Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources

An Official Publication of the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre
at the University of Copenhagen
 


         

 

 





Volume 1:
Kierkegaard and the Bible

Edited by Lee C. Barrett and Jon Stewart

 

Tome I: The Old Testament
Aldershot: Ashgate 2010. xix+273pp.

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Tome II: The New Testament
Aldershot: Ashgate 2010. xiii+338.

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The articles in this volume all explore Kierkegaard’s complex use of the Bible, a use that pervades and sometimes even structures his literature. The authors of these essays use source-critical research and the tools of many different disciplines, ranging from literary criticism to theology and biblical studies, to situate Kierkegaard’s appropriation of the biblical material in his cultural and intellectual context.

The essays seek to identify the possible sources that may have influenced his understanding and employment of Scripture, and to describe the debates about the Bible that may have shaped, perhaps indirectly, his attitudes toward Scripture. The authors also pay close attention to Kierkegaard’s actual hermeneutic practice, carefully analyzing the implicit interpretive moves that he makes as well as his more explicit statements about the significance of various biblical passages. This close reading of Kierkegaard’s texts enables the authors to elucidate the unique and sometimes odd features of his frequent appeals to Scripture.

Because the Christian canon with which Kierkegaard wrestled was and is composed of two different testaments, this volume devotes one tome to the Old Testament and a second tome to the New Testament. The canonically disputed literature of the Apocrypha is considered in the volume on the Old Testament.

 


 

Tome I: The Old Testament

 

Although Kierkegaard certainly cited the Old Testament much less frequently than he did the New, passages and themes from the Old Testament do occupy a position of startling importance in his writings. Old Testament characters such as Abraham and Job often play crucial and even decisive roles in his texts. Snatches of Old Testament wisdom figure prominently in his edifying literature. The vocabulary and cadences of the Psalms saturate his expression of the range of human passions from joy to despair. The essays in this first tome seek to elucidate the crucial rhetorical uses to which he put key passages from the Old Testament, the sources that influenced him to do this, and his reasons for doing so.

 

 

Reviews

“Martin Luther said, ‘Oratio, meditatio, tentatio facit theologum,’ that is, the proper way to grasp Holy Scripture is through prayer upon the text, meditation upon the text, and agonizingly realizing the text in one’s own life. Kierkegaard’s approach to Holy Scripture especially mirrors the latter, as revealed in Kierkegaard and the Bible, Tome I, The Old Testament, edited by Lee C. Barrett and Jon Stewart….This excellent compendium from scholars around the world shows that while Kierkegaard was fully aware of the increasingly academic and critical approaches to the Bible, his own hermeneutic remained devotional and agonizingly subjective….In the midst of the rise of the historical-critical method in Kierkegaard’s academic setting, Kierkegaard responds not with Fundamentalist retort, but with the existential concern of the Pietists and Luther before an exacting God. This excellent tome on Kierkegaard’s approach to the Old Testament resounds with Luther’s hermeneutic rule: ‘tentatio facit theologum.’ ”
David Lawrence Coe, Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter, no. 58, November 2011, pp. 6-7.


“This excellent collection of essays brings together the best contemporary Kierkegaard scholarship. Kierkegaard’s varied treatments of Scripture are analyzed across the expanse of his many pseudonymous literary works and his extensive journals (in which one often finds his most resolved theological views). Key biblical figures such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and Job are read afresh through Kierkegaard’s eyes, penetrating beyond the old familiarity of characters and narratives to impact the reader as an individual, divorced from extraneous academic barriers. Though this first Tome focuses on the Old Testament, inevitably there is frequent reflection upon the New Testament, as befits Kierkegaard’s Lutheran hermeneutic. This volume combines superb primary research and exegetical content of Kierkegaard’s insights, interspersed with key biographical and historical details that had a significant impact upon his life and thought, such as his academic education in Copenhagen, his broken engagement, and his outspoken criticism of the Danish National Church. Kierkegaard’s re-telling of the Biblical narratives, in seeking to remove the barriers between reader and text, immerse the individual in the midst of the biblical material. This is a valuable resource not only for charting and reanalyzing Kierkegaard’s philosophy in light of Scripture, but for reanalyzing one’s own.”
Aaron Edwards, Theological Book Review, vol. 22, no. 2, 2010, pp. 3-4.


 

Table of Contents


Part I: Individual Texts and Figures

Adam and Eve
: Human Being and Nothingness
Tim Dalrymple

Abraham
: Framing Fear and Trembling
Tim Dalrymple

Moses
: The Positive and Negative Importance of Moses
in Kierkegaard’s Thought
Paul Martens

David and Solomon: Models of Repentance and Evasion of Guilt
Matthias Engelke

Job: Edification against Theodicy
Timothy H. Polk

Psalms: Source of Images and Contrasts
Matthias Engelke

Ecclesiastes: Vanity, Grief, and the Distinctions of Wisdom
William Williams 
            
Nebuchadnezzar: The King as Image of Transformation
Matthias Engelke



Part II: Overview Articles
 

Kierkegaard’s Rewriting of Biblical Narratives: The Mirror of the Text
Iben Damgaard

Kierkegaard’s Use of the Old Testament
: From Literary Resource
to the Word of God
Lori Unger Brandt
 

Kierkegaard’s Use of the Apocrypha: Is It “Scripture” or
“Good for Reading”?
W. Glenn Kirkconnell
 

 


                                                                                


Tome II: The New Testament

 

As with the Old Testament, Kierkegaard was aware of new developments in New Testament scholarship, and troubled by them. Because these scholarly projects generated alternative understandings of the significance of Jesus, they impinged directly on his own work. It was crucial for Kierkegaard that Jesus is presented as both the enactment of God’s reconciliation with humanity and as the prototype for humanity to emulate. Consequently, Kierkegaard had to struggle with the proper way to persuasively explicate the significance of Jesus in a situation of decreasing academic consensus about Jesus. He also had to contend with contested interpretations of James and Paul, two biblical authors vital for his work. As a result, Kierkegaard ruminated about the proper way to appropriate the New Testament and used material from it carefully and deliberately. The authors in the present New Testament tome seek to clarify different dimensions of Kierkegaard’s interpretive theory and practice as he sought to avoid the twin pitfalls of academic skepticism and passionless biblical traditionalism.

 

 

Reviews

“Lee C. Barrett and Jon Stewart have provided for the international community of Kierkegaard scholars a much needed work on Kierkegaard and the Bible, Vol. I of Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Research, which is under the editorship of Stewart….The contributors to this volume come from a wide geographical range of countries and various kinds of institutions….Each author in the volume has written with keenness of mind and heart about Kierkegaard and his approach to the Bible. The book makes a very significant contribution to Kierkegaard and biblical scholarship. May it receive the kind of attention in the scholarly community it so richly deserves.”
Brian C. Barlow, Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter, no. 58, November 2011, pp. 8-9.

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Part I: Individual Texts and Figures

Simeon and Anna
: Exemplars of Patience and Expectancy
Lee C. Barrett

Jesus’ Miracles: Kierkegaard on the Miracle of Faith
Jolita Pons

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: The Dialectic of Exhortation and Consolation
Lee C. Barrett

The Lily in the Field and the Bird of the Air
:  An Endless Liturgy
in Kierkegaard’s Authorship
Leo Stan

Peter: The “Pitiable Prototype”
Kyle A. Roberts

The Pharisee
: Kierkegaard’s Polyphonic Personification
of a Univocal Idea
Paul Martens

The Tax Collector: Model of Inwardness
Timothy H. Polk

The Woman in Sin: Kierkegaard’s Late Female Prototype
Paul Martens

Lazarus: Kierkegaard’ Use of a Destitute Beggar
and a Resurrected Friend
Kyle A. Roberts

The Crucifixion
: Kierkegaard’s Use of the New Testament Narratives
Lee C. Barrett

The Resurrection: Kierkegaard’s Use of the Resurrection
as Symbol and as Reality
Lee C. Barrett

Paul: Herald of Grace and Paradigm of Christian Living
Lori Unger Brandt

James: Putting Faith to Action
Kyle A. Roberts


Part II: Overview Articles

Kierkegaard’s Translations of the New Testament
: A Constant Dialogue with the Vulgate
Niels W. Bruun and Finn Gredal Jensen

Kierkegaard’s Use of the New Testament: Intratextuality,
Indirect Communication, and Appropriation
Timothy H. Polk

Kierkegaard’s Biblical Hermeneutics: Imitation,
Imaginative Freedom, and Paradoxical Fixation
Joel D.S. Rasmussen

Kierkegaard and Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century
Biblical Scholarship
: A Case of Incongruity   
Mogens Müller
 

 

 

Volume 1

Kierkegaard and the Bible,
Tomes I-II

 

Volume 2

Kierkegaard and the
Greek World,
Tomes I-II

 

Volume 3

Kierkegaard and the
Roman World

 

Volume 4
Kierkegaard and the

Patristic and

Medieval Traditions

 

Volume 5
Kierkegaard and the
Renaissance and
Modern Traditions,
Tomes I-III

 

Volume 6

Kierkegaard and his
German Contemporaries,
Tomes I-III

 

Volume 7

Kierkegaard and his
Danish Contemporaries,
Tomes I-III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The series Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources is published by Ashgate Publishing Ltd

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Jon Stewart©2007-2014
Tel: + 45 33 76 69 26.
E-mail: js@sk.ku.dk
 

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