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Title: International Kierkegaard Commentary, Volume 7: Philosophical Fragments and Johannes Climacus
Author: Kierkegaard, Soren Robert L Perkins (ed)
Publisher: Mercer University Press; Publication Date: 1994
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780865544406
Volumes: 1; Pages: 304
List Price in Cloth: $50.00 Our price: $50.00
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Soren Kierkegaard's Philosophical Fragments, written under the pseudonym Johannes Climacus, confronts a fundamental issue of Western Religious thought. That issue is the encounter between the Christian religion and philosophic modes of thought. Climacus's examination of the relation of revelation (or faith) and reason (or philosophy) brilliantly combines an interest in the history of hierarchical thinking that characterizes long stretches of the history of philosophy since Plato with an interest in the relation of history and faith that is characteristic of modern times. In Philosophical Fragments these two themes are focused in the figure of Socrates whom Climacus uses as an ideal type or metaphor for the hybrid of modern thought that after Hegel must be called philosophical theology.Klierkegaard accepted with little or no reservation the solutions to the great Christological controversies that led to the development of orthodoxy. At that time the difficulties had been caused by the absolute singularity of the event itself, or as expressed by Paul, the issue was that the Greeks seek wisdom and the Jews a sign. The last thing expected or acceptable religiously by the Greek and Jewish forms of thought was an individual human being who was thought to be the expression of God in the flesh. Both the Greek and Jewish modes of thought found it irrational to claim that this supposed god-in-the-flesh died a felon's death. However, the solutions worked out during the era of the Christological controversies of the first five centuries of the common era had to be reaffirmed and redefined in the modern era in response to the terms of this age. Kierkegaard discovered deep within modern thought the difficulty of understanding the appearance of the God-man for reasons that bear some resemblance to the difficulties faced in the confrontation of the older hierarchical form of thought and the startling novelty of the Christian message.The authors of the articles in this volume take up the issues discussed above along with many others. The cumulative effect of intellectually appropriating their efforts would be, first, an analysis of some of the crucial issues in logical theory, epistemology, personal identity theory, and religious language; and, second, a review of some further episodes in the history of philosophical theology offered here in a reversed chronological order. The contributors make no attempt to become edifying authors, but as one thinks philosophically one thinks about oneself, and that, Socratically, is to be edified.