Kierkegaard and Binswanger on Faith's Relation to Love: A Response to Schrijvers

Syndicate Philosophy 2 (Winter 2018) (2018)
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In Joeri Schrijvers’ (2016) book, Between Faith and Belief, Schrijvers discusses various answers to a deceptively simple and yet complex question: what can be said for religious faith “at the end of metaphysics”? Although Schrijvers engages a variety of thinkers in the elaboration of his thesis, he takes particular interest in Ludwig Binswanger, a Swiss existential psychologist, whose contemporaries include Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl, and Martin Buber. Although Schrijvers does not discuss it in his manuscript, it is important to note that Binswanger was heavily influenced by the existential philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard. This influence is particularly apparent in Binswanger’s understanding of the transcendental nature of human love. Demonstrating the degree to which Binswanger draws on Kierkegaard, Elisabetta Basso writes, “What is undeniable, in any event, is the fact that Kierkegaard is almost everywhere present in Binswanger’s work” (Basso 2011 p. 35). Anyone familiar with Kierkegaard’s authorship should also be able to see his ideas shining through Binswanger’s work; but what are as interesting as their similarities are their divergences.
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