While scholars have long recognized Kierkegaard's important contributions to fields such as ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, philosophical psychology, and hermeneutics, it was usually thought that he had nothing meaningful to say about society or politics. Kierkegaard has been traditionally characterized as a Christian writer who placed supreme importance on the inward religious life of each individual believer. His radical view seemed to many to undermine any meaningful conception of the community, society or the state. In recent years, however, scholars have begun to correct this image of Kierkegaard as an apolitical thinker. The present volume attempts to document the use of Kierkegaard by later thinkers in the context of social-political thought. It shows how his ideas have been employed by very different kinds of writers and activists with very different political goals and agendas. Many of the articles show that, although Kierkegaard has been criticized for his reactionary views on some social and political questions, he has been appropriated as a source of insight and inspiration by a number of later thinkers with very progressive, indeed, visionary political views.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Giorgio Agamben: state of exception, Leif Bork Hansen; Hannah Arendt: religion, politics and influence of Kierkegaard, Marcio Gimenes de Paula; Alain Badiou: thinking the subject after the death of God, Michael O'Neill Burns; Judith Butler: Kierkegaard as her early teacher in rhetoric and parody, Gerhard Tonhauser; JÃ¼rgen Habermas: social selfhood, religion, and Kierkegaard, J. Michael Tilley; Martin Luther King Jr: Kierkegaard's Works of Love, King's Strength to Love, Nigel Hatton; GyÃ¶rgy LukÃ¡cs: from a tragic love story to a tragic life story, AndrÃ¡s Nagy; Herbert Marcuse: social critique, Haecker and Kierkegaardian individualism, J. Michael Tilley; José Ortega y Gasset: meditations on 'provincial romanticism', Robert Puchniak; Jean-Paul Sartre: between Kierkegaard and Marx, Michael O'Neill Burns; Carl Schmitt: zones of exception and appropriation, Bartholomew Ryan; Eric Voegelin: politics, history, and the anxiety of existence, Peter Brickey LeQuire; Cornel West: Kierkegaard and the construction of a 'blues philosophy', Marcia C. Robinson; Richard Wright: Kierkegaard's influence as existentialist outsider, Jennifer Elisa Veninga; Indexes.
Jon Stewart is an Associate Research Professor in the SÃ¸ren Kierkegaard Research Centre at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.