Figuring a Fortunate Fall

Jason A. Mahn

in Fortunate Fallibility

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199790661
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897391 | DOI:

Series: AAR Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion Series

Figuring a Fortunate Fall

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This chapter begins to disambiguate various rhetorical functions of felix culpa: proclaiming the joy of salvation (the Easter vigil, Milton's Paradise Lost, Karl Barth), justifying past sin (Hegel and philosophical theodicies), and celebrating human initiative (the Romantics). It locates Kierkegaard's writings within these rhetorical contexts and cultural subtexts, both past and present, that bespeak the happiness of sin. The chapter also gives a thick description of the Easter vigil's mention of felix culpa, arguing that it provides the deep grammatical template for Kierkegaard's own paradoxical language of fortunate fallibility.

Keywords: Kierkegaard; Barth; Easter vigil; felix culpa; fortunate Fall; John Milton; The Sickness unto Death; virtue; sin

Chapter.  12244 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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