Kierkegaard's Concept of Faith
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In this book renowned philosopher Merold Westphal unpacks the writings of nineteenth-century thinker Søren Kierkegaard on biblical, Christian faith and its relation to reason.

Across five books — Fear and Trembling, Philosophical Fragments, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Sickness Unto Death, and Practice in Christianity — and three pseudonyms, Kierkegaard sought to articulate a biblical concept of faith by approaching it from a variety of perspectives in relation to one another. Westphal offers a careful textual reading of these major discussions to present an overarching analysis of Kierkegaard’s conception of the true meaning of biblical faith.

Though Kierkegaard presents a complex picture of faith through his pseudonyms, Westphal argues that his perspective is a faithful and illuminating one, making claims that are important for philosophy of religion, for theology, and most of all for Christian life as it might be lived by faithful people.


Merold Westphal is Distinguished Professor of PhilosophyEmeritus at Fordham University and an adjunct professor atAustralian Catholic University. His books have won awardsfrom Choice magazine, the American Academyof Religion, Christianity Today, and The NationalJesuit Honor Society.


Simon D. Podmore
-- Liverpool Hope University
"Merold Westphal's reputation as one of the most profound and lucid interpreters of Kierkegaard's thought is further confirmed in this compelling and erudite book. . . . This work takes us right into the heart of a vision of Kierkegaard which is at once accessible and eloquent, scholarly and reflective, welcoming and challenging. A true companion to Kierkegaard's thought."

Sylvia Walsh
-- Stetson University
"Likening faith to a many-faceted gem in Kierkegaard's authorship, Merold Westphal examines with the precision of a jeweler's eye twelve facets of faith by three pseudonyms in five texts. To shed light on this complex concept, he brings to bear his notable expertise in ideology critique, philosophy of religion, postmodernism, epistemology, and phenomenology along with a touch of humor and a wealth of illustrations from popular culture and classical literature. . . . An enlightening, enjoyable, and edifying read."

Gordon Marino
-- Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College
"A clear, elegantly written, and rigorously argued reading of Kierkegaard's major texts, this book will be a boon to both beginners and advanced scholars. . . . Merold Westphal is one of the doyens of Kierkegaard studies, and this text is one of his greatest contributions to the interpretation of the Danish philosopher/poet."

Mark Tietjen
-- University of West Georgia
"In this volume Merold Westphal illumines a central concept in Kierkegaard's pseudonymous writings - faith in all of its unique facets, their interrelation, and the broader philosophical and theological contexts out of which these ideas emerge and to which they continue to speak. Westphal clarifies and subsequently pushes forward a number of ongoing conversations in Kierkegaard scholarship yet also manages to invite the nonspecialist to hold up a mirror to critique and challenge his or her own trusting relation to God."

M. Jamie Ferreira
-- University of Virginia
"This book is important for a dual audience. Westphal not only contributes significantly to ongoing scholarly debates about Kierkegaard but also offers eminently readable discussions of Kierkegaard's famous texts that will be valuable for those who are new to him."