Sickness Unto Death   -     By: Soren Kierkegaard
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Sickness Unto Death

Penguin Classics / 1989 / Paperback

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Product Description

One of the most remarkable philosophical works of the 19th century, writer Kierkegaard (under the pseudonym Anti-Climacus), explores the concept of despair, alerting readers to the diversity of ways in which they may be described as living in this state of bleak abandonment- including some that may seem just the opposite-and offering a much discussed formula for the eradication of despair.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 1989
ISBN: 0140445331
ISBN-13: 9780140445336

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Publisher's Description

One of the most remarkable philosophical works of the nineteenth century, famed for the depth and acuity of its modern psychological insights

Writing under the pseudonym Anti-Climacus, Kierkegaard explores the concept of "despair," alerting readers to the diversity of ways in which they may be described as living in this state of bleak abandonment—including some that may seem just the opposite—and offering a much-discussed formula for the eradication of despair. With its penetrating account of the self, this late work by Kierkegaard was hugely influential upon twentieth-century philosophers including Karl Jaspers, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. The Sickness unto Death can be regarded as one of the key works of theistic existentialist thought—a brilliant and revelatory answer to one man's struggle to fill the spiritual void.

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 Copenhagen, the youngest of seven children. His childhood was unhappy, clouded by the religious fervour of his father, and the death of his mother, his sisters and two brothers. Educated at the School of Civic Virtue, he went on study theology, liberal arts and science at university, gaining a reputation for his academic brilliance and extravagant social life. He began to criticize Christianity, and in 1841 broke off his engagement to concentrate on his writing. Over the next ten years he produced a flood of works, in particular twelve major philosophical essays, many written under noms de plume. By the end of his life he had become an object of public ridicule, but he is now enjoying increasing acclaim.

Alastair Hannay was educated at the Edinburgh Academy, the University of Edinburgh and University College London. In 1961 he became a resident of Norway and is now Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oslo.

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  1. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great insights for Christian counseling!
    December 23, 2010
    M Teresa Trascritti
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Based on Kierkegaard's book, it is clear that despair is essential for a person to realize he is not a "self," and thereby turn to God; but many people choose to create a self on their own-they become a carbon copy of everyone else in the world. I was intrigued by Kierkegaard's insights. From what I understood, there are two possibilities a person can have: (1) There is the possibility of becoming the self that God intended for the person, or (2) The alternate possibility when one manufactures a "self" then for the rest of his or her life, strives to attain it. The "fantastic" is the result of one's idea of self that is always being improved and refined from the previous "self." However, a person can only have a self if God gives it to him or her. The "sickness unto death" is when the person does not realize this until he or she faces death and had lived a life in sin (sin was explained as the spiritual and actual position of a person in comparison to God).

    The person had a chance to live in "actuality," but instead was in despair and now is left with the "sickness unto death." Kierkegaard offered an insight to the human soul that ought to be the foundation to understanding the psyche of the Christian. His work is still relevant, and had probably ushered the Christian psychology movement into existence. It would be safe to say that he is a "founding father" of Christian psychology and was a very observant man. This book is not easy to read, but it is worth the effort.

    Review by: M. Teresa Trascritti
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