Between Irony and Witness: Kierkegaard's Poetics of Faith, Hope, and Love


Product Details

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date
8.56 X 7.66 X 0.72 inches | 1.0 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Joel Rasmussen is a teaching fellow in religion at Harvard University.


Mention -Theology Digest, Summer 2006
Mention --Theology Digest, Summer 2006
Joel Rasmussen reads Kierkegaard as a poet by distinguishing the irony of the secular (Romantic) poet, adrift in possibility, from the religious (Christian) poet, who strives to become actually the ideal he poetizes but remains midway between irony and authentic witness, so that only God, the divine poet, who creates the world and then completes the picture by painting himself into it in Christ, finally reconciles actuality and ideality. This sensitive and subtle reading is an original contribution that contests the earlier approaches of Mackey and Poole and deserves a wide audience. John D. Caputo, Watson Professor of Religion, Syracuse University
Joel Rasmussen has brought the skills of a philosopher, theologian, literary critic, and literary theorist to bear upon the development of Kierkegaard s thought from its early preoccupation with criticizing Romantic ideas of irony. Thoroughly at home in the now vast English secondary literature, as well as the Danish texts of Kierkegaard, he gives a fresh and dense reading of the major writings, with helpful and surprising insights all along the way. He argues that Kierkegaard s mature view is that God is the true poet in creating a vehicle for loving and being loved by all human beings in Jesus Christ. The ideal human poet, therefore, is not a Romantic creator but rather an imitator of Christ, a witness. The final irony is that no one can imitate Christ to satisfaction, as Kierkegaard judged himself at the end to be a failed poet. This book brings Kierkegaard to the attention of theologians as he has not been since the work of the early Barth. Robert Cummings Neville, Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology at Boston University, and Dean of Marsh Chapel and Chaplain of the University.--Robert C. Neville
Mention Theology Digest, Summer 2006
"This book goes a long way towards resolving the argument over whether Kierkegaard is primarily a poet or a theologian by taking both dimensions of his thought equally seriously and exploring in a profound way how each of these Kierkegaardian identities contributes to the other. An excellent contribution to Kierkegaard studies." C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University--Sanford Lakoff
"Rasmussen combines theological interpretation and rhetorical analysis in order to highlight and to illumine key motifs in Kierkegaard's work. His book explores the relation between Kierkegaard's use of poetic imagery and his Christological focus making the book valuable not only for students of Kierkegaard, but also for theologians. Well written, Rasmussen gives a fascinating exposition of Kierkegaard." Dr. Francis Schussler Fiorenza Stillman Professor of Roman Catholic Studies Harvard Divinity School--Sanford Lakoff