Nationalism

Download Kierkegaard's Critique of Christian Nationalism by Stephen Backhouse PDF

By Stephen Backhouse

'Christian nationalism' refers back to the set of principles during which trust within the improvement and superiority of one's nationwide workforce is mixed with, or underwritten by means of, Christian theology and perform. A critique of Christian nationalism is implicit through the considered Soren Kierkegaard, an research inseparable from his wider target of reintroducing Christianity into Christendom. Stephen Backhouse examines the nationalist theologies of Kierkegaard's contemporaries H.L. Martensen and N.F.S. Grundtvig, to teach how Kierkegaard's idea constructed in line with the writings of those vital cultural leaders of the day. Kierkegaard's reaction shaped the spine of his personal philosophical and theological undertaking, particularly his try to shape genuine Christian members by utilizing 'the moment', 'the jump' and 'contemporaneity'. This research brings Kierkegaard's critique of Christian nationalism into dialog with present political technological know-how theories of spiritual nationalism and displays at the implications of Kierkegaard's radical strategy. whereas the critique is unsettling to politicians and church leaders alike, however there's a lot to commend it to the truth of recent non secular and social existence. As a theological philosopher keenly conscious of the original difficulties posed by means of Christendom, Kierkegaard's critique is well timed for any Christian tradition that's tempted to confuse its religion with patriotism or nationwide association.

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X; ‘Taken as instruments of his intent,’ writes Mackey, ‘his works add up to a magnificent nonsense’, 290. 147 Benjamin Daise, Kierkegaard’s Socratic Art (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1999), viii. 148 Mackey, Poet, xi. 149 Hans Lassen Martensen, Af mit Levnet III, (12ff), trans. H. Croxall, Kierkegaard Commentary (London: James Nisbet, 1956), 244–5. Bishop Martensen was not alone amongst Kierkegaard’s peers to hold this opinion, see Michael Plekon, ‘Introducing Christianity to Christendom’ in Anglican Theological Review LXIV (1982), 328–9 and 331.

152 J. Slk, Da Kierkegaard tav. Fra Foratterskab til Kirkestorm (Copenhagen: Hans Reitzel, 1980). ’ in Faith and Philosophy 13 (1996), 352–67. 154 Henning Fenger, Kierkegaard: The Myths and Their Origins, trans. George Schoolfield (London: Yale University Press, 1980). , 214. , xi. Cf. COR. 157 See POV, especially part 1, 27–37. POV is discussed at length in ch. 6 below. 158 Fenger, Myths, 1. , 20. Cf. ch. 6 below. 160 Fenger, Myths, 214. Fenger tends to label anyone who recognizes that Kierkegaard was primarily a religious author as a ‘theologian’.

Indeed, I hope to demonstrate that Kierkegaard as a political philosopher can only be understood properly once theological underpinnings of his project are acknowledged, and his intended Christian audience is appreciated. 162 I am not saying that it is for Christianity I venture—suppose, just suppose that I become quite literally a sacrifice. I would still not become a sacrifice for Christianity but because I wanted honesty. (Moment 49) So let there be light on this matter, let it become clear to people what the New Testament understands by being a Christian, so that everyone can choose whether he wants to be a Christian or whether he honestly, plainly, forthrightly does not want to be that.

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