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Title: Theopoetics : Kierkegaard and the vocation of the Christian creative artist
Author: Tarassenko, Luke Ivan Thomas
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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In this doctoral dissertation I examine the development of Kierkegaard's sense of vocation as a Christian creative artist by research into his journals and published works, as well as investigating how this was influenced by his scriptural hermeneutic. I then attempt to sketch some starting points for a theology of Christian creative artwork contextualised within modern theological aesthetics by drawing upon this examination. I argue that Kierkegaard began writing without documented reflection on his intentions and communicative methodology, but was nonetheless a religious author from the start of his career, as his text The Point of View for my Work as an Author later claimed. I trace how he began with a more "indirect" approach in his writing and gradually developed a theory of "indirect communication", though there were more "direct" elements present in his work from the beginning (the "first authorship"), yet as he continued in his authorial career he became ever more "direct" in his mode of communication (the "second authorship"), until it eventually became exclusively more "direct" religious writing (the "attack on Christendom"). I conclude that the most concise and complete formulation of Kierkegaard's mature conception of his task as a Christian artist becomes "to communicate Christianity in Christendom" in a more direct mode-to explain straightforwardly what authentic Christianity is in an age of cultural, purely nominal religion. I allow that this task is in some ways unique to his own historical situation but contend nonetheless that a consideration of it is profitable for contemporary theology because of the many different ways that he attempted to carry it out. In Kierkegaardian terms, and following on from resources in Kierkegaard and his use of scripture, I argue constructively from all of this that more "direct" communication is the more valuable form of communication to the Christian creative artist for theological reasons, but that more "indirect" communication can still be useful, in the task of communicating creatively through art.
Supervisor: Rasmussen, Joel Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Modern Theology ; Theology ; Doctrinal ; Literature ; Philosophy ; Kierkegaard studies ; Theological Aesthetics ; Theology ; vocation ; artist ; creative artwork ; Creativity ; Kierkegaard ; Christian ; Theopoetics ; theological aesthetics