Kierkegaard Research

Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources




Volume 10:
Kierkegaard's Influence on Theology

Edited by Jon Stewart


Tome I: German Protestant Theology
Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate 2012.


Tome II: Anglophone and Scandinavian

Protestant Theology
Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate 2012.

Tome III: Catholic and Jewish Theology

Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate 2012.


Kierkegaard has always enjoyed a rich reception in the fields of theology and religious studies. This reception might seem to be obvious given the fact that he is one of the most important Christian writers of the nineteenth century. However, upon closer examination, the matter is not so obvious as it may seem since Kierkegaard was by no means a straightforward theologian in any traditional sense. He had no enduring interest in some of the main fields of theology such as church history or biblical studies, and he is strikingly silent on many key Christian dogmas. Moreover, he harbored a degree of animosity towards the university theologians and churchmen of his own day. Despite this, he has been a source of inspiration for numerous religious writers from different denominations and traditions.

Tome I: German Protestant Theology

Tome I is dedicated to the reception of Kierkegaard among German Protestant theologians and religious thinkers. The writings of some of these figures turned out to be instrumental for Kierkegaard’s breakthrough internationally shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. Leading figures of the movement of “dialectical theology” such as Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann spawned a steadily growing awareness of and interest in Kierkegaard’s thought among generations of German theology students. Emanuel Hirsch was greatly influenced by Kierkegaard and proved instrumental in disseminating his thought by producing the first complete German edition of Kierkegaard’s published works. Both Barth and Hirsch established unique ways of reading and appropriating Kierkegaard, which to a certain degree determined the direction and course of Kierkegaard studies right up to our own times.


Table of Contents


Karl Barth: The Dialectic of Attraction and Repulsion
Lee C. Barrett 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Standing “in the Tradition of Paul, Luther, Kierkegaard, in the Tradition of Genuine Christian Thinking”
Christina Tietz

Emil Brunner: Polemically Promoting Kierkegaard’s Christian Philosophy of Encounter
Curtis L. Thompson

Rudolf Bultmann: Faith. Love and Self-Understanding
Heiko Schulz 

Gerhard Ebeling: Appreciation and Critical Appropriation of Kierkegaard
Derek Nelson 

Emanuel Hirsch: A German Dialogue with “Saint Søren”
Matthias Wilke

Jürgen Moltmann: Taking a Moment for Trinitarian Eschatology
Curtis L. Thompson

Franz Overbeck: Kierkegaard and the Decay of Christianity
David R. Law 

Wolfhart Pannenberg: Kierkegaard’s Anthropology Tantalizing Public Theology’s Reasoning Hope
Curtis L. Thompson  

Christoph Schrempf: The "Swabian Socrates" as Translator of Kierkegaard
Gerhard Schreiber

Helmut Thielicke: Kierkegaard’s Subjectivity for a Theology of Being
Kyle A. Roberts 

Paul Tillich: An Ambivalent Appropriation
Lee C. Barrett

Ernst Troeltsch: Kierkegaard, Compromise and Dialectical Theology
Mark Chapman



"This volume contains fascinating articles on each of the key thinkers [in the German reception], with in-depth analysis on the Kierkegaard texts they read, how they used them, and what impact he made on their overall thought. These studies highlight insightful details and patterns that will be of enormous use to those wishing to navigate the thought-trends of these early theologians....As expected of this impressive series, these essays are impeccably researched, proving extremely valuable both for Kierkegaard scholarship and those wishing to map theological trajectories more generally."
Aaron Edwards, Theological Book Review, vol. 24, no. 2, 2012, p. 3.



Tome II: Anglophone and Scandinavian Protestant Theology

Tome II is dedicated to tracing Kierkegaard’s influence in Anglophone and Scandinavian Protestant religious thought. Kierkegaard has been a provocative force in the English-speaking world since the early twentieth century, inspiring almost contradictory receptions. In Britain, before World War I the few literati who were familiar with his work tended to assimilate Kierkegaard to the heroic individualism of Ibsen and Nietzsche. In the United States knowledge of Kierkegaard was introduced by Scandinavian immigrants who brought with them a picture of the Dane as being much more sympathetic to traditional Christianity. The interpretation of Kierkegaard in Britain and America during the early and mid-twentieth century generally reflected the sensibilities of the particular theological interpreter. The Anglican theologians generally found Kierkegaard to be too one-sided in his critique of reason and culture, while theologians hailing from the Reformed tradition often saw him as an insightful harbinger of neo-orthodoxy. The second part of Tome II is dedicated to the Kierkegaard reception in Scandinavian theology, featuring articles on Norwegian and Swedish theologians influenced by Kierkegaard.


Table of Contents


Part I: Anglophone Theology

Edward John Carnell: A Skeptical Neo-Evangelical Reading
Silas Morgan

Harvey Gallagher Cox, Jr.: An Uncomfortable Theologian
Wary of Kierkegaard
Silas Morgan

Stanley J. Grenz: An Unfinished Engagement with Kierkegaard
Paul Martens

John Alexander Mackay: The Road Approach to Truth
Mariana Alessandri

Hugh Ross Mackintosh: Kierkegaard as “A Precursor of Karl Barth”
David J. Gouwens

John Macquarrie: Kierkegaard as a Resource for
Anthropocentric Theology
David R. Law

Reinhold Niebuhr
: The Logic of Paradox for a Theology
of Human Nature
Kyle A. Roberts

Gene Outka: Kierkegaard’s Influence on Outka’s Writing on Neighbor Love, Equality, Individuality and the Ethical
Sarah Pike Cabral 

Francis Schaeffer: How Not to Read Kierkegaard
Kyle A. Roberts

Part II: Scandinavian Theology

Gisle Christian Johnson
: The First Kierkegaardian in Theology?
Svein Aage Christoffersen

Anders Nygren
: Influence in Reverse?
Carl S. Hughes



"Overall, this is a vigorously-researched and stimulating collection that further breeds discussion over Kierkegaard's relationship to theology. Well-known areas of disputation are seen here through the eyes of many who have wrestled with assessing Kierkegaard’s value in theological discourse. It seems the Dane’s inconvenient voice is not easily muted, even by those who would rather he had been a little quieter."
Aaron Edwards, Theological Book Review, vol. 24, no. 2, 2012, p. 4.


Tome III: Catholic and Jewish Theology

Tome III explores the reception of Kierkegaard’s thought in the Catholic and Jewish theological traditions. Although the first Catholic reactions to Kierkegaard appeared shortly after his death, it is especially in the early decades of the twentieth century that Kierkegaard’s thought became an important topic in the Catholic circles. In the 1920s Kierkegaard’s intellectual and spiritual legacy became widely discussed in the Catholic Hochland Circle, whose members included Theodor Haecker, Romano Guardini, Alois Dempf and Peter Wust. Another key figure of the mid-war years was the prolific Jesuit author Erich Przywara. During and especially after World War II Kierkegaard’s ideas found an echo in the works of several trend-setting Catholic theologians of the day such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac and the popular spiritual author Thomas Merton. The second part of Tome III focuses on the reception of Kierkegaard’s thought in the Jewish theological tradition, introducing the reader to authors who significantly shaped Jewish religious thought both in the United States and in Israel. These theologians come from and represent a variety of religious and political backgrounds: the spiritual world of Hasidism, Modern Orthodox Judaism of Mithnaggedic origin, and Modern Religious Zionism.


Table of Contents


Part I: Catholic Theology

Hans Urs von Balthasar: Persuasive Forms or Offensive Signs? Kierkegaard and the Problems of Theological Aesthetics
Joseph Ballan

Eugen Biser
: Rediscovering “Christology from Inside”
Ulli Roth

Romano Guardini: Between Actualistic Personalism, Qualitative Dialectic and Kinetic Logic
Peter Šajda

Friedrich von Hügel: Kierkegaard as Non-Mystical Ascetic and One-Sided Defender of Transcendence
David R. Law

Henri de Lubac: Locating Kierkegaard Amid the “Drama” of
Nietzschean Humanism
Christopher B. Barnett

Thomas Merton: Kierkegaard, Merton and Authenticity
Erik M. Hanson

Erich Przywara: Catholicism’s Great Expositor of the
“Mystery” of Kierkegaard
Christopher B. Barnett

Part II: Jewish Theology

Abraham Joshua Heschel: Heschel’s Use of Kierkegaard as
Cohort in Depth Theology
Jack Mulder, Jr. 

Abraham Isaac Kook: Faith of Awe and Love
Tamar Aylat-Yaguri

J.B. Soloveitchik: Between Neo-Kantianism and Kierkegaardian Existentialism
David D. Possen



Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources is continuing to prove a remarkable achievement and is cumulatively providing an important point of reference for all those working on Kierkegaard….Like other volumes in the series, this contains work of a very high quality, thoroughly researched and clearly presented.”
George Pattison, Marginalia: A Review of Books in History, Theology and Religion, January 29, 2013.



Volume 8

Kierkegard’s International Reception
Tomes I-III


Volume 9

Kierkegaard’s Influence on Existentialism

Volume 10

Kierkegaard’s Influence on Theology

Tomes I-III

Volume 11

Kierkegaard’s Influence on Philosophy
Tomes I-III

Volume 12

Kierkegaard’s Influence on Literature and Criticism
Tomes I-V

Volume 13

Kierkegaard’s Influence on the Social Sciences

Volume 14

Kierkegaard’s Influence on Social-Political Thought



















































































































































The series Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources is published Routledge Research, Philosophy
Routledge / Taylor & Francis Group, 711 Third Ave., Eighth Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA

Jon Stewart©2007-2020