Download Kierkegaard's Critique of Christian Nationalism by Stephen Backhouse PDF

By Stephen Backhouse

'Christian nationalism' refers back to the set of rules during which trust within the improvement and superiority of one's nationwide crew is mixed with, or underwritten by means of, Christian theology and perform. A critique of Christian nationalism is implicit during the considered Soren Kierkegaard, an research inseparable from his wider objective of reintroducing Christianity into Christendom. Stephen Backhouse examines the nationalist theologies of Kierkegaard's contemporaries H.L. Martensen and N.F.S. Grundtvig, to teach how Kierkegaard's notion constructed in accordance with the writings of those very important cultural leaders of the day. Kierkegaard's reaction shaped the spine of his personal philosophical and theological venture, specifically his try and shape genuine Christian members by utilizing 'the moment', 'the jump' and 'contemporaneity'. This learn brings Kierkegaard's critique of Christian nationalism into dialog with present political technology theories of spiritual nationalism and displays at the implications of Kierkegaard's radical procedure. whereas the critique is unsettling to politicians and church leaders alike, however there's a lot to commend it to the truth of contemporary non secular and social existence. As a theological philosopher keenly conscious of the original difficulties posed by means of Christendom, Kierkegaard's critique is well timed for any Christian tradition that's tempted to confuse its religion with patriotism or nationwide association.

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Extra resources for Kierkegaard's Critique of Christian Nationalism

Sample text

Original 1962), 652. Cf. Müller, Dangerous, 21 and n. 6. 253. 110 Cf. TA, 97ff and ch. 5 below. 111 Carl Schmitt, Political Theology trans. George Schwab (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985 originally published 1922). 112 Schmitt, Political, 5. In his introduction, Schwab sees Schmitt’s prioritizing of social stability as paving the way for totalitarian governments. If the ruler can ensure your safety, then he can demand your obedience. This would lead directly to Schmitt’s support for the National Socialists 10 years later.

120 Dooley recognizes that Kierkegaard can be usefully employed in the search for meaningful individual identity in the face of overarching narratives that, by their absolutizing nature, exclude more than they embrace. To this end, Dooley draws from Kierkegaard’s assertion in TA that the genuine community is one that unites around a common idea. 121 Dooley acknowledges that for Kierkegaard, the idea that the genuine community must unite around is the God of the God-man. 124 Thus Dooley attempts to demonstrate how Kierkegaard’s ethics of responsibility can act as a foundation for a radical conception of social relations that does not locate the worth of an individual primarily in his relationship to culture, creed or country.

121 Dooley, Exodus, 8; Cf. TA, 106. 122 Dooley, Exodus, 23. 123 The nuisances and nobodies line comes from a chapter in Crossan’s Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (San Francisco: Harper, 1994), 54–74. 124 Dooely, Exodus, 146, also 144. Against Dooley, I argue below that an overemphasis away from Kierkegaard’s specifically Christian concerns undermines his effectiveness as a political philosopher. 125 Dooley reads Sittlichkeit as effectively conferring divine legitimacy on the powers that be. 126 It is this conclusion, found in Hegel and in Hegel’s followers, that Dooley argues ‘deeply disturbed’ Kierkegaard.

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