Special Issue "Kierkegaard and Theology"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 January 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. C. Stephen Evans
Website
Guest Editor
University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University, Waco, Texas 76798, USA
Interests: Kierkegaard, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of the Human Sciences, Metaethics
Dr. Andrew B. Torrance
Website
Guest Editor
School of Divinity, St Mary's College, South Street, St Andrews, UK
Interests: Kierkegaard, theology, science and religion, philosophy of religion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the popular imagination, Kierkegaard tends to be known as a philosopher, one who was particularly focused on the nature of human existence––leading him to become known as the “father of existentialism.” Yet, in his work, ‘The Point of View of My Work as an Author’, Kierkegaard claims that  ‘whole authorship pertains to Christianity to the issue: becoming a Christian, with direct and indirect polemical aim at that enormous illusion, Christendom.’ While the accuracy of this self-assessment has been hotly debated, there is no question that Kierkegaard was deeply committed to the task of thinking Christianly about a whole range of topics, and this meant that Kierkegaard was every bit as much a theologian as he was a philosopher. While theological engagement with Kierkegaard has grown substantially over the last twenty years, there is still a great deal of work to be done on understanding his theological vision.

Given that this is a volume on Kierkegaard and theology, we encourage contributors to think about how Kierkegaard’s writings provide us with an important resource for seeking (faithfully) to understand God and all things before God (rather than simply thinking about Kierkegaard’s engagement with the “Christianity” of Danish Christendom). More specifically, our particular hope is that this volume will gather together a collection of essays that explore new or neglected themes in Kierkegaard’s theology, thereby serving to broaden the theological conversation about him. We would also encourage contributors to bring Kierkegaard into conversation with theologians and biblical scholars from right across the theological tradition, in a way that would help to situate him as an important voice amidst the historical and international theological community. At the same time, we also welcome original reflection on some of the themes that have received more extensive attention.

Prof. Dr. C. Stephen Evans
Dr. Andrew B. Torrance
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Kierkegaard
  • theology
  • Jesus Christ
  • Christianity
  • discipleship
  • faith
  • sin
  • love
  • hope
  • revelation
  • virtue
  • lutheranism
  • God
  • christendom

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Disability, Anthropology, and Flourishing with God: A Kierkegaardian Account
Religions 2020, 11(4), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11040189 - 14 Apr 2020
Abstract
How can the writings of Søren Kierkegaard address contemporary issues in the theology of disability? For while it is surely true that Kierkegaard had ‘no concept of “disability” in the contemporary sense’ of the term, I will argue that there is much in [...] Read more.
How can the writings of Søren Kierkegaard address contemporary issues in the theology of disability? For while it is surely true that Kierkegaard had ‘no concept of “disability” in the contemporary sense’ of the term, I will argue that there is much in Kierkegaard’s writings that addresses issues related to disability. I begin by exploring Kierkegaard’s discussion of suffering and its application to disability theology. I argue that while this has some application, it doesn’t get to the heart of the issue, since a theology of disability must address more than the issue of suffering. Instead, I argue, we should look to Kierkegaard’s anthropology because it is here that we find a vision of what it is to be truly human, and, therefore, how we might understand what it means for those with disabilities to be truly human. To do this, I outline the account of the human being as spirit in The Sickness Unto Death, noting its inability to include certain individuals with severe cognitive disabilities. A straightforward reading of Sickness suggests that Kierkegaard would think of those with cognitive disabilities as similar to non-human animals in various respects. Noting the shortcomings of such an approach, I then offer a constructive amendment to Kierkegaard’s anthropology that can retain Kierkegaard’s concern that true human flourishing is found only in relationship with God. While Kierkegaard’s emphasis on teleology can be both affirming and inclusive for those with disability, I argue that we need to look to Kierkegaard’s account of ‘neighbor’ in Works of Love to overcome the difficulties with his seemingly exclusive anthropology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kierkegaard and Theology)
Open AccessArticle
A Perspectival Account of Acedia in the Writings of Kierkegaard
Religions 2020, 11(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11020080 - 10 Feb 2020
Abstract
Søren Kierkegaard is well-known as an original philosophical thinker, but less known is his reliance upon and development of the Christian tradition of the Seven Deadly Sins, in particular the vice of acedia, or sloth. As acedia has enjoyed renewed interest in [...] Read more.
Søren Kierkegaard is well-known as an original philosophical thinker, but less known is his reliance upon and development of the Christian tradition of the Seven Deadly Sins, in particular the vice of acedia, or sloth. As acedia has enjoyed renewed interest in the past century or so, commentators have attempted to pin down one or another Kierkegaardian concept (e.g., despair, heavy-mindedness, boredom, etc.) as the embodiment of the vice, but these attempts have yet to achieve any consensus. In our estimation, the complicated reality is that, in using slightly different but related concepts, Kierkegaard is providing a unique look at acedia as it manifests differently at different stages on life’s way. Thus, on this “perspectival account”, acedia will manifest differently according to whether an individual inhabits the aesthetic, ethical, or religious sphere. We propose two axes for this perspectival account. Such descriptions of how acedia manifests make up the first, phenomenal axis, while the second, evaluative axis, accounts for the various bits of advice and wisdom we read in the diagnoses of acedia from one Kierkegaardian pseudonym to another. Our aim is to show that Kierkegaard was not only familiar with the concept of acedia, but his contributions helped to develop and extend the tradition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kierkegaard and Theology)
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Open AccessArticle
God, the Middle Term: Bonhoeffer, Kierkegaard, and Christ’s Mediation in Works of Love
Religions 2020, 11(2), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11020078 - 08 Feb 2020
Abstract
In this article, I argue that in Works of Love Søren Kierkegaard stays true to his Lutheran roots in detailing an ethic of neighbor love that draws deeply on and unfolds the implications of the inseparable realities of justification and Christ’s mediation in [...] Read more.
In this article, I argue that in Works of Love Søren Kierkegaard stays true to his Lutheran roots in detailing an ethic of neighbor love that draws deeply on and unfolds the implications of the inseparable realities of justification and Christ’s mediation in the social sphere. The article unfolds in two parts. Since neither of these realities are explicit in Works of Love, the first part considers Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s account of Christ as mediator in order to provide a framework for thinking about and identifying their presence in Kierkegaard’s thought. Engaging with Bonhoeffer in this manner is particularly useful, not least because he was deeply influenced by Kierkegaard and also stood in the Lutheran tradition, but also because although he outlines the expansive nature of Christ’s mediatorial work to tantalizing effect, he never unfolds its concrete, ethical implications for the Christian life. With the key aspects of Bonhoeffer’s account in mind, the second part of this article demonstrates and argues for an overlooked theological dynamic in Works of Love: namely, that Kierkegaard’s account of God’s mediation not only shares these keys aspects, but also unfolds the ethical implications of Christ’s mediation for the Christian life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kierkegaard and Theology)
Open AccessArticle
The Ministering Critic: Kierkegaard’s Theology of Communication
Religions 2020, 11(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11010035 - 08 Jan 2020
Abstract
This paper analyzes Kierkegaard’s scattered writings on communication to foreground the distinctively theological dimension of Kierkegaard’s rhetorical theory. “Indirect communication” needs to be understood as a strategy to address a specific theological problem, namely, the tendency for readers who think they are already [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes Kierkegaard’s scattered writings on communication to foreground the distinctively theological dimension of Kierkegaard’s rhetorical theory. “Indirect communication” needs to be understood as a strategy to address a specific theological problem, namely, the tendency for readers who think they are already Christian to dismiss or domesticate rhetoric that summons them to authentic Christian existence. Since Christianity is an “existence-communication,” the questions of what it means to be a Christian and how one can faithfully communicate Christianity are integrally linked for Kierkegaard. Contemporary apologists, activists, and preachers who rely on more direct modes of communication to express the Christian gospel have much to learn from Kierkegaard’s grappling with the illusions that beset Christian witness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kierkegaard and Theology)
Open AccessArticle
Reviving the Dead: A Kierkegaardian Turn from the Self-Positing to the Theological Self
Religions 2019, 10(11), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10110633 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
Kierkegaard scholars have traditionally chosen to read Kierkegaard as either a theologian or a philosopher. As a result, his corpus is bifurcated as theologians and philosophers lean on their preferred texts. Beneath this practice is an underlying assumption that philosophy and theology “make [...] Read more.
Kierkegaard scholars have traditionally chosen to read Kierkegaard as either a theologian or a philosopher. As a result, his corpus is bifurcated as theologians and philosophers lean on their preferred texts. Beneath this practice is an underlying assumption that philosophy and theology “make two,” or should be kept in separate corners. However, a contemporary movement in philosophy known as New Phenomenology has challenged this dualistic maxim and instead finds it appropriate for phenomenology to draw from a theological archive. This article suggests that the possibilities New Phenomenology makes available help us retroactively better understand Kierkegaard’s text, Sickness unto Death. Fictional author, Anti-Climacus uses theology strategically to open up J. G. Fichte’s ontological monism and to move constructively beyond the dead end of his philosophy. Sickness unto Death effectively demonstrates New Phenomenologist, Emmanuel Falque’s claim that the more we theologize, the better we philosophize. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kierkegaard and Theology)
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