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Jules van Schaijik

Kierkegaard in search of solitary individuals

Apr. 2 at 9:07am

Our next two reading circles, on April 21 & May 19, are on Kierkegaard's Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing. It is a great book, worth reading slowly and reflectively. As Kierkegaard says in the preface:

It is in search of that solitary "individual," to whom it wholly abandons itself, by whom it wishes to be received as if it had arisen within his own heart; that solitary "individual" whom with joy and gratitude I call my reader; that solitary "individual" who reads willingly and slowly, who reads over and over again, and who reads aloud — for his own sake.

This kind of reading is not easy for contemporary men and women. All the more reason to make the effort. And, hopefully, doing it in the context of our reading circle (whether in person or online) will make it easier and even more rewarding. Here are a few things that might help:

  1. We asked Alice von Hildebrand—who, as she says, gave 20 years of her life to him—to give our readers a brief introduction to Kierkegaard. Members can listen to that introduction here. (Not a member? Go here to become one.)
  2. The book itself is easily available through Amazon. (I like the translation by Douglas Steere.) And, for those who don't mind that sort of thing, it can also be read online, at www.scribd.com.
  3. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. If you don't finish the entire book before the reading circle meets, but you are signed up for it (so I know you are interested), I will send you some of my favorite passages that I will talk about in my introduction to the discussion.

 

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