Kierkegaard and Theology by Murray A. Rae

By Murray A. Rae

An creation to the impression of Kierkegaard's idea at the improvement of contemporary theology.>

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45 That Kierkegaard returned with new conviction to the faith in which he had been raised must have brought great joy to his aging father and it became the occasion of a reconciliation between the two. It is doubtful whether Kierkegaard, even as a student about town, was ever a prolific sower of wild oats,46 but there are overtones of the biblical story of the prodigal son when on July 10 he wrote: I hope that my contentment with my life here at home will turn out to be like that of a man I once read about.

There is always room for doubt. ‘And yet’, says Climacus, ‘that is how things have gone on’. One generation after the other has died; new difficulties have arisen, have been conquered, and new difficulties have arisen. As an inheritance from generation to generation, the illusion has persisted that the method is 46 What it Means to Become a Christian the correct one, but the learned theological scholars have not yet succeeded . . 30 The subject’s ‘personal, infinite, impassioned interest’ is a matter of vital importance, not just to Climacus, but also to Kierkegaard.

That is the distinction, Kierkegaard believed, that had been entirely clouded over in his own time. The pattern thus established of publishing discourses under his own name alongside the pseudonymous works continued throughout Kierkegaard’s authorship. 74 What is the difference indicated here? It is that the discourses are addressed to 29 Kierkegaard and Theology the reader who knows what it is to be a Christian. Kierkegaard may speak directly to such a reader. In works given with the left hand, however, he addresses those who mistakenly believe themselves to be Christian, who do not in fact know what it is to be Christian, and to whom, therefore, he must speak indirectly.

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