Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fear and Trembling

In his epilogue, Kierkegaard says the world of spirit is in need of renewed passion and self-reflection. "Are we so thoroughly convinced that we have attained the highest point that there is nothing left for us but to piously make ourselves believe that we have not got so far - just for the sake of having something left to occupy our time?" he asks of his present generation (89). He speaks of the self-deception of the people who are occupied by a "trained virtuosity" to perfected self-deception. In Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard wrestles with the story of Abraham. Taking a story that has been written and rewritten, told and retold a thousand times, and pushing it to its furthest moral implications, he does the work that he says his generation has failed to do. He attempts to make faith real, going beyond the "religion" of his present age. He makes faith real by thinking philosophically about the story of Abraham - a story so often read but so rarely seen moving one to amazement or true faith. Without questioning himself Kierkegaard opens up his heart and passionately lays out his feelings and frustrations in his struggle with the art of believing. He honestly and sincerely takes seriously his questioning as if of the utmost importance, and shows how reflection can be a poetic and lived experience, rather than a cognitive, theoretical pontification.

No comments:

Post a Comment