By John Dewey
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Additional resources for A Common Faith (The Terry Lectures Series)
See JP III 3074 (IV C 84); Fragments, p. 76 (SV IV 226). 17 The Relevance of Fear and Trembling 25 God—rise above the universal even though this occurs through suffering and resignation. This relationship is strengthened in an essential way in Christianity, but generally speaking it is altogether correct to say that without a relationship to a personal, transcendent power, it is impossible for a human being to rightfully maintain his independence of the universal. Abraham is, of course, the supreme example of this relationship prior to Christianity, but even in our day his example can have great relevance.
43 Bearing these things in mind, one can understand Kierkegaard's subsequent severe attack on the pastor and theologian A. P. Adler, who believed that he had had a revelation but whose garrulousness about it demonstrated just the opposite. "44 As "the true extraordinary," Kierkegaard struggled to find and to give a positive answer to the difficult problems of the future and, as we know, in the course of the next years provided a map of the road that could lead to a renewal. Thus his doubts about, and his denunciation of, his contemporary age, on which Johannes de Silentio had already passed judgment in Fear and Trembling, did not come to the forefront until many years later in the church conflict.
The Relevance of Fear and Trembling 19 The issue in Fear and Trembling centres partly in the requirement that the individual's desires and demands conform to society, partly in the fact that the individual, by reason of conscience, is not always able to acknowledge the laws of society as the highest authority, and partly (and most importantly) in the possibility that God will demand that the individual suspend not only his own desires but also his positive relation to society. In no other of Kierkegaard's works are there as many examples of clashes such as these, and nowhere else are they thrown into such clear relief as here.
A Common Faith (The Terry Lectures Series) by John Dewey