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Purity of Heart: Is To Will One Thing (Harper Torchbooks) [Paperback]

By Soren Kierkegaard (Author)
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Item description for Purity of Heart: Is To Will One Thing (Harper Torchbooks) by Soren Kierkegaard...

The central theme of PURITY OF THE HEART IS TO WILL ONE THING, by Soren Kierkegaard, is the isolation of man, from the flock, from the mass, from the crowd and the heightening of his conciousness as an individual which the eternal accomplishes. Before the quiet gaze of the Eternal, there is no hiding place. As individuals we are what we are before God, and no mass opinion affects this in the least. Kierkegaard believed that his generation was seeking to live in mere time and to make the Eternal superfluous. He reminded them of the Eternal's power to dissolve away time and to separate the crowd into individuals. In memory, in conscience, in remorse, in work at a calling, in solitude, the Eternal still impinges upon the individual and awakens him to a consciousness both of himself and of his responsibility and of his worth to the Eternal.

Publishers Description

Crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, the Danish writer Soren Kierkegaard is regarded as one of the most significant and influential figures in contemporary thought. In Kierkegaard's view, faith is the most essential task of life. Faith is not a matter of dogmatic adherence, but rather of subjective passion. In Purity of Heart, Kierkegaard discusses different aspects of living, particularly the responsibility of single-minded spiritual seeking and ethical integrity, offering clues to the nature of the good while insisting that each reader must work this out for themselves.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.04" Width: 5.36" Height: 0.56"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 26, 2008
Publisher   HarperOne
ISBN  0061300047  
ISBN13  9780061300042  

Availability  108 units.
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More About Soren Kierkegaard

Soren Kierkegaard Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology and philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking, and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. He was a fierce critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Swedenborg, Hegel, Goethe, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel, and Hans Christian Andersen.

His theological work focuses on Christian ethics, the institution of the Church, the differences between purely objective proofs of Christianity, the infinite qualitative distinction between man and God, and the individual's subjective relationship to Jesus Christ, the God-Man, which came through faith. Much of his work deals with the art of Christian love. He was extremely critical of the practice of Christianity as a state religion, primarily that of the Church of Denmark. His psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices.

Soren Kierkegaard was born in 1813 and died in 1855.

Soren Kierkegaard has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Concluding Unscientific Postscripts to Philosophical Fragmen
  2. Harper Torchbooks
  3. Kierkegaard's Writings (Paperback)
  4. Penguin Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( K ) > Kierkegaard, Soren
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living

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Reviews - What do customers think about Purity of Heart: Is To Will One Thing (Harper Torchbooks)?

Timeless & Challenging  Feb 8, 2008
In an age of popular books on self improvement that concentrate on listing habits and prescribing do's and dont's, here is a work that brings matters upstream into the inner landscape of human motivation and will. The existentialist Soren Kierkegaard has left us a challenging, provoking and truthful examination of the heart and mind, from which ensue all of the popular habits and prescriptions. What is double mindedness? How is it formed, and what does it look like? What is the ultimate goal and purpose of the countless habits and traits we read about? How are our deepest motivations and ambitions conflicted, and what duplicitous damage is caused by those inner conflicts? Thousands of books are transactional; this one is transformational. Though not an easy read, Purity of Heart draws the complexity of modern behavioral science into its single common denominator. This book can help to renew one's mind and change one's outlook on life.
If you can only read one, this is the one!  Aug 9, 2006
Kiekegaard offers the "one thing" (see City Slickers).
Relentless  Mar 13, 2006
Coming from a reformed Christian perspective with very little exposure to Kierkegaard, I was sometimes puzzled by this book but mostly challenged in my spiritual life, relentlessly so. This book made Puritan introspection seem comparatively shallow. If you are looking for extreme depth, you've got it here. He is exploring the idea of double-mindedness found in book of James to prepare the Christian for confession. This work asks questions you may have never thought to ask. Of course he is trying to get the individual to spiritually be laid bare before God in his double-mindedness. Is the work without hope since it should drive the honest person to despair in his own heart's purity? I don't believe the book is without hope. Christ is in there a few times in direct reference, but mostly assumed or the gaping hole created by our ties to the temporal and lack of eternal-mindedness and inability to truly will one thing. As spiritual shock-therapy, it works for me. It is my second read, the first being in college nearly 20 years ago. Had a similar effect then, but it is still the only Kierkegaard book I've ever read.
woody allen?  Feb 13, 2005
I'm dumbfounded that "rob" compared Kierkegaard with Woody Allen. Purity of Heart is all about the purpose and MEANING of existence. It's about reconciliation to the eternal. Woody Allen has no knowledge of the eternal. He's a silly little pundit using philosophy as a means to distract him from utter boredom and complacency. In his films he may drop references and allude to Sartre, Heidegger, Camu and the rest of the existentialists--but that's all he does. He's a geek for philosophy. He doesn't expound upon what they have said. He doesn't challenge them. He just collects their ideas and spreads them out on a table to gaze at. Kierkegaard is much different.
A Cut to the Heart  Apr 14, 2000
Kierkegaard's Purity of Heart is one of his most accessible works. Like in Sickness Unto Death, Purity of Heart cuts to the heart. Through irony, dialogue, and parable, Soren slices through the masks and fascades we construct that delude us into thinking that all is well with our soul. With the skill and precision of a surgeon's hand, Kierkegaard opens up the true condition of our motivations in life and faith. Kierkegaard is not afraid to stare in the face the dark side of our humanity. In Purity of Heart we see that only through this brutal honesty can we become our true selves and find healing. Kierkegaard boldly asserts that only by joining with providence and the Great Physician's hand can we "will one thing"--the good. The good is all that is true, eternal, and authentic. The good is all that comes from God. Scant writers this day in age know the human condition more intimately than the great Danish theologian/philosopher. Come and join Kierkegaard and take the leap of faith!

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