Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) famously critiqued Christendom — especially the religious monoculture of his native Denmark. But what would he make of the dizzying diversity of religious life today? In this book George Connell uses Kierkegaard’s thought to explore pressing questions that contemporary religious diversity poses.
Connell unpacks an underlying tension in Kierkegaard, revealing both universalistic and particularistic tendencies in his thought. Kierkegaard’s paradoxical vision of religious diversity, says Connell, allows for both respectful coexistence with people of different faiths and authentic commitment to one’s own faith. Though Kierkegaard lived and wrote in a context very different from ours, this nuanced study shows that his searching reflections on religious faith remain highly relevant in our world today.
George B. Connell is professor of philosophy and division chair of humanities at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, and president of the Søren Kierkegaard Society. His previous books include To Be One Thing: Personal Unity in Kierkegaard’s Thought.
— Expository Times "Connell's book is an overwhelming achievement that not only opens new vistas for Kierkegaard scholarship, but also further invigorates the conversation surrounding a (Christian) theology of religions."
Merold Westphal — Fordham University "George Connell's long engagements with the problem of religious pluralism and with the writings of Kierkegaard come together fruitfully here. . . . A work of mature scholarship, filled with challenging and illuminating insights."
J. Aaron Simmons — Furman University "This book is a game-changer in Kierkegaard studies. Connell argues with clarity and rigor that Kierkegaard's thought is instructive for addressing religious diversity in the contemporary world. Avoiding mere abstraction, Connell courageously models the engagement that he calls for by setting Kierkegaard into dialogue with Confucius and by looking at Kierkegaard's reading of the Akedah in light of 9/11. Anyone who attempts to think about Kierkegaard's social relevance will need to go through this book to do so."
Carl S. Hughes — Texas Lutheran University "Writing at a time when Christian theologians were (re)discovering religious diversity, Kierkegaard can sometimes seem like an ostrich with his head in the sand. Connell makes a persuasive case that Kierkegaard's meditations on paradox, particularity, uncertainty, and anxiety can nonetheless inform Christian thinking on religious diversity in constructive ways. This is a much-needed exploration of an important topic."
Library Journal "Whether readers are only slightly acquainted or have spent a lifetime studying Kierkegaard, they will find this effort enriching."
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