May 5, 2013

The 200th Anniversary of Kierkegaard's Birth


"Even though Kierkegaard was born 200 years ago, his thinking still has a lot to say to us today about the nature of love. Love is something that we can go on discussing forever, and Kierkegaard’s ideas about the topic are still highly relevant," - Pia Søltoft, director of the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre. [Source: University of Copenhagen].

Below are excerpts from, "The Soul of Kierkegaard: Selections from His Journals." Edited by Alexander Dru. Dover Publications, Inc: Mineola, New York. 2003. 

On Courage (Pg. 67): 
"It requires moral courage to grieve; it requires religious courage to rejoice."

"There is a world of difference between the proud courage which dares to fear the worst and the humble courage which dares to hope for the best."
On Men of Faith And Salvation (Pg. 183):
"But people do not know what religion is. They do not even suspect that Christ and all the heroes of the faith were in a sense isolated individualities---and they belonged absolutely to God. 

Take Socrates for instance! In those days one sophist after another came forward and showed that the misfortune was the lack of sufficient knowledge, more and more research was necessary, the evil was ignorance---and then along came old father Socrates saying: no, it is precisely ignorance which is our salvation."
On The Guidance of Providence (Pg. 182):
"Once a man acts in a decisive sense and comes out into reality, existence can get a grip on him and providence educated him.

It is perfectly true that however much a man may protect himself it may all the same occur to providence to put him to school. But it does not like that, that is almost anger. It wishes a man to believe, and believe in it. Providence is no friend of that effeminate attitude whereby a man wishes to play at being autodidact, when there lives at the same time a teacher so outstanding as Our Lord, to whom he can turn."
On The Nature of God (Pg. 91):
"God can only show himself to man in miracles, i.e. as soon as he sees God he sees a miracle. But by himself he is incapable of seeing miracles for the miracle is his own annihilation. The Jews expressed that pictorially by saying that to see God was death. It is truer to say that to see God, or see miracles happens by virtue of the absurd, for reason must stand aside." 
On Worshipping God (Pg. 249):
"I am therefore suspicious of the way people use the expression "to serve God"; for one cannot serve God as one serves another monarch, who has objects to gain. No, the only adequate way to express a sense of God's majesty is to worship him. Generally one makes a distinction and says that what is involved in worshipping God is feelings, moods, and their expression in words, whereas serving God suggests actions. No, your action is true worship, and it is that most clearly when it is free from all bustle and the notion that God has a cause. To renounce everything as an act of worship offered to God, and so not because he needs to use you as an instrument; but to renounce everything yourself as the most insignificant superfluity and article of luxury---that means to worship."