Thursday, January 11, 2018

Stephen Westerholm on Kierkegaard and Scholarship

Stephen Westerholm has a great little reflection on Kierkegaard's Sickness unto Death and scholarship in the latest Expository Times (behind a pay wall). An excerpt:

"From a Christian perspective, he insisted, all scholarship, however rigorous, should, in the end, be edifying, concerned with what it means to live as a human being. And to live as a human being is to live ‘alone with the immense strenuousness, alone with the immense responsibility’ of life in the presence of God. Scholarship that distances itself from the concerns of such a life, that prides itself in its ‘objective’ approach and its ‘disinterested’ results, is marked by an ‘inhuman curiosity’; it is ‘frivolous and vain’. … For Kierkegaard, then, all Christian scholarship resembles the lecture of a teaching physician at the side of a sick-bed: however rigorous the lecture, its character is nonetheless shaped by its location—beside the-sick bed. Christian scholars may well want to expand the subject matter of their studies beyond what Kierkegaard seems to allow. But we would do well to bear in mind what he says of our location." - Stephen Westerholm. “And Finally….” Expository Times 129.4 (2018): 190.

If your library subscribes to the Expository Times, find it, and read the whole thing.


Unknown said...

Thanks for pointing this out! Kierkegaard's relationship to scholarship is interesting. Other people's takes on Kierkegaard on scholarship is very interesting. But then, I find anything Kierkegaard-related interesting.

d. miller said...

Thanks for the comment, James. Westerholm has a whole chapter on Kierkegaard in his Reading Sacred Scripture (Eerdmans, 2016). Well worth a read.