This is a book about a remarkable man - yet in an important sense it is not about this man at all. Soren Kierkegaard died in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the age of forty-two in 1855. His writings had little influence in his lifetime and after his death, even with the translation of some of his works into German, he was barely known. Yet today, he is internationally accepted as one of the world's greatest thinkers and is often considered the father of existentialism.Here, Peter Vardy makes Kierkegaard's often complex and difficult thinking accessible to a wide audience. He sketches a few of the central themes of Kierkegaard's thought and gives the reader a feeling for the way he approaches problems and some sense of the breadth of his work. This revised and expanded edition is an ideal introduction to Kierkegaard for both students and the general reader.
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DR. PETER VARDY is Vice Principal of Heythrop College, London. He is the author of the bestselling books The Puzzle of God, The Puzzle of Ethics (Harper Collins), Being Human (DLT) and The Thinkers Guide to Evil and The Thinkers Guide to God (John Hunt).From Publishers Weekly:
Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard gets a refreshingly clear and concise introduction in this latest book from Vardy, author of three The Puzzle of... books (God; Sex; Ethics). The author's skill as a teacher is apparent, as he manages not only to render the themes and intellectual characteristics of Kierkegaard's theology accessible to general readers but also to elicit sympathy for the occasionally off-putting and morose Dane. Dedicated to that solitary individual to whom Kierkegaard aimed his own writings, this book makes the 19th-century philosopher's explanation of a faith lived in the face of the absurdity of the incarnation engaging and sensible. Some thoughtful Christians will find it inspiring. Drawing from a variety of Kierkegaard's writings, Vardy shows how Kierkegaard's principled and uncompromising definitions of truth and sin, his understanding of the function of suffering and his view of love and the God-relationship are all crucial to understanding the Danish thinker's intellectual arguments and personal sense of purpose. Although this introduction cannot treat Kierkegaard's works exhaustively, it succeeds in making his key ideas come to life and gives the primary sources valuable context. (Dec.)
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