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Document Details :

Title: Faith in the Face of Death
Subtitle: An Interpretation of Kierkegaard's Meditations on Abraham's Sacrifice
Author(s): HULS, Jos
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 21    Date: 2011   
Pages: 297-337
DOI: 10.2143/SIS.21.0.2141955

Abstract :
In his philosophy Søren Kierkegaard gleans inspiration from biblical texts and in doing so offers a contribution of biblical spirituality. The four meditations of Kierkegaard about Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaac in Fear and Trembling are all attempts to understand this story of faith from the perspective of an outsider who is triggered by this story, but cannot enter it with the tools of his own logic. Every time Kierkegaard tries it from a different angle, but cannot find a clue. With this exercise he shows that faith is a reality of encounter that from the perspective of the human being means a continual dying. Only by letting go of the images of our ideas and projections can we create the space to let reality itself speak to us as the invisible face of the Other. This reality cannot be possessed, much less transcended. Thus the statement that we could go further than faith is absurd in the eyes of the author and can seemingly only be employed by people who have not dared truly to let themselves be stripped by faith. Had they done so, they would have seen that it is they who out of fear of this daring have avoided the true face of faith.

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