Ph.d., Dr. habil. theol. & phil.
Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
Foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
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The book Søren Kierkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony, and the Crisis of Modernity,
(Oxford: Oxford University Press 2015) has recently appeared in a
Portuguese translation. See the interview with Jon Stewart in the
Brazilian journal Fausto Mag. on occasion of the translation. (December 2017.)
“The Role of the Editor and Translator in Kierkegaard Reception”
Eastern Division Meeting of The American Philosophical Association
The Søren Kierkegaard Society’s annual meeting
Session: “Translation and History of Books: Problems with Kierkegaard in Print”
January 5, 2018
After more than a decade of
work, the series Kierkegaard
Research: Sources, Reception and Resources has now
The first tome of the series was published back in 2007, and now with the publication of volume 21, the three-tome Cumulative Index, the series is finally finished. In all, the series contains 58 individual tomes and a total of 1127 articles by more than 200 Kierkegaard scholars from around the world.
From 2007 until 2015 Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources was published by Ashgate Publishing (Aldershot). The final volumes of the series that appeared in 2016 and 2017 were published by Ashgate’s successor, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group (London and New York).
An online course in Coursera
It is often claimed that relativism, subjectivism and nihilism are typically modern philosophical problems that emerge with the breakdown of traditional values, customs and ways of life. The result is the absence of meaning, the lapse of religious faith, and feeling of alienation that is so widespread in modernity.
The Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) gave one of the most penetrating analyses of this complex phenomenon of modernity. But somewhat surprisingly he seeks insight into it not in any modern thinker but rather in an ancient one, the Greek philosopher Socrates.
In this course we will explore how Kierkegaard deals with the problems associated with relativism, the lack of meaning and the undermining of religious faith that are typical of modern life. His penetrating analyses are still highly relevant today and have been seen as insightful for the leading figures of Existentialism, Post-Structuralism and Post-Modernism.
To date more than 70,000 students from around the world have been involved in the course. The course is absolutely free of charge. No prior knowledge is required.
The course can now be taken on an on-demand basis, and thus students can start at any time and can follow the video lectures at their own pace.
Soren Kierkegaard: Subjetividade, ironia e a crise da modernidade, trans. by Humberto Araújo Quaglio de Souza, Petrópolis RJ: Editora Vozes 2017
(the Portuguese translation of Søren Kierkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony, and the Crisis of Modernity, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2015).
Este livro examina a vida e
a obra desse famoso escritor religioso dinamarquês. Kierkegaard foi uma figura
singular que tem inspirado, provocado, fascinado e irritado as pessoas desde os
tempos em que andava pelas ruas de Copenhague. No fim de sua vida, Kierkegaard
afirmou que o único modelo que ele teve para sua obra foi o filósofo grego
Sócrates. Este livro faz dessa declaração seu ponto de partida. Jon Stewart
investiga o que Kierkegaard quis dizer com essa afirmação, e mostra como
diversos aspectos de seus escritos e de sua estratégia argumentativa remontam a
En este libro el profesor Jon Stewart nos introduce en la originalidad filosófica de Kierkegaard por medio del estudio de la génisis de su pensamiento en dos ámbitos complementarios. Por una parte, hace un interesante estudio histórico de la vida intelectual y cultural danesa del siglo XIX, y la forma en que Kierkegaard asimiló y debatió muchas de sus ideas. Por otra parte, destaca la enorme influencia de Sócrates, en aspectos como la comunicación indirecta, el uso de seudónimos, la ironía, su crítica a la filosofía, entre otros. El profesor Jon Stewart es un reconocido especialista del filósofo danés, autor prolijo que ha contribuido como principal editor en los importantes proyectos: Kierkegaard Research y The Golden Age.
Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press
trans. by Jon Stewart, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press 2018
One of Denmark’s greatest
philosophers during its greatest philosophical period, Frederik
Christian Sibbern (1785-1872) was a major figure on the landscape of the
Danish Golden Age. Profoundly influenced by German philosophy, he was
personally acquainted with figures such as Fichte, Schleiermacher,
Goethe and Schelling. Sibbern had long been interested in the philosophy
of G.W.F. Hegel but had never written any extended analysis of it.
Hegel’s Interpretation of the Religions of the World: The Logic of the Gods
Forthcoming in Fall 2018 with Oxford University Press
In his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, Hegel treats the religions of the world under the rubric “the determinate religion.” This is a part of his corpus that has traditionally been neglected since scholars have struggled to understand what philosophical work it is supposed to do. The present study argues that Hegel’s rich analyses of Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Egyptian and Greek polytheism, and the Roman religion are not simply irrelevant historical material, as is often thought. Instead, they play a central role in Hegel’s argument for what he regards as the truth of Christianity. Hegel believes that the different conceptions of the gods in the world religions are reflections of individual peoples at specific periods in history. These conceptions might at first glance appear random and chaotic, but there is, Hegel claims, a discernible logic in them. Simultaneously a theory of mythology, history and philosophical anthropology, Hegel’s account of the world religions goes far beyond the field of philosophy of religion. The controversial issues surrounding his treatment of the nonEuropean religions are still very much with us today and make his account of religion an issue of continued topicality in the academic landscape of the 21st century.
and Hegel’s Theory of the Emergence of Subjectivity”
Theory of Recognition and Subjective Freedom and the Ethical Challenges
Crisis of the Danish Golden Age and its Modern
Session for the
Conference for the Society for the
Advancement of Scandinavian Studies (SASS)
May 11-13, 2017, Minneapolis. Organizers: Jon Stewart and Nathaniel Kramer
their many interesting debates and polemics, the leading figures of
Golden Age Denmark were in agreement about the fact that their age was
in a state of crisis. They believed that the quick pace of change since
the Enlightenment had led to a sense of alienation from traditional
values and ways of thinking. This produced uncertainty that resulted in
different forms of relativism, subjectivism and nihilism.
poet-philosopher, Johan Ludvig Heiberg, dramatically announced the
great cultural crisis of the day in his treatise On the
Significance of Philosophy for the Present Age from 1833. According
to Heiberg, people in his generation had lost their belief in truth and
beauty in any deeper sense. Likewise, in 1837 the classicist and
philosopher, Poul Martin Møller followed this line of thinking in his
influential article “Thoughts on the Possibility of Proofs of Human
Immortality,” in which he claims that modern scientific and
naturalistic thinking has undermined the traditional belief in the
immortality of the soul. In this context he too explores the movement
of nihilism that he believes characterizes the age. In 1842 the
theologian Hans Lassen Martensen published an article entitled “The
Present Religious Crisis,” where he argues that much of the uncertainty
in religion is the result of the work of, among others, the German
theologian David Friedrich Strauss, who argued that Christianity was a
form of myth. The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard treated the idea of a
cultural and religious crisis in a number of his famous works, such as The Concept of Irony, Either/Or, A Literary Review of Two Ages, and The Moment.
of the texts from the Golden Age strike the reader as profoundly modern
since they seem to anticipate key characteristics of the crisis of the
21st century. In keeping with the conference theme—Nordic Connections:
Old and New—we invite papers focused on the Danish Golden Age and its
philosophical, literary and artistic heritage that explore the theme of
crisis and examine the resemblances between the perils and crises of
the Danish Golden Age and those of our own.
European Cultural Studies, Comparative Literature, Master of Arts in Comparative Humanities (MACH),
and the undergraduate Humanities Fellows
Brandeis University, DuBois Lounge (Rabb Graduate Center, Rm. 119)
March 30, 2017, 4pm
“Hegel’s Use of Recognition and Subjective Freedom in His Interpretation of the Religions of the World”
Boston College, Higgins Hall 225
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Interpretation of the Greek Religion as a Religion of Spirit”
Determinate Religions: Hegel's Interpretation of the Religions of the
Religion of the
Sublime: Hegel’s Controversial Account of Judaism”
“The Determinate Religions: Hegel's Interpretation of the Religions of the World”
Philosophy Department, Boston University
November 4, 2016.Read more
Crisis of Religion and the Logic of the Gods: Hegel’s Interpretation of
Religions of the World”
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard UniversityOctober 19, 2016.
“Humanities Education in a Globalized World
and Our Modern Prejudices”
conference “Classical Education in the 21st Century: Challenges,
Thales Academy, Rolesville, North Carolina
October 7, 2016.Read more
See the video of the lecture
The Conference, “The Registers of Philosophy II,”
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Pázmány Péter Catholic University,
Budapest, Hungary, May 14, 2016.
Read the article
Description of the conference:
Jon Stewart has recently argued in his book The Unity of Content and Form in Philosophical Writing (2013) that the style of contemporary philosophy – particularly in its Anglo-American version – is extremely impoverished. This homogeneity, according to Stewart, has its roots in the scientific model of philosophy and philosophical writing, in the philosophy of language that was popular in the beginning of the last century and in the fact that during the professionalization of philosophy a particular mode of writing proved to be the most useful one. Noting the deep similarities of current philosophical pieces would of course not cause any surprise – but Stewart went on to argue that this kind of uniformity in philosophical writing causes much harm to philosophy itself. The standardization not only causes some thoughts to be only ineffectively expressible in philosophy, but shifts the attention of courses both at undergraduate and graduate level to the regular type of philosophical texts. Irregular genres or styles are left out from the curriculum at many places, their own characteristics and the messages encoded in philosophical styles do not gain attention. ‘By insisting on a single form of writing – Stewart emphasized –, professional philosophy implicitly imposes a certain notion about how to read philosophy.’ The ability to read some classics is fading away. And works falling outside of the scope of the writing which people are now accustomed to are deemed to be unphilosophical, lacking rigor and therefore uninteresting.
Nevertheless one might argue that even nowadays various philosophical genres and styles are flourishing, and not only in continental philosophy. Philosophical novels and poems are being published, philosophy is present in theatres and cinemas, not to mention the different web pages that are dedicated to philosophical topics. Even analytic writings do not always use the same style. Furthermore, as Keith Allen noted in his review of The Unity of Content and Form in Philosophical Writing, ‘Stewart’s selection of case studies to illustrate the diversity of forms that philosophical writing can take raises interesting questions about when it is appropriate to describe a work as a work of philosophy.’
Now how uniform really is today’s philosophy? Is the homogeneity of styles dangerous for philosophy itself? What are the themes that only fit well with some genres or styles? What is the exact connection between content and form? Should philosophers pay attention to genres practiced outside of academia? The aim of our series of conferences is to investigate these questions and more. We would like to look at the problems of content and form in philosophy both from historical and contemporary perspectives, from the viewpoint of analytic and continental philosophy as well as from the standpoint of styles that fall outside the scope of academic philosophy. Stewart claimed that questions of form, genre and style should be entertained not only at the literature departments but by professional philosophers too. As he argued: ‘To read philosophical texts as literature is to miss the specifically philosophical meaning that they contain.’ We would like to give a joint occasion for both of these disciplines to discuss the problems introduced above. Like Stewart, we would like to bring philosophers to the edges of conformity, to explore the various forms and the diverse ways of not only writing, reading and interpreting philosophy but teaching, discussing, presenting, popularizing or doing it.