Christian Discourses: The Crisis and a Crisis in the Life of an Actress

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Princeton University Press, 1997 - Philosophy - 489 pages
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With Christian Discourses, Kierkegaard intended to conclude the signed "second authorship" following Concluding Unscientific Postscript as the end of the pseudonymous writings. Parts One and Three, "The Cares of the Pagans" and "Thoughts That Wound from Behind--for Upbuilding", contain a polemical element and constitute the overture to the collision with the established order of Christendom. The dominant theme of Parts Two and Four, "Joyful Notes in the Strife of Suffering" and "Discourses at the Communion on Fridays", is a reassuring affirmation of the joy and blessedness of the Christian life in a world of adversity and suffering. Written in ordinary language, the work combines simplicity and inwardness with reflection and presents crucial Christian concepts and presuppositions with unusual clarity. Among the discourses are some of Kierkegaard's masterpieces.The first pseudonymous esthetic work, Either/Or, was accompanied by a series of religious discourses. To maintain the dialectical structure of the dual authorship, Kierkegaard wrote an accompanying work to Christian Discourses: an esthetic essay on a foremost Danish actress. To her, it was a "wonderful surprise to read [how] the inspired theoretician manages to express clearly and unambiguously what one has felt without being able to find the words to clarify and illustrate this feeling".

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About the author (1997)

Howard V. Hong, the former Director of the Howard and Edna Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College, is the General Editor of Kierkegaard's Writings. Edna H. Hong is a poet, writer, and translator who has collaborated with Professor Hong on other English translations of Kierkegaard's work.

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