Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The edifying and the polemical in Kierkegaard's religious writings : toward a theology of encounter
Author: Lappano, David James
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis provides a theoretical framework that brings the unity of Kierkegaard’s ‘middle period’ into relief. I will analyse Kierkegaard’s writings between 1846 and 1852 when, I argue, the socially constructive dimension of his thought comes to prominence, involving two dialectical aspects of religiousness identified by Kierkegaard: the edifying and the polemical. How these two aspects come together and get worked out in the lives of individuals form the basis of what can be called a Kierkegaardian ‘social praxis’. I conclude that the tension between the edifying and the polemical can be coherently maintained in a communicative life that is also characteristic of a militant faith. This militant faith and life is presented as a critical guard against absolutisms, fundamentalisms, and intellectual aloofness; but the ‘militant’ individual is also utterly dependent, in need of edification and critique, and therefore chooses the risk of encountering others, seeking relationships out of a commitment to the development of persons and communities in co-operation. Therefore, not only does this dialectic provide readers with an important theoretical framework for understanding Kierkegaard’s ‘middle period’, but it is also a valuable resource for a constructive analysis of active social living suitable for theology in the twenty-first century.
Supervisor: Pattison, George Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Modern theology ; Modern Western philosophy ; Kierkegaard ; self and society ; social theology