Abraham and Sacrifice

Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 50 (3-4):318-330 (2008)
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SUMMARYSince the theme of sacrifice as presented in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling is a major focus of Levinas' critique of Kierkegaard, their debate, so to speak, is pertinent to the theme of sacrifice and the foundation of culture. But the central theme of Fear and Trembling is faith; so first of all a brief summary of its account of biblical faith is given. Then, in the light of this account of faith, the question of sacrifice is addressed, along with Levinas' critique. Levinas is a surprisingly bad reader of Kierkegaard, but the conflict between the two leaves us with the question of how to think about sacrifice. So an account of sacrifice in biblical context and in tune with the Abraham story is given. It is then suggested that biblical sacrifice is not so much about the founding of culture, at least if such founding is conceived as a human act, but a divine disruption of every culture. That is what Kierkegaard's teleological suspension of the ethical is about in any case



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