Becoming Real—with Style

Merold Westphal

in Styles of Piety

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225002
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237081 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Becoming Real—with               Style

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This chapter works with the premise that the reality of human existence is not a given, but rather that we become real by being loved, and in particular, by being loved by God. Westphal discusses various passages from two of Kierkegaard's works written under the pseudonyms Johannes Climacus and Johannes Silentio. These passages posit that it is part of the human condition never to be finished with the task of becoming real, and that inasmuch as we cannot control God, the never-ending task of becoming real requires us to learn to live with a God who is very different from us. How we accomplish that task is termed a style of piety: some people resign themselves to meaningless fate, while others choose the preferred path of true faith that all is for the best, a la Abraham and the binding of Isaac. Nietzsche's report of God's death was greatly exaggerated.

Keywords: reality; existence; style of piety; Kierkegaard; Johannes Climacus; Johannes Silentio; process of becoming; becoming real; Johannes de Silentio; ethical

Chapter.  7602 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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