Author(s): Søren Kierkegaard
The infamous and controversial work that made a lasting impression on both modern Protestant theology and existentialist philosophers such as Sartre and Camus
Writing under the pseudonym of "Johannes de silentio," Kierkegaard expounds his personal view of religion through a discussion of the scene in Genesis in which Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son Isaac at God's command. Believing Abraham's unreserved obedience to be the essential leap of faith needed to make a full commitment to his religion, Kierkegaard himself made great sacrifices in order to dedicate his life entirely to his philosophy and to God. The conviction shown in this religious polemic--that a man can have an exceptional mission in life--informed all Kierkegaard's later writings. His "teleological suspension of the ethical" challenged the contemporary views of Hegel's universal moral system, and was also hugely influential for both protestant theology and the existentialist movement.
Alastair Hannay's introduction evaluates Kierkegaard's philosophy and the ways in which it conflicted with more accepted contemporary views. This edition also includes detailed notes to complement this groundbreaking analysis of religion, and a new chronology.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Soren Kierkegaard's childhood was clouded by the religious fervour of his father. Studying both theology and the liberal arts, he began to criticize the Christianity upheld by his father and look for a new set of values. He wrote no fewer than twelve major philosophical essays and his work inspires both modern Protestant theology and existentialism. In his own time, he died an object of public ridicule and scorn.