher, Princeton Univ. Press.Published on April 28, 2014 by shankar raman
this book was just what i needed for my college philosophy class, arrived quickly and inexpensive. pretty good philosophy book too.Published on April 17, 2012 by CDF
When I first read Fear and Trembling way back in the Dark Ages of the late 'seventies, I was blown away. Read morePublished on September 26, 2010 by Joel B. Reed
Kierkegaard is more personality, more energy of being, more outward agony, than nearly anyone who has ever lived, and to read Kierkegaard for treatise more than his infectious... Read morePublished on July 26, 2008 by Kyle T. Flubacker