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Works of Love : Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol 16 Paperback – March 23, 1998
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"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
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Danish --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It's been a while since I read it, but the quote that's stuck with me is "love believes everything - and yet is never deceived." It's easy to believe in nothing, Kierkegaard points out, because there are no risks involved. But believing in something means putting yourself out there, which means risking humiliation, disappointment, and failure. The remarkable thing, Kierkegaard concludes, is that believing in everything makes you even more vulnerable than believing in something, and yet completely secure beyond the nihilist's wildest dreams.
I took a star off just because the book can be slow reading, but the content itself is well worth the time spent figuring out the reasoning (and looking up Biblical references).
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.