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Durham e-Theses
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The place and significance of Soren Kierkegaard's "attack, upon Christendom" in the development of his authorship

Saxbee, J. C. (1974) The place and significance of Soren Kierkegaard's "attack, upon Christendom" in the development of his authorship. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



An examination of the debate surrounding Horen Kierkegaard's "Attack upon Christendom" reveals a tendency on the part of scholars to explain away these final polemics in terms of their author's physical and mental debilitation In opposition to such views it is here argued that the "Attack' has a place in Kierkegaard's authorship as an integral and consistent part of his overall strategy in the cause of Christian inwardness The principle of Subjectivity, adjudged to be decisive for Kierkegaard’s understanding of Christianity, implies the relativisation of objective norms of Christian expression such as the Church It is endeavoured to show that Kierkegaard's contemporaries, and especially the Danish Church Primate, Bishop Kynster, failed to recognise such implications of his authorship for their own status as members of an established Church. Being thus misunderstood, Kierkegaard was forced into a direct assault upon the objective norms of Christendom, leaving behind the kind of indirect communication characterising his earlier strategy So the "Attack" is seen as consistent with the earlier authorship which is its presupposition. Whilst sensing the inevitability of the "Attack', Kierkegaard delayed its inception in the interests of his plea for honesty on the part of his readers, and in order that his own authority should be clarified. These two concepts are described and their significance evaluated. Because of their influence upon the timing and development of the "Attack?" , the personalities of J. P.Mynster and H. L. Martensen are expounded biographically whilst Kierkegaard's perspective on the Church is analysed in the interest of further contextualisation. Finally, the progress of the "Attack?' is traced with especial reference to the contemporary debate surrounding and, to an extent, moulding the form and content of Kierkegaard's output in his last years.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1974
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:16

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