Kierkegaard Research

Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources




Edited by Jon Stewart
Aldershot: Ashgate 2008. xviii+330pp.


This volume features articles which employ source-work research to trace Kierkegaard’s understanding and use of authors from the Patristic and Medieval traditions. It covers an extraordinarily long period of time from Cyprian and Tertullian in the second century to Thomas à Kempis in the fifteenth. Despite its heterogeneity and diversity in many aspects, this volume has a clear point of commonality in all its featured sources: Christianity.

Kierkegaard’s relation to the Patristic and Medieval traditions has been a rather neglected area of research in Kierkegaard studies. This is somewhat surprising given the fact that the young Kierkegaard learned about the Patristic authors during his studies at the University of Copenhagen and was clearly fascinated by many aspects of their writings and the conceptions of Christian religiosity found there.


With regard to the medieval tradition, in addition to numerous theological issues, there were many other themes that exercised Kierkegaard during different periods of his life: medieval mysticism, medieval art, the medieval church, troubadour poetry and the monastic movement.


Although far from uncritical, he seems at times to idolize both the Patristic tradition and the Middle Ages as contrastive terms to the corrupt and decadent modern world with its complacent Christianity. While he clearly regards the specific forms of this Medieval appropriation of Christianity to be misguided, he is nonetheless positively disposed toward the general understanding of it as something to be lived and realized by each individual.

Table of Contents

Part I: The Patristic Tradition

: Kierkegaard’s Curious Comment
Robert Puchniak


Augustine: Kierkegaard’s Tempered Admiration of Augustine
Robert Puchniak

Bernard of Clairvaux: Kierkegaard’s Reception of the Last
of the Fathers
Jack Mulder, Jr.


Chrysostom: Between the Hermitage and the City
Leo Stan

Cyprian of Carthage: Kierkegaard, Cyprian, and the “urgent needs of the times”
Jack Mulder, Jr.

Gregory of Nyssa: Locating the Cappadocian Fathers in Kierkegaard’s Church-Historical Narrative
Joseph Ballan


Irenaeus: On Law, Gospel and the Grace of Death
Paul Martens

Origen: Kierkegaard’s Equivocal Appropriation of Origen of Alexandria
Paul Martens

Pelagius: Kierkegaard’s Use of Pelagius and Pelagianism
Robert Puchniak


Tertullian: The Teacher of the credo quia absurdum
Pierre Bühler


Part II: The Medieval Tradition

: Kierkegaard’s Reflections on the Unhappy Love of a Scholastic Dialectician
István Czakó

: The Ambivalent Legacy of Faith Seeking Understanding
Lee C. Barrett

: Kierkegaard’s View Based on Scattered and Uncertain Sources
Benjamin Olivares-Bøgeskov

: Kierkegaard and The Consolation
Joseph Westfall

Dante: Tours of Hell: Mapping the Landscape of Sin and Despair
Thomas Miles

Meister Eckhart: The Patriarch of German Speculation, a Lebemeister
Peter Šajda

: Kierkegaard’s Few and One-Sided References to a Like-Minded Thinker
Karl Verstrynge 

: A Teacher in Spiritual Dietethics
Peter Šajda

Thomas à Kempis
: Devotio Moderna and Kierkegaard’s Critique of “Bourgeois-Philistinism”
Joel D. S. Rasmussen

Trobadour Poetry
: The Young Kierkegaard’s Study on Troubadours—“with Respect to the Concept of the Romantic”
Tonny Aagaard Olesen




Kierkegaard and the Bible,
Tomes I-II


Volume 2

Kierkegaard and the
Greek World,
Tomes I-II


Volume 3

Kierkegaard and the
Roman World


Volume 4
Kierkegaard and the

Patristic and

Medieval Traditions


Volume 5
Kierkegaard and the
Renaissance and
Modern Traditions,
Tomes I-III


Volume 6

Kierkegaard and his
German Contemporaries,
Tomes I-III


Volume 7

Kierkegaard and his
Danish Contemporaries,
Tomes I-III




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