At the Centre of Kierkegaard: An objective absurdity

Religious Studies 33 (4):433-441 (1997)

No one doubts that Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript is one of the most important, one of the most artistically contrived, and certainly one of the wittiest works in the history of philosophy. Further, the Postscript has often been accorded a kind of centrality in the Kierkegaardian corpus. Kierkegaard himself seems to have assigned it some such role. He informs the reader in the ‘First and Last Declaration’ that he originally intended the Postscript to be his last word before retiring from his authorship . In The Point of View for My Work as an Author he himself calls it both ‘the turning-point’ and ‘the middle point’ in the sense that ‘this work concerns itself with and sets “the Problem”, which is the problem of the whole authorship: how to become a Christian’. Aside from the way in which Kierkegaard may have conceived the Postscript as being central or pivotal to his whole enterprise, certainly scholars have sometimes treated the Postscript as, at least in some ways, his magnum opus and summum verbum – as I would also. But our concern here is not with the centrality of the Postscript but with the centrality within the Postscript. Most everyone would, I think, acknowledge that a central section of the Postscript may be identified, though I would go farther and claim that within this a central, pivotal, solitary statement may be identified
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412597004071
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