Emptying Apophasis of Deception: Considering a Duplicitous Kierkegaardian Declaration*

T. Wilson Dickinson

in Apophatic Bodies

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230815
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235087 | DOI:

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia

Emptying Apophasis of Deception: Considering a Duplicitous               Kierkegaardian Declaration*

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This chapter looks at the sermon of Søren Kierkegaard's pseudonym, the Jutland Pastor. The central meditation of this subversive supplement to the multivoiced Either/Or is that “The upbuilding lies in the thought that in relation to God we are always in the wrong”. For an audience of discerning listeners, this might serve as a good indication to stop listening or abruptly exit. Such an admonition may lead the listener to one of two conclusions: that the speaker's insights will inevitably lead to failure or, perhaps, that it is a smokescreen for a great deception. That is, perhaps, by declaring an unending condition of “being in the wrong”, the Preacher has undertaken a mystification par excellence, gaining what he has claimed to deny by finding an unmovable point in which his own discourse stands in the right above all others. The contemporary reader quite likely understands the duplicitous possibilities that accompany the pretenses of piety.

Keywords: Kierkegaard; Jutland Pastor; God; deception; Preacher; mystification; piety

Chapter.  9349 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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