Kierkegaard, Language, and the Reality of God
Debate about the reality of God risks becoming an arid stalemate. An unbridgeable gulf seems to be fixed between realists, arguing that God exists independently of our language and beliefs, and anti-realists for whom God-language functions to express human spiritual ideals, with no reference to a reality external to the faith of the believer. Soren Kierkegaard has been enlisted as an ally by both sides of this debate. Kierkegaard, Language and the Reality of God presents a new approach, exploring the dynamic nature of Kierkegaard's texts and the way they undermine neat divisions between realism and anti-realism, objectivity and subjectivity. Showing that Kierkegaard's understanding of language is crucial to his practice of communication, and his account of the paradoxes inherent in religious discourse, Shakespeare argues that Kierkegaard advances a form of 'ethical realism' in which the otherness of God is met in the making of liberating signs. Not only are new perspectives opened on Kierkegaard's texts, but his own contribution to ongoing debates is affirmed in its vital, creative and challenging significance.
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absolute abstract actuality aesthetic ambiguity analogy of communication anti-realism anti-realist argues articulate become believer Chapter Christ Christian claims Climacus cognitive concepts consciousness context contradiction creation creative Cupitt D. Z. Phillips Derrida dialectic difference discourse divine doctrine Don Cupitt Either/Or eternal ethical ethical realism everything existential expression faith finite freedom gives God's ibid idea ideal immanent immediacy incarnation individual infinite internal realism interpretation irony irreducible Johannes Kierkegaard Kierkegaard's texts knowledge linguistic meaning metaphysical metaphysical realism narrative narrative theology nature Novalis objective one's origin of language paradox passion person philosophical poetic possibility Postscript present presupposes Princeton Princeton University pure reader reading realism and anti-realism reality reduplication reference reflection relation relationship religious language repetition representation resists revelation seducer seducer's sense sign of contradiction significance silence speak speculative spirit temporal theology things thought trans transcendence truth understanding University Press whilst witness woman words writing