Clare Carlisle
King's College London
As a ‘poet of the religious’, Søren Kierkegaard sets before his reader a constellation of spiritual ideals, exquisitely painted with words and images that evoke their luminous beauty. Among these poetic icons are ideals of purity of heart; love of the neighbour; radiant self-transparency; truthfulness to oneself, to another person, or to God. Such ideals are what the ‘restless heart’ desires, and in invoking them Kierkegaard refuses to compromise on their purity – while insisting also that they are impossible to attain. It is the human condition which makes them impossible, and he is willing to describe this in dogmatic terms as original sin – sin being the refusal and loss of God, and thus also the loss of a self that has its ontological ground in its relationship to God – but he is more concerned to explore it in psychological terms. The human condition is for Kierkegaard characterised not merely by ignorance, but by wilful self-deception
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DOI 10.1017/S1358246111000026
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The Sickness Unto Death.Søen Kierkegaard & Walter Lowrie - 1941 - Princeton University Press.
Nietzsche.Martin Heidegger - 1961 - Harpersanfrancisco.

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