News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Issue 1: Kierkegaard Carnival

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Issue 1: Kierkegaard Carnival

Welcome to the November 30, 2006 edition of Kierkegaard Carnival.

The Kierkegaard Carnival is happy to make this issue available to the public. Hopefully, this will be the first of many more issues to come.

Kierkegaard's writings are difficult to write about. This is not only because he writes in Danish but also because his work is filled with paradoxes and riddles, all of which are scattered among the purported writing of characters that often seem to come from the world of a vast novel than they do from real life.

Kierkegaard's use of pseudonyms--also known as pen names--is strange to Americans because one of the defining characteristics of American culture is openness and honesty. Using pseudonyms seems duplicitous and suspicious, if not downright dishonest. ...

This way of looking at Kierkegaard's use of pseudonyms is understandable yet regrettable. For Kierkegaard's purpose in using pseudonyms is to portray characters who are caught in real-life crises where life-changing decisions must be made. Kierkegaard does not want to come across as an academic writer or philosopher; he hopes to draw us into a world where the emotional, spiritual and intellectual problems we face in everyday life confront us in all their immediacy.

He does so by creating a distance between writer and reader where the reader is not given a canned solution to the problems depicted but where s/he inhabits a space wherein s/he can reflect on their own problems and come up with their own solutions.

This latter aspect of Kierkegaard's modus operandi illuminates many of the blog postings collected in the first Kierkegaard Carnival. That is, written in most part by non-academics, the following pieces often have the flavor of that struggle with life's crises and decisions that characterize the power of Kierkegaard's relevance for modern life.

The first issue of the Kierkegaard Carnival is diverse in subject matter. From musings on the Internet to meditations on particular writings, the following pieces exhibit both the personalities of their writers as well as the depth and variety of topics that Kierkegaard's writing covers.

I want to thank all the writers for their permission to reprint their blog posts in the Kierkegaard Carnival.

Fear and Trembling

Thomas presents What was Abraham Thinking When He Raised the Knife? This is a short review of Kierkegaard's most well-known and world-famous riddle-box, Fear and Trembling. While you will find this work in many introductory classes on philosophy, the work is such that it could take a life-time to decipher.

Matt presents Kierkegaard and the work of faith This short piece provides some important remarks on that riddle-box again. Interesting to note that the author understands faith as work--an important theme that Kierkegaard takes up later in another writing, Works of Love.

Stages of Life

Quinn presents Korrektiv: KSRK: Reading Roundup 2 This is an extensive and detailed commentary between several bloggers who call themselves "a [few] bad Catholic[s] at a time near the end of the world." The writing is often vivid and exciting as the writers wrestle with Kierkegaard's most convoluted religious novel/spiritual meditation, Stages on Life's Way.

Sickness Unto Death

Timothy presents The Sickness. This posting provides excellent discussion of and introduction to one of Kierkegaard's fundamental formulations of sinfulness: despair. For Kierkegaard, sin is despair and despair is sin. The uncanny thing about despair, however, is that many people do not even know they are in it.

Kierkegaard and the Bible

Jordan presents Faithfulness in Biblical Interpretation This piece analyzes some of Kierkegaard's comments on biblical scholarship. While not exhaustive, it is a relevant remark on the role that Kierkegaard understood the important historical study of the Bible should have in lived Christianity.

Kierkegaard and the Internet

Brad presents Education and The Internet The Internet has become a valuable medium for disseminating ideas and opinions. While many glory in the potential of the Internet, few take time to consider some of the drawbacks that reliance on the Internet might involve. This piece deals with Heidegger-commentator Hubert Dreyfus’ arguments that critique of many of the misconceptions surrounding the Internet, as well as the potential of this medium for education.

Reading Kierkegaard for Life

Sam presents "Who do you say that I am?" Intended as a guide to a group reading of Kierkegaard, this piece provides useful notes and comments on Kierkegaard and selected biblical passages.

Kierkegaard in Dialog with Islam

Dino presents Kierkegaard and Sufism This review of a lecture he attended provides information on correlations between Kierkegaard's writing and Islam's Sufi mystics.

Kierkegaard in Popular Culture

Edward presents Kierkegaard the Novelist and Three Kierkegaardian Novels: The Moviegoer, The Sportswriter and Rabbit, Run The influence of Kierkegaard in modern literature has been extensive. From Scandinavian writers such as Ibsen and Isak Dinesen, his spiritual investigations have also influence American novelists. This piece reviews three such American novels.

Book Review

Alok presents Kierkegaard: Some Random Notes on his Biography Reviews the recent Kierkegaard biography by Joakim Garff.

Death and Love

Charles presents All Hallow's Eve Reflections and Hauntological Remarks A meditation for All Hallow's Eve, with a concluding remark by Kierkegaard on love and remembering the dead.


Kierkegaard presents Kierkegaard's MySpace Entry

Online Resource

For numerous online articles, don't forget to visit Online Kierkegaard Links

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
Kierkegaard Carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Also, be sure to check out the description for the next issue of Kierkegaard Carnival.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

jolly good selection.I hope you keep this up...looking forward to other carnivals on other? thinkers?