The moral implications of Kierkegaard's analysis of despair

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Abstract

Kierkegaard's The Sickness unto Death famously characterizes despair as the sickness of any human being who does not live a life of faith. Kierkegaard supports this claim by providing a detailed analysis of despair in the first part of this essay. This analysis, I claim, presents the thesis that to be healed of despair is not only to maintain a correct relation to God but also to the world and, moreover, that the two relations are interdependent. Thus, in contrast to prominent readings of this essay, I claim that Kierkegaard's analysis of despair bears the important moral implication that a believer's relationship with other humans is indispensable to a life of faith.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)25-43
Number of pages19
JournalReligious Studies
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy

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