new Kierkegaard texts

As many whom either know me personally, or know this blog digitally, have ascertained, one of my primary areas of interests is the work of Soren Kierkegaard, and specifically in developing a reading of his work which places him in proximity with the political and ontological concerns of the recent materialists (and/or ‘post-phenomenological’) traditions of European, and specifically French Philosophy. That said, there are two recent works which seem to share a similar concern, which is both exciting and encouraging.

The first, written by Latin American (but US based) Theologian Eliseo Pérez-Álvarez, is entitled A Vexing Gadfly: The Late Kierkegaard on Economic Matters.This one is not only interesting as its the first study (at least that I’m aware of) which takes Kierkegaard seriously on economic matters, and its about time. Even more interesting is that the preface to this book was written by liberation philosopher Enrique Dussel, on whom I wrote much of my MA (on liberation philosophy and theology). It’s always exciting when two seemingly disparate research areas converge. Regardless, I’m waiting for this to be available on, and I will likely post thoughts as soon as its in my hands.

The other book, written by Alison Assiter of University of West England, is titled Kierkegaard, Metaphyics, and Political Theory. Sadly, this is being published in the Continuum series which constantly publishes interesting sounding text in paperback only editions cost over £50, far out of the economic reach of this books prime audience, PhD students. That said, I’m hoping to get an inter-library-loan copy of this book to read, and I’m really looking forward to it. Taking Kierkegaard seriously in regards to metaphysics and politics is one of the issues which helps get me up in the morning, so its exciting to someone else with a similar concern. I must admit, however, that when I first heard of this book I was afraid that it would render my project un-original, but luckily, what I’ve seen of this work so far seems to be far from what I’m working on.

Regardless, both would be interesting for anyone wanting to reckon with Kierkegaard as a political (and inherently non-postmodern) thinker should give these a read. I’ll try my best to post some notes once I acquire these.


3 thoughts on “new Kierkegaard texts

  1. Michael, I share this interest in Kierkegaard the philosopher as well. It was actually Zizek and Badiou’s passing approval of Kierkegaard that first got me thinking of this possibility. Unfortunately, theologians typically dismiss Kierkegaard as too unsystematic for a metaphysics of any kind.

    When you refer to the ontological concerns of the new materialists, do mean primarily the Bergson/Deleuze or Badiou/Zizek spectrums (as both qualify as post-phenomenological)? Also, what are the principal texts you’re engaging with in Kierkegaard for this kind of stuff? Are you familiar with Routledge’s Kierkegaard and Modern Continental Philosophy (although it is very much in line with the phenomenological tradition)?

  2. Glad you’re also a fan of Kierkegaard. I’ve also been happy with his recent attention from Zizek and Badiou, and surprisingly enough, I honestly think Zizek (esp. in Parallax View) has more interesting things to say about Kierkegaard than much of the recent scholarship.

    As for which materialists I’m referring to; my own research has more to do with Sartre/Badiou/Zizek, but my interest in Henry also brings me close to the vitalism of Bergson/Deleuze at points. That said, I’ve ended up using some quotes from both ‘Difference and Repetition’ and ‘What is Philosophy?’ in my first chapter on Kierkegaard, so after more reading I may veer towards a more Deleuzian line.

    Regarding principal text; I honestly didn’t find ‘Kierkegaard and Modern Continental Philosophy’ too helpful, it’s well researched and all, but I felt like it didn’t go ‘far enough’. Some secondary texts I have found helpful are Westphal’s “Kierkegaard’s Critique of Reason and Society”, an edited collection titled “Foundations of Kierkegaard’s Vision of Community” which is excellent, although far too Derridean for me, Mark Dooley’s “The Politics of Exodus” is good on Kierkegaard in relation to politics and Hegel, and anything written by James Marsh is great as well. As for primary text, I’ve mainly emphasized the Postscript, Two Ages, Sickness Unto Death, Practice in Christianity, and Works of Love; but I’m sure there is much more out there. Also, although not completely related, I have found Marcus Pound’s work helpful in his putting Kierkegaard into dialogue with Lacan, this helps set Kierkegaard up for dialogue with the ‘post lacanians’ quite well.

  3. dave says:

    Michael, this comment might be coming out of the blue, but I was going through your old posts on SK because he is one of my biggest influences and in the future I want to continue thinking with him. Anyways, I saw recently that you posted a review of the Assiter book, but have you read the Perez-Alvarez one? I came across it a few weeks ago and added it to my Amazon wish-list, as it looks to be pretty interesting.

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