British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (1):41-62 (2017)
AbstractSøren Kierkegaard’s claim that having faith requires being contemporary with Christ is one of the most important, yet difficult to interpret claims across his entire authorship. How can one be contemporary with a figure who existed more than two millennia ago? A prominent answer to this question is that contemporaneity with Christ is achieved through a kind of imaginative co-presence made possible by reading Scripture. However, I argue, this ignores what Kierkegaard thinks about Christ as a living agent, and not a merely historical agent. By drawing on Kierkegaard’s discussion of Christ’s true presence in the sacrament of Communion, I argue that contemporaneity with Christ should be understood in the same way as any other intersubjective relation. That is, I argue, that just as relating to any living person as contemporary requires a kind of two-way attention-sharing, relating to Christ as contemporary, on Kierkegaard’s account, requires a kind of two-way attention-sharing with Christ.
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Citations of this work
Imitation and Contemporaneity: Kierkegaard and the Imitation of Christ.Joshua Cockayne - 2022 - Heythrop Journal 63 (4):553-566.
References found in this work
Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments: Text. Vol. 1.Søren Kierkegaard - 1978 - Princeton University Press.
Reading the mind of God (without hebrew lessons): Alston, shared attention, and mystical experience.Adam Green - 2009 - Religious Studies 45 (4):455-470.
‘See For Your Self’: Contemporaneity, Autopsy and Presence in Kierkegaard's Moral-Religious Psychology.Patrick Stokes - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (2):297 – 319.
Kierkegaard and the Theology of the Nineteenth Century: The Paradox and the 'Point of Contact'.George Pattison - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.