Kierkegaard, Adler and the Communication of Revelation

Dissertation, The University of New Mexico (1999)
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Abstract

This dissertation explores Kierkegaard's concept of revelation, with special references to his work, The Book on Adler, whose particular focus is the way in which one communicates a revelation. ;Chapter 1 addresses two of Kierkegaard's influences, Hegel and Hamann, their views on Socrates, and what, according to Kierkegaard, transcends the Socratic. ;Chapter 2 takes account of a contemporary of Kierkegaard's, A. P. Adler, who claimed to have received a revelation from Christ. The chapter compares Adler's Hegelianism with the views of Heiberg and Martensen. It also traces the alterations in Kierkegaard's manuscript for The Book on Adler , which Adler's claim provoked. ;Chapters 3 and 5 accept Kierkegaard's concession that a revelation in the present age is possible, but consider the ethical ramifications that proceed from the claim of having received one. This discussion is performed by means of an Hegelian critique culled from Kierkegaard's Fear & Trembling , and from an assessment of the status of religious communication, informed by Concluding Unscientific Postscript, the 1847 lectures on communications, and related journal entries. ;Chapter 4 addresses the epistemic underpinnings for revelation and argues that Kierkegaard's own epistemic position is a kind of empiricism that combines Greek skepticism and Aristotelian viewpoints. This allows for a coherent distinction between belief in the ordinary, sense and the sort of faith appropriate for confronting a revelation

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