Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard

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Penguin UK, Apr 4, 2019 - Philosophy - 368 pages

Søren Kierkegaard, one of the most passionate and challenging of modern philosophers, is now celebrated as the father of existentialism - yet his contemporaries described him as a philosopher of the heart. Over about a decade in the 1840s and 1850s, writings poured from his pen analysing love and suffering, courage and anxiety, religious longing and defiance, and forging a new philosophical style rooted in the inward drama of being human.

As Christianity seemed to sleepwalk through a changing world, Kierkegaard dazzlingly revealed its spiritual power while exposing the poverty of official religion. His restless creativity was spurred on by own failures: his relationship with the young woman whom he promised to marry, then left to devote himself to writing, haunted him throughout his life.

Though tormented by the pressures of celebrity, he deliberately lived amidst the crowds in Copenhagen, known by everyone but, he felt, understood by no one. When he collapsed exhausted at the age of 42, he was still pursuing the question of existence: how to be a human being in this world?

Clare Carlisle's innovative and moving biography writes Kierkegaard's remarkable life as far as possible from his own perspective, conveying what it was like to be this Socrates of Christendom - as he put it, living life forwards yet only understanding it backwards.

 

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Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Return Journey
Living the Question of Existence
My Regine
In Defiance of PseudoPhilosophers
Following Abraham Home
Life Understood Backwards
The Socrates of Christendom
A New Philosophy of Life
How to be Anxious
Lifes Labyrinth
Life Lived Forwards
At Odds with the World
This is How it is with Me
The Last Battle

Lesson
Come Unto Me
Aesthetic Education
Living without a LifeView
Kierkegaards Afterlife
Notes
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

Clare Carlisle is Reader in Philosophy and Theology at King's College, London. She is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and has written dozens of articles on philosophy for the Guardian. Her last book, On Habit, was named Outstanding Academic Title of 2014 by Choice, and she has recently edited George Eliot's translation of Spinoza's Ethics. She grew up in Manchester, studied philosophy and theology at Cambridge, and now lives in Hackney.