Habermas' Kierkegaard and the Nature of the Secular

Constellations 17 (2):271-292 (2010)
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This article reconstructs Habermas’ normative program for the successful and mutually beneficial co-existence of the religious and the non-religious, looking especially at his reliance upon a particular translation of Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard himself wrote as a self-described Christian, or at least as someone invested in the possibilities of Christian existence, and so it is instructive to examine how Habermas, an admittedly non-religious thinker, renders Kierkegaard’s project. As I argue below, the specific ways in which Habermas employs Kierkegaard’s thought demonstrates what Habermas himself advocates for others: an appreciative respect for religious insights and simultaneous self-reflection on the limitations of both secular and philosophical thinking. The article concludes by posing several challenges to Habermas's translation of Kierkegaard by looking at the post-secular critiques of liberalism that are found in the work of Asad, Mahmood and others.



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Ada S. Jaarsma
Mount Royal University

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Rethinking the Secular in Feminist Marriage Debates.Ada S. Jaarsma - 2010 - Studies in Social Justice 4 (1):47-66.

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