Kierkegaard, Language and the Reality of God
by Dr. Steven Shakespeare
Debate about the reality of God risks becoming an arid stalemate. An unbridgeable gulf seems to be fixed between realists, arguing that God exists independently of our language and beliefs, and anti-realists for whom God-language functions to express human spiritual ideals, with no reference to a reality external to the faith of the believer. Søren Kierkegaard has been enlisted as an ally by both sides of this debate.
Kierkegaard, Language and the Reality of God presents a new approach, exploring the dynamic nature of Kierkegaard's texts and the way they undermine neat divisions between realism and anti-realism, objectivity and subjectivity. Showing that Kierkegaard's understanding of language is crucial to his practice of communication, and his account of the paradoxes inherent in religious discourse, Shakespeare argues that Kierkegaard advances a form of 'ethical realism' in which the otherness of God is met in the making of liberating signs. Not only are new perspectives opened on Kierkegaard's texts, but his own contribution to ongoing debates is affirmed in its vital, creative and challenging significance.
'In this rich and suggestive book, Steven Shakespeare guides us through two important ways in which Kierkegaard's thought on language might be illuminating: first, with respect to language in general, in our relation to each other, and second, in relation to theological language... the importance of the topic and the quality of conceptual analysis, textual exegesis, and historical contextualization make this book rewarding reading.' Modern Theology
'... a wonderful contribution to the ongoing debate between realist and anti-realist interpretations of Kierkegaard... Shakespeare is to be commended for his own passionate quest to inhabit the space of difference between realists and anti-realists. His search to be faithful to SK and God is in evidence throughout although he is no worshipper of SK per se. May his book get the wide readership it so justly deserves.' Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter
This product was added to our catalog on Friday 14 June, 2013.