Philosophical Tools

Stephen Backhouse

in Kierkegaard's Critique of Christian Nationalism

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604722
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729324 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Philosophical Tools

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Kierkegaard frequently defined his project by virtue of opposition to the work of Martensen and Grundtvig, This chapter identifies the key ‘philosophical tools’ that underlie the Kierkegaardian critique. Drawing chiefly from Philosophical Fragments, Concept of Anxiety and Practice in Christianity, the chapter analyses ‘the moment’ (Øieblikket) and ‘the leap’ that leads to ‘contemporaneity’ (Samtidigheden). Together these notions represent what Kierkegaard meant by authentic existence, and what he understands as true Christianity distinct from the habitual religion of Christendom. As a ‘moment’ or a ‘moment of vision’ Øieblikket refers to both a temporal/historical relation and also to an orientation and way of being. Likewise, Samtidigheden has clear temporal connotations, but is also the means by which humans relate to God in Christ. For Kierkegaard, Øieblikket and Samtidigheden together allow the individual to exist authentically, regardless of the historical or cultural context.

Keywords: Kierkegaard; Philosophical Fragments; Practice in Christianity; moment; Øieblikket; leap; contemporaneity; Samtidigheden; authenticity; Christianity; Christendom; philosophy of time

Chapter.  15837 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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