Kierkegaard: Exposition & Critique
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 360
Width: 14.8 cm
Height: 22.1 cm
Kierkegaard is a fascinating author. Living shortly after the dawn of modernity in the Enlightenment, he restates classical Christianity in dynamic fashion. His Lutheran heritage is vital here as he places 'faith' over against 'reason'. Yet Kierkegaard also holds decidedly pre-modern epistemological presuppositions that are supportive of his endeavour. After an initial chapter on Kierkegaard's intellectual milieu, the book expounds with reference to their philosophical and historical context seven of his major texts, ranging over theological, ethical, social and political questions. A final chapter considers Kierkegaard as a person and concludes with an evaluation of the authorship. The book does not however simply depict Kierkegaard. In the 'Critique' with which each chapter concludes Hampson carries on a lively debate with Kierkegaard. Questions range from his indifference to biblical historical criticism, to his lack of recognition of causality and the regularity of nature, and his a-political outlook. Whatever one's theological judgement, Kierkegaard has insights that are abiding; into the nature of the self, the importance of the category of the individual, and the need to accord dignity to each. Quoted extensively in this book, Kierkegaard, a writer of distinction, enthrals the reader with his flair, wit and never failing perspicacity. A provocative and original book, while accessible to those approaching these texts for the first time, it should also be of interest to the seasoned Kierkegaard scholar, illuminating as has no previous work the importance of comprehending the structure of Lutheran faith for grasping Kierkegaard's thought.
With her very engaging style, and commitment to honest and open dialogue with subject and reader alike, Hampson is never dull. John Saxbee, Church Times Placed in his Lutheran context (instead of air-lifted up into 'philosophy') the Dane is beguiling once more. Oxford Today [R]eaders searching for a general introduction to some of the Lutheran aspects of Kierkegaard's most celebrated writings will find a welcome companion with Daphne Hampson. Church of England Newspaper Functioning on different levels, this book will have a broad appeal to many different kinds of reader. Hampson wonderfully orchestrates a critical dialogue with Kierkegaard in a way that provides ample demonstration of the importance of his thought today. This highly readable work represents a valuable contribution to Kierkegaard studies. Jon Stewart, Associate Research Professor, Soren Kierkegaard Research Centre, Copenhagen A marvel of scholarship. Hampson is one of the few interpreters of Kierkegaard able to take account of both the philosophical and theological backdrop of Kierkegaards thought. Clear, comprehensive, and elegantly written, one of the book's most important merits is the success Hampson enjoys in locating Kierkegaard within his own Lutheran tradition. Gordon Marino, Professor of philosophy; Director, Hong Kierkegaard Library, St Olaf's College A delightful and powerful new book on Kierkegaard. Acknowledging his radical conservatism, insisting against Kierkegaard on the need for collective responses to social injustice, Hampson nonetheless writes in a spirit of critical friendship. Combining a forthright accessible style with real scholarship and familiarity with Kierkegaard's personal, intellectual and spiritual struggles, she brings him vividly to life for our time. David Wood, Professor of philosophy, Vanderbilt University Setting Kierkegaard in his intellectual context, this book guides readers through the key texts, identifying and debating the questions they provoke. Hampson has inspired many students to engage with this most demanding of writers. Her book will both attract new readers and serve as a stimulating refresher to those familiar with Kierkegaard's writings. George Pattison, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Oxford University Hampson writes accessibly when situating and contrasting Kierkgaard amid the flux of the history of ideas. Joshua Furnal, Church of England Newspaper