The mall food court tables are close together. You can't help but overhear the two teens at the next table. She says gently but firmly, "Thanks, but I don't think so, I'm just not interested in you that way." His face melts. You're sure he's watched quietly from afar and has been dreaming of this moment for months. The poor girl is sympathetic: "Jeff, I think you're a really neat guy, but . .
My favorite Kierkegaardian parable is called “The Man Who Walked Backwards.” The Danish philosopher was particularly hard on religious professionals, and claimed that inconsistent behaviors most often accompany exorbitant professions of good intentions:
"Love never ends,” St. Paul writes in the lesson we read from 1 Corinthians 13. Or, put more positively, “love abides.” What does that really mean—to say that “love abides”? Or, indeed, what possible sense could it make to say this in a world in which the truth so clearly seems to be that love quite often does not abide?
For some time now I have been both attracted to and troubled by the story of Abraham’s journey to present his son Isaac as a burnt offering in the land of Moriah. I was moved by Abraham’s extraordinary devotion to God but repelled by the thought that it made him willing to sacrifice his only child.
Joakim Garff’s justly acclaimed biography of Kierkegaard, published in English in the year marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen, invites us into the literary world of Denmark’s golden age.
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.
A new television season always begins in autumn, which is really a shame. Television needs a spring start, with buds bursting, grass growing greener, and trees coming alive. But the television producers rely on the waning daylight and bleaker weather to drive people indoors to their television sets. This year's premiers have been depressingly familiar—full of noise and empty humor.