The holy & wholly other: Kierkegaard on the alterity of God

Heythrop Journal 53 (1):9-23 (2012)
Abstract
In response to prevailing perceptions, I contend that Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55) conceives of the wholly otherness of God via his dialectical category of the ‘infinite qualitative difference’ between the human and the divine, initially through the self's consciousness of sin and ultimately through the self's acceptance of the gift of forgiveness. Therefore, I claim that while the common designation of Kierkegaard's God as ‘Wholly Other’ may initially evoke the alterity of sin; it is not ultimately sufficient to describe the divine alterity which Kierkegaard regards as more faithfully manifest in the ‘impossible possibility’ of forgiveness. Through this reading, I finally suggest that the ‘Wholly Other’ is not ultimately representative of God in Kierkegaard's writings and might be more faithfully supplemented by the appellation of the Holy Other
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