Item description for Works of Love : Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol 16 by Soren Kierkegaard, Howard V. Hong & Edna H. Hong...
Overview Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) takes a penetrating and illuminating look at the various kinds and conditions of love. Written to be read aloud, the book conveys a keenness of thought and an insightful, poetic imagination that makes it richly rewarding and also invites many rereadings.
The various kinds and conditions of love are a common theme for Kierkegaard, beginning with his early "Either/Or," through "The Diary of the Seducer" and Judge William's eulogy on married love, to his last work, on the changelessness of God's love. "Works of Love," the midpoint in the series, is also the monumental high point, because of its penetrating, illuminating analysis of the forms and sources of love. Love as feeling and mood is distinguished from works of love, love of the lovable from love of the unlovely, preferential love from love as the royal law, love as mutual egotism from triangular love, and erotic love from self-giving love.
This work is marked by Kierkegaard's Socratic awareness of the reader, both as the center of awakened understanding and as the initiator of action. Written to be read aloud, the book conveys a keenness of thought and an insightful, poetic imagination that make such an attentive approach richly rewarding. "Works of Love "not only serves as an excellent place to begin exploring the writings of Kierkegaard, but also rewards many rereadings.
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Studio: Princeton University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.62" Width: 5.5" Height: 1.46" Weight: 1.45 lbs.
Release Date Apr 12, 1998
Publisher Princeton University Press
Series Kierkegaard's Writings
ISBN 0691059160 ISBN13 9780691059167
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More About Soren Kierkegaard, Howard V. Hong & Edna H. Hong
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...
Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy
Harperperennial Modern Thought
Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion (Hardcover)
Reviews - What do customers think about Works of Love : Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol 16?
A Profound Experience Mar 12, 2006
I dreaded reading Works of Love, but it was necessary to complete the course. At first it was a struggle to get into the book, but once one gets used to the style, you can get into it. By the time I finished the book I was emotionally overwhelmed.
The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) reflects on several Scriptural passages, such as St. Paul's famous passage on love in his First Letter to the Corinthians. His discussion sheds light on the application of these concepts to day-to-day life. Kierkegaard reminds us that love brings a sense of immortality, for it binds the temporal with the eternal.
Reading this book may well give you a life-changing experience - it has certainly changed my outlook on life.
One of his best works Feb 17, 2003
_Works of Love_ by Kierkegaard is the most uplifting, encouraging, and hope-restoring book I have ever read. Kierkegaard's statement that "the greatest act of love anyone can ever achieve is to mourn for someone who is dead" is a statement I have used to guide myself through innumerable existential crises and has given me hope in my darkest hours. The wisdom contained in this book is an essential tool in dealing with the premature and untimely death of a loved one, and restoring your hope and faith in God even in the face of tragedy. Kierkegaard's sense of empathy and morality is unsurpassed by any other philosopher living or dead, and I will also go so far as to call him a saint.
This book is also extremely well-written, well-translated, and readable. _Works of Love_ is living proof of the theory that inherently complicated and profound subject matter does not necessarily have to be extremely difficult to read. Kierkegaard's use of anecdotal situations and clear real-life examples to illustrate his theories make the book more readily understandable, and his writing style naturally lends itself to clear and accurate translation. Unlike many German philosophers of the same time period, Kierkegaard (from Denmark) does not lapse into highly personal, abstract, and inaccessable concepts, but instead focuses on more realistic and timeless problems that have plagued humanity since the dawn of sentience. While authors like Hegel and Schopenhauer are intellectually stimulating and mildly interesting, reading their works does not exactly make you happier, more hopeful, and more empathetically caring. You are often left with nothing but pie-in-the-sky theories regarding esoteric philosophical questions that are only marginally relevant to the everyday realities we experience. Kierkegaard, on the other hand, can greatly improve the quality of your life, and help you achieve a positive and non-hateful outlook.
Also keep in mind that this is easily Kierkegaard's most personal book, revealing the inner nature of his own spiritual beliefs. Unlike an author like Heidegger, who will ramble for 400 pages and never even bother to tell you if he believes in God or not, Kierkegaard is up front and honest with the reader, speaking directly to us. A true expert on Kierkegaard knows that he often wrote under pseudonyms, and playfully stepped into another character or alter-ego, lending an almost ficticious aspect to some of his philosophical works. In reading some of these pseudonymous books, a careful reader will observe that Kierkegaard often contradicts his real persona in subtle ways. It is easy to overlook his purposeful self-contradictions and alter-ego characterizations unless you compare these works with his more personal and truthful works, _Works of Love_ being the prime example.
Should you buy this book? YES!! I unconditionally recommend this book to anyone, anywhere. It is the perfect introduction to Kierkegaard; the one you should read first. It is also a recapitulation and summary of all of his most important concepts, so it could also be read last. But at some point you must read this book. The only type of person who would not appreciate this book is someone who has thoroughly convinced himself of the hopelessness, meaninglessness, and absurdity of existence; someone who has become completely disillusioned with God in response to tragedy, and believes knowledge can only beget sorrow. Most people with this kind of negative outlook are often anti-intellectuals anyway, and seldom read legitimate philosophical books anymore. But even if you are disillusioned with God and unable to comprehend tragedy, you still might want to read this book because it may provide the only way out of your depressing predicament. _Works of Love_ is a shining beacon of hope in an often violent, tragic, and chaotic universe, and is one of the few books ever written that is sophisticated and credible enough to pull even the most die-hard sceptic out of the despair of hopelessness.
The Center of Kierkegaard's Philosophy Nov 27, 2002
This is more of a reaction to Kierkegaard's "Works of Love" than a review of the book. I cannot perfect perfection.
First, he hits the genius of Christianity, and take's Paul's chapter on Charity, 1 Corinthians 13 as the backbone text. This is an impressive "love poem" which really explains why Christianity is so novel. If you don't believe me, read pre-Christian literature, such as Socrates, Homer, or The Epic of Gilgamesh. Pre-Christian society ignored human dignity and worth, and people were just functions of the state, or the whim of the king.
Secondly, Kierkegaard recognizes that love is a work, and not merely a state of heart or a chattering point. This notion of work is anathema to "Pop Protestantism," which was Kierkegaard's mortal enemy. He commented that the obsession with "grace" had turned Christianity upside-down, and had caused men to try and cheat God out of his religion. This is another way of saying that faith without works is dead.
Kierkegaard last insight is that God is the basis of love, which he underscores in the opening invocation. Too many people gloss by this prefacing prayer, but that is what separates love and love with power. God gives us power to love.
I found this translation quite readable. Soren, in any version, is rather thick, almost as if he is intentionally trying to hide things. Part of difficulty comes from the dense 19th Century verbosity that was a token of the age. However, his greatest asset is humorous illustrations, which helps mentally fix the points forever.
The only criticism I have is that Kierkegaard does not connect love to the Atonement. He does, in the introductory benediction, assert that we need to have love securely wedded to God, but he does not connect love to the Atonement and the Resurrection, the central doctrines of Christianity.
This is Soren at his best, so I recommend that you begin your Danish journey here, then move on to "Either/Or," "Fear And Trembling," and "Sickness Unto Death." But the key to Kierkegaard's existentialism is love.
To conquer the anxiety Jul 31, 2000
The title of this book is originally named not as "The Concept of Love", but as "The Concept of Anxiety". It means that this book is written not for love to be desired, but for anxiety to be conquered. Therefore, if you fell anxious because of love, you should read this book. He will introduce you to the true love with the healing of your heart.
This book is written after "The Diary of A Seducer", which resembles certain French immoral novel. This is the secret that he must write this book. It didn't bring pleasure to him actually, but the deep gap between him and his fiancee. Therefore, he falled into the critical solitute accompanied with anxiety and sorrow. To overcome this situation, the sincere relationship with people and God are necessary, he thinks. From my viewpoint, this is all of the background of this book. The reason that his thinking gets much sympathy from people is the modern theme of the absense of the human relationship.
The Core Work of Kierkegaard - Must Read May 19, 2000
Whatever you may think about Soren's views, this book is the pinnacle of his work. The first part of the book clarifies the meaning of true Godly love, to love your neighbor. Each page is riveting and triggers new understanding about truly loving another not romantically or out of worldiness, but out of Godliness.
A must read for Christians and for others interested in understanding Kierkegaardian philosphy.