Fear and Trembling   -     By: Soren Kierkegaard
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Fear and Trembling

Penguin Classics / 1986 / Paperback

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Product Description

Abraham's unreserved submission to God's will provides the focus for this religious and ethical polemic. Writing under the pseudonym of Johannes de Silentio, Kierkegaard uses the form of the dialectical lyric to present his conception of faith. Abraham is portrayed as a great man, who chose to sacrifice his son, Isaac, in the face of conflicting expectations and in defiance of any conceivable ethical standard. The infamous and controversial 'teleological suspension of the ethical' challenged the contemporary views of Hegel's universal moral system, and the suffering individual must alone make a choice 'on the strength of the absurd.' Kierkegaard's writings have inspired both modern Protestant theology and existentialism, and this edition of Fear and Trembling contains a full introduction and notes which complement a key work in the psychology of religious belief.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 1986
ISBN: 0140444491
ISBN-13: 9780140444490

Publisher's Description

The infamous and controversial work that made a lasting impression on both modern Protestant theology and existentialist philosophers such as Sartre and Camus

Writing under the pseudonym of "Johannes de silentio," Kierkegaard expounds his personal view of religion through a discussion of the scene in Genesis in which Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son Isaac at God's command. Believing Abraham's unreserved obedience to be the essential leap of faith needed to make a full commitment to his religion, Kierkegaard himself made great sacrifices in order to dedicate his life entirely to his philosophy and to God. The conviction shown in this religious polemic—that a man can have an exceptional mission in life—informed all Kierkegaard's later writings. His "teleological suspension of the ethical" challenged the contemporary views of Hegel's universal moral system, and was also hugely influential for both protestant theology and the existentialist movement.

Alastair Hannay's introduction evaluates Kierkegaard's philosophy and the ways in which it conflicted with more accepted contemporary views. This edition also includes detailed notes to complement this groundbreaking analysis of religion, and a new chronology. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author Bio

S¢ren Kierkegaard (1813-55) was born in Denmark and wrote on a wide variety of themes, including religion, psychology, and literature. He is remembered for his philosophy, which was influential in the development of 20th century existentialism.

Alastair Hannay is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oslo. He is co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard and has translated Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling, The Sickness unto Death, Either/Or, and Papers and Journals for Penguin Classics

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