REGENT COLLEGE

THEO 637: KIERKEGAARD'S RELEVANCE TO THE CONTEMPORARY CHURCH

C. Stephen Evans Summer School, 2006 July 31-Aug 4, 11 :30 am-I :00 pm & 2:00-3:00 pm Maximum Enrollment: 25 for credit, plus auditing students are also welcome 1 or 2 graduate credit hours T A: Kendal Platt

Deadline for dropping the course with refund is 4:30 pm on July 31 (100% refuIld) or 4:30 pm on August 1 (75% refund). Deadline for dropping the course, changing the number of credits or for changing from credit to audit is 4:30 pm on August 4 (no refunds).

Course Description

This course will be an overview of the philosophical and theological work of Seren Kierkegaard, focusing on issues that are important to Christians attempting to understand the contemporary situation. These issues will include Kierkegaard's understanding of the "esthetic life" and the increasing estheticization of politics and religion, the relation between conventional morality, Christian ethics, and true faith, religious truth and the relation between knowing the truth and doing the truth, an understanding of human persons as spiritual, bodily creatures, and the relation between sin and various forms of human dysfunction. Throughout we will look at the ways Kierkegaard provides criticisms of both modernism and what would later be termed "postmodernism. "

Class Outline

Unless otherwise noted, all assignments are taken from The Essential Kierkegaard, edited by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. (See "Textbooks" below.)

The assignment designated as "A" is for I-credit hour. Those taking the class for 2-credit hours should read the "B" assignment as well as the "A" assignment.

Mon., July 31

Session 1: Introduction to Kierkegaard's life and writings.

Recommended reading assignment: "Kierkegaard as a Christian Thinker," Chapter 1 from Kierkegaard on Faith and the Self: Collected Essays

(see Textbooks below)

Session 2: Introduction to major themes in Kierkegaard's authorship. Includes concepts of the "three spheres of existence," indirect communication, subjectivity and existence, faith and paradox.

Reading Assignment: A. pp. 3-12; "Seren Kierkegaard" (xerox, pp. 306-325). B. pp. 242-246; 449-481.

THEO 637 - EVANS - Page 1 of7

Tues., Aug. 1

Session 3: Kierkegaard's concept of the esthetic life: immediacy and reflection. Reading Assignment: A. pp. 37-62. B. pp. 62-65, 156-163, 170-182.

Session 4: The ethical life and the beginning of selfhood: choice and responsibility.

Reading Assignment: A. pp. 66-83. B. pp. 164-169,225-229.269-276.

Wed., Aug. 2

Session 5: The limits of the ethical life: why being good isn't good enough Reading Assignment: A. pp. 93-101. B. pp. 138-155.

Session 6: Faith and the incarnation: How do we come to know God? Reading Assignment: A. pp. 116-125. B. pp.373-384.

Thurs., Aug. 3 Session 7: Truth as subjectivity but not subjective.

Reading Assignment: A. pp. 187-215. B. 215-242.

Session 8: Sin, despair, and selfhood.

Reading Assignment: A. pp.350-372. B. 393-403.

Fri., Aug. 4

Session 9: The Christian ethic of neighbor love: duty and divine commands. Reading Assignment: A. pp.277-311. B. pp. 333-349,385-392.

Session 10: Concluding discussion: Christian thinking in a postmodem world Reading Assignment: A. pp.252-268. B. pp. 404-410, 424-448.

Academic Requirements and Time Investment 1 crhr 12.5 hrs

19 hrs (380 pp)

8 hrs (1000 wds) 5.5 hrs

45 hrs

2 cr hrs 12.5 hrs

40 hrs (800 pp) 30 hrs (3750 wds)

7.5 hrs 90 hrs

LectureslDiscussions Reading

Response Paper Take-home Final Exam TOTAL

Assignments:

1. Reading.

All students are to read the assigned sections of the textbook, The Essential Kierkegaard, edited by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Students enrolled for l-cr hr are to read pages specified for "A"; students enrolled for 2-cr hrs are to read the pages specified for both "A" and "B."

A signed list of readings completed must be submitted with the other assignments.

Due: (Postmarked by) Monday, Sept 11, 2006

THEa 637 - EVANS - Page 2 of7

2. Response Paper.

Each student should write a paper that explains and critically reflects on one of Kierkegaard's important theological or philosophical claims. These papers should primarily be based on Kierkegaard's own writings, though of course secondary sources may be consulted. l-credit hour papers should be 4-6 pages in length. 2-credit hours papers should be 8-12 pages in

length. (Double-spaced) Due: (Postmarked by) Monday, Sept 11, 2006

3. Take-home Final Exam.

A take-home final exam will focus on specific questions arising in the assigned readings and in-class discussions. This exam will be open book. The exam for 2-credit hours will include the questions for l-credithoui, but also some additional questions on the additional readings assigned for those in this category.

Due: (Postmarked by) Monday, Sept 11, 2006

Extensions will be granted only in cases of demonstrated and unforeseen emergency and may be subject to a grade penalty. The extension policy and application forms may be found at Reception or on the College website <www.regent-college.edu/students>: click on Schedules & Forms. The deadline for applying for an extension for assignments due after the end of classes is the due date of those assignments,

Evaluation

1 crhr Discussion and participation 10 %

Paper 50 %

Take-home Exam 40 %

2 crhrs 10% 50% 40%

Bibliography Required Reading:

Textbook: The Essential Kierkegaard, ed. by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong (Princeton:

Princeton University Press, 2000). ISBN 0691019401.

Recommended (but not required) Reading:

C. Stephen Evans, Kierkegaard on Faith and the Self: Collected Essays (Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2006)

SELECTED KIERKEGAARD BillLIOGRAPHY - C. S. Evans

Works by Kierkegaard - All of these have been retranslated and published by Princeton University Press as Kierkegaard's Writings (Howard and Edna Hone,

THEO 637 - EVANS - Page 3 of7

general editors). Some are still available in the older translations. Note some changes in titles. This list is not complete.

Note that there are four Danish editions ofKierkegaard. The first edition (Samlede Vcerker) is the one used in the marginal pagination of the Princeton Hong edition, and is also keyed to the Papirer. The second edition is regarded as the most accurate but is hard to read (gothic font).

The third is easy to procure and use but has inaccuracies. Currently a new Danish edition of both published and unpublished materials is being prepared under the title Kierkegaard's Skrifter.

The Concept of Irony Either-Or (2 volumes) Fear and Trembling Stages on Life'S Way

Prefaces Repetition

Philosophical Fragments Concluding Unscientific Postscript Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses Christian Discourses

Upbuilding Discourses in

Various Spirits

Works of Love

The Book on Adler

( doctoral dissertation)

(Victor Eremita, Johannes the Seducer, Judge William) (Johannes de Silentio-with Repetition in new trans.) (Hilarius Bookbinder, William Afham, Judge William, Assorted Aesthetes, Frater Taciturnus, Quidam) Nicolaus Notebene

(Constantine Constantius, the "Young Man") (Johannes Climacus)

(Johannes Climacus)

("EdifYing" in old translations)

(published with The Crisis and a Crisis in the Life of an Actress) (includes material published as Purity of Heart Is to

Will One Thing and The Gospel of Suffering)

Authority and Revelation (old title) ("The Difference between a Genius and an Apostle" is taken from this.) (Anti-Climacus) ("Training" is old title)

(published together in one edition)

Practice in Christianity For Self-Examination and Judge for Yourself!

Two Ages The Present Age is taken from this.

The Point of View for My Work as An Author

The Moment and Late Writings (Attack on Christendom)

Sickness Unto Death (Anti-Climacus)

A short selection from Kierkegaard's Journals has been edited by Alexander Dru, The Journals of Kierkegaard

A substantial selection in provided by Howard and Edna Hong, Soren Kierkegaard's Journals and Papers. (Seven volumes, first four organized alphabetically by topic, (5 and 6 are autobiographical; 7 is an index.)

Three interesting books:

The Prayers of Kierkegaard, edited by Perry D. LeFevre The Parables of Kierkegaard, edited by Thomas aden The Humor of Kierkegaard, edited by Thomas aden

THEa 637 - EVANS - Page 4 of7

Books about Kierkegaard's Life

Walter Lowrie has written both a substantial biography, Kierkegaard, and a briefer A Shorter Life of Kierkegaard; he puts the best light possible on some episodes; Josiah Thompson, Kierkegaard, puts the worst light possible on some episodes.

Recently, two biographies have been published. One, by Alastair Hannay, is more philosophical. The other, by Joakim Garff, is more literary in emphasis, and contains historical errors. Neither Hannay or Garffis sympathetic to Kierkegaard's Christian faith and neither shows a deep understanding of that faith.

Bruce Kirmmse has provided the basis for a "do-it-yourself' biography with his Encounters with Kierkegaard: A Life As Seen by His Contemporaries

Collections of Critical Essays

Howard A. Johnson and Niels Thulstrup, eds., A Kierkegaard Critique, (Harper and Bros. 1962).

See especially articles by Holmer, Soe, and Fabro.

John Davenport and Anthony Rudd, eds., Kierkegaard After MacIntyre. Looks at relation of Kierkegaard to MacIntyre's critique of Either/Or.

Jerry H. Gill, ed., Essays on Kierkegaard, (Burgess Publishing Co., Minneapolis, 1969). Josiah Thompson, ed., Kierkegaard (Doubleday, 1972) contains extensive bibliography.

The article by Mackey on Fear and Trembling is excellent. See also the Cavell article.

Robert Perkins, ed., Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling: Critical Appraisals, (U. of Alabama Press). Many viewpoints represented (including Evans).

Special attention should be given to Robert Perkins, ed., International Kierkegaard Commentary Series, (Mercer University Press). Multi-volume collection designed to accompany the new edition of Kierkegaard's Writings.

Connell, George and Evans, C. Stephen, Foundations ofKierkegaard's Vision of Community.

Bibliographies

Soren Kierkegaard: International Bibliography, edited by Jens Himmelstrup, Multilanguage bibliography through 1955, (Nyt Nordisk Forlag, Copenhagen, 1962).

Soren Kierkegaard and His Critics, compiled by Francois H. Lapointe. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 1980.

Soren Kierkegaard Bibliographies, compiled by Calvin D. Evans (Montreal, McGill University Library, 1993) cover 1944-1980 and multi-media materials to 91)

Monographs & Works & Collections

Arbaugh, George B. and George E., Kierkegaard's Authorship: A Guide To The Writings of Kierkegaard-Summaries of all the books-superficial.

Bukdahl, Jergen, Seren Kierkegaard and the Common Man (book on Kierkegaard's political and social attitudes)

THEO 637 - EVANS - Page 5 of7

Carnell, E. J., The Burden ofSoren Kierkegaard, (trail-blazing work on S.K. by an evangelical). Collins, James, The Mind of Kierkegaard. (Good Catholic work).

Connell, George, To Be One Thing, (sees continuity between ethical and religious in SK). Crites, Stephen, In The Twilight of Christendom: Hegel vs. Kierkegaard on Faith and History

(Written from a liberal theological perspective).

Davenport, John J. and Rudd, Anthony, Kierkegaard After MacIntyre (deals with controversy surrounding MacIntyre's treatment ofKierkegaard in After Virtue)

Denzil, G. M. Patrick, Pascal and Kierkegaard: A study in The Strategy of Evangelism. (One of the best books on S.K. as Christian writer; hard to find.)

Elrod, John W., Kierkegaard And Christendom-very good on the social implications ofS.K.'s thought.

Eller, Vemard, Kierkegaard and Radical Discipleship: A New Perspective. One of the best books on S.K. as a theologian.

Evans, C. Stephen, Kierkegaard's "Fragments" and "Postscript": The Religious Philosophy of Johannes Climacus. Thematic study of key philosophical and religious concepts.

,Kierkegaard on Faith and the Self: Collected Essays.

--

__ , Passionate Reason: Making Sense of Kierkegaard's "Philosophical Fragments"

__ , Soren Kierkegaard's Christian Psychology.

__ , Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love: Divine Commands and Moral Obligations. See SK as a divine command theorist about obligations.

Ferreira, M. Jamie, Transforming Vision. (Sees the leap of faith as an imaginative reorientation,

not an arbitrary act of will).

__ , Love's Grateful Striving: A Commentary on Kierkegaard's Works of Love. Green, Ronald, Kierkegaard and Kant: The Hidden Debt.

Gouwens, David J., Kierkegaard as Religious Thinker (best overall reading ofS.K. by a theologian).

Hamilton, Kenneth, The Promise of Kierkegaard. Fairly light introduction by evangelical theologian.

Kirmmse, Bruce, Encountering Soren Kierkegaard: A Life as Seen By His Contemporaries (contains materials for a do it yourself biography)

Kirmmse, Bruce, Kierkegaard In Golden Age Denmark (Puts Kierkegaard into his social-political

context).

Leon, Celine and Walsh, Sylvia, Feminist Interpretations ofSoren Kierkegaard. Lippitt, John, Humor and Irony in Kierkegaard's Thought.

Mackey, Louis, Kierkegaard: A Kind of Poet. Literary approach, does not take S.K.'s thought seriously, but sensitive readings of individual works.

__ , Points of View. Builds on his earlier work in the direction of deconstruction. Malantschuk, Gregor, Kierkegaard's Thought. Somewhat ponderous but scholarly and reliable.

THEO 637 - EVANS - Page 6 of7

Malik, Habib C., Receiving Seren Kierkegaard: The Early Impact and Transmission of His Thought

Mullen, John Douglas, Kierkegaard's Philosophy: Cowardice and Self-Deception In The Present Age. Extremely lively and well-written introduction to S.K.'s thought. Personally challenging.

Nordentoft, Kresten, Kierkegaard's Psychology--Detailed study. Perkins, Robert, Soren Kierkegaard. Short but good introduction

Poole, Roger, Kierkegaard: The Indirect Communication (deconstructive literary reading) Rae, Murray, Kierkegaard's Vision of the Incarnation (best book on this subject)

Roberts, Robert, Faith, Reason and History. Focuses on Philosophical Fragments. Analytic perspective.

Rudd, Antony, Kierkegaard and the Limits of the Ethical, (relates S.K. to some contemporary

ethical debates)

Schumueli, Adi, Kierkegaard and Consciousness. Unusual book by an Israeli. Swenson, David, Something About Kierkegaard. A classic.

Taylor, Mark C., Kierkegaard's Pseudonymous Authorship: A Study of Time and The Self. Best study of the spheres in their relation to time.

Walsh, Sylvia, Living Poetically: Kierkegaard's Existential Aesthetics (fine work; not limited to the aesthetic)

Westphal, Merold, Becoming A Self: A Reading of Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript (relates Postscript to continental philosophy; well-written and best work relating Kierkegaard to this trend)

Westphal, Merold, Kierkegaard's Critique of Reason and Society. Ground-breaking work by a major Hegel scholar.

Students should also be aware of the series Kierkegaard and Post Modernism, edited by Mark Taylor. (Includes works by John Caputo and others)

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38

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I. Polemical Background to the Authorship Kierkegaard constantly has three targets in mind:

1. Rananticism and all fo.tm5 of sensualism, egoism, and hedonism

2. Idealism, particularly in its Hegelian foz:rns, particularly insofar as it cla.ims to be Olristian

3.. "Olristendan" and bourgeois confomism, and any atten:pt to sutmerge

the individual in a collectivity .

II. '!be Authorship Itself and the Central Problem of Interpretation: Is

'lbere a Unity to the Authorship? Where is the Unity? .

III.. Xey Concepts Which Bear on the Problem of Interpretation

1. Pseudonymity
2. Ind.irect O::mnunication ,
3. SUbjective Understanding arid SUbjectivity
4. Blcistence
5. Stages or Spheres of fXistence
~thetic
> Irony
Ethical
Religious . A"? Hum:lr
B c. Stephen Evans

socratic 'View

B hypothesis

The Moment

Vanishing Significance

/ Ultimate importance

Preceding state

Having the condition

Ignorance (lacking condition)

Teacher

A mere human not essential

owe teacher nothing

the god

absolutely essential owe him everything

Disciple

Becomes what she was

Becomes new person

Argument: my error can be the result of my freedom, without my freedom being able to repair the error. If freedom is genuine and historical, then the conseqences of a free choice cannot always be undone.

Is this hypothesis really the invention of Climacus? Could it be the invention of any human being?

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