Review of Kierkegaard and the Staging of Desire: Rhetoric and Performance in a Theology of Eros. By Carl S. Hughes [Book Review]

Literature and Theology 29:469–472 (2015)
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In Kierkegaard and the Staging of Desire: Rhetoric and Performance in a Theology of Eros Carl S. Hughes develops an original approach to Søren Kierkegaard’s religious writings. As is well known, Kierkegaard published these religious writings under his own name. Some interpreters take this to mean that he no longer relies on the poetics of indirect communication that underlies his pseudonymous works. According to them, the religious writings finally formulate Kierkegaard’s true views in a direct and unambiguous way. Others have suggested that these religious writings are just as indirect as all the others. Hughes belongs to the second camp. In his illuminating book, he convincingly shows that the indirect method of writing is not undermining the religious content of Kierkegaard’s works, as is feared by many interpreters from the first camp, but is essential for sustaining it. That is why Hughes believes that Kierkegaard’s indirect mode of writing is of vital importance for contemporary theology as a discipline.
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