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Kierkegaard, Religion and the Nineteenth-Century Crisis of Culture

Kierkegaard, Religion and the Nineteenth-Century Crisis of Culture


  • Date Published: July 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521010429

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About the Authors
  • Kierkegaard is often viewed in the history of ideas solely within the academic traditions of philosophy and theology. The secondary literature generally ignores the fact that he also took an active role in the public debate about the significance of the modern age that was taking shape in the flourishing feuilleton literature during the period of his authorship. Through a series of sharply focussed studies, George Pattison contextualises Kierkegaard's religious thought in relation to the debates about religion, culture and society carried on in the newspapers and journals read by the whole educated stratum of Danish society. Pattison brings Kierkegaard into relation to not only high art and literature but also to the ephemera of his contemporary culture. This has important implications for our understanding of Kierkegaard's view of the nature of religious communication in modern society.

    • A unique examination of Kierkegaard within the context of and in relation to the culture, society and religion of his time
    • Comparative studies with important contemporaries and other nineteenth century figures including Manet and Dostoevsky
    • Detailed discussions of such pertinent topics as the sublime, reading, popular culture and the value assigned to novelty
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A set of studies that are genuinely original and thought-provoking.' John Saxbee, Church Times

    'Kierkegaard's purpose, in these feuilleton writings, is 'to help us to develop, to refine and to sharpen the way in which we read our cultural situation, the way in which to read the signs of the times'. But before we can benefit from his wisdom in that regard, we have first to learn how to read Kierkegaard; and this is exactly what Pattison helps us to do in this always erudite and often entertaining collection.' Church Times

    'Pattison's scrupulously researched work uncovers a Kierkegaard in many ways unfamiliar, and along the way counters a few myths that have grown up around him.' The London Magazine

    'No one who studies Kierkegaard should be able to ignore it, and it should have something to offer all who are seeking to think what it means to live in and beyond modernity.' Theology

    '… has performed the long-neglected and inestimably valuable service of situating Kierkegaard within the homiletic, academic, literary, and feuilleton literature of Denmark … a very full and satisfying discussion by this most astute, well-informed, and profound contemporary commentator on Kierkegaard.' The Heythrop Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521010429
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 217 x 139 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The sublime, the city and the present age
    2. Kierkegaard and the world of the feuilletons
    3. The present age: the age of the city
    4. 'Cosmopolitan faces'
    5. Food for thought
    6. A literary scandal
    7. The reception of Either/Or
    8. New Year's day
    9. Kierkegaard and the nineteenth century (1) Manet
    10. Kierkegaard and the nineteenth century (2) Dostoevsky
    11. Reading the signs of the times.

  • Author

    George Pattison, Aarhus Universitet, Denmark
    George Pattison is Lecturer in Practical Theology at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

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