Scholars can be like children in a schoolyard. We push one another around, turn our noses up and have our cliques. On the terrain that I know best, the writings of Søren Kierkegaard, today’s Gettysburg is the struggle between readers who see play and misdirection everywhere in Kierkegaard and those who are inclined to read him as a philosophically and poetically gifted evangelist. Still, here and there in Kierkegaard’s books there are passages that calm our squabbles and remind us why we began reading him in the first place.
Gordon Marino teaches philosophy and is curator of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. He is the author of Kierkegaard in the Present Age, editor of The Quotable Kierkegaard, and coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard.