Two forms of love: The problem of preferential love in Kierkegaard's works of love

Journal of Religious Ethics 36 (4):595-617 (2008)

Sharon Krishek
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The duty to love one's neighbor as oneself is at the core of Kierkegaard's Works of Love . In this book, Kierkegaard unfolds the meaning of neighborly love and claims that it is the only valid form of true love. He contrasts between neighborly love and preferential love (which includes romantic love and friendship) and criticizes the latter for being nothing but a form of selfishness. However, in some contexts, Kierkegaard seems to acknowledge the significance of preferential love relationships, and does not disallow them. Therefore, his understanding of preferential love appears to be confused and inconsistent. My essay discusses the tension in Kierkegaard's position regarding preferential love, and by presenting recent readings of Works of Love , it asks whether this tension is resolvable and offers a suggestion for a possible solution
Keywords preferential love  Works of Love  neighborly love  faith  M. Jamie Ferreira  Kierkegaard
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2008.00364.x
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References found in this work BETA

The Ethical Demand.K. E. Løgstrup - 1971 - Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
On Kierkegaard's Doctrine of Love.T. W. Adorno - 1939 - Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 8:413.
Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love: Divine Commands and Moral Obligations.C. Stephen Evans - 2006 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 59 (2):125-127.
Works of Love.A Kierkegaard Anthology.Soren Kierkegaard, David F. Swenson, Lillian M. Swenson & Robert Bretall - 1948 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 8 (3):472-476.

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