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Thinking Theologically is a group that is intended to empower and encourage deeper thinking, on a theological level, through problems, situations and our reality using published theological thought to nourish our conversation.  While slightly academic, and potentially abstract, the intention is to be pragmatic and realistic, learning and developing theological and/or analytical skills to applying Christian teaching and the Word of Jesus to daily life in all of its dimensions: social, economic, physical, spiritual, technological, relational and ecclesiastical.

 

You don't have to have a degree in order to participate.  Nor even have ever done any serious theological study or received any philosophical training.  The goal is to be learning, expanding our horizons and asking questions of each other and ourselves.  You will be expected though to have done some part of the reading or pre-gathering reflection if you are going to vocally participate.  As the goal is not to receive a lesson or conviction of any one person, but rather to work through the posed question and thought articulated in our reading.  That being said, you don't have to understand all of it, nor any of it, to join in the conversation.

 


Søren Kierkegaard

Tuesday, May 16th, 7:30pm

Our text-driven discussion will circle around the  theological conundrum posed in the work of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard who first articulated the “leap of faith” expression.

 

DOWNLOAD THE CLASS NOTES & QUESTIONS :: PDF LINK


Søren Kierkegaard 

(5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855)  

 was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.  He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment.  

 

Kierkegaard's theological work focuses on Christian ethics, the institution of the Church, the differences between purely objective proofs of Christianity, the infinite qualitative distinction between man and God, and the individual's subjective relationship to the God-Man Jesus the Christ,  which came through faith. Much of his work deals with Christian love. He was extremely critical of the practice of Christianity as a state religion, primarily that of the Church of Denmark. His psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. 

Some of Kierkegaard's key ideas include the concept of "Truth as Subjectivity", the knight of faith, the recollection and repetition dichotomy, angst, the infinite qualitative distinction, faith as a passion, and the three stages on life's way. Kierkegaard's writings were written in Danish and were initially limited to Scandinavia, but by the turn of the 20th century, his writings were translated into major European languages, such as French and German. By the mid-20th century, his thought exerted a substantial influence on philosophy, theology, and Western culture.

 

Notably, he wrote: "Science and scholarship want to teach that becoming objective is the way. Christianity teaches that the way is to become subjective, to become a subject." While scientists can learn about the world by observation, Kierkegaard emphatically denied that observation could reveal the inner workings of the world of the spirit.

introduction to Kierkegaard adapted from the Wikipedia Entry you can find [HERE].


Readings for our Discussion

 

An overview of the thought of Kierkegaard from Donald Palmer's super accessible "Looking at Philosophy.  [Palmer PDF DOWNLOAD]

 

The parable of the King and the Maiden.  [PDF DOWNLOAD].

Watch a video version of the parable below.