Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (1):25-47 (2011)

This article explains and assesses a particular method of loving others that is espoused by Søren Kierkegaard. In his later works, Kierkegaard advocates a kind of deceptive love whereby one mystifies or deceives another person for that other person's own good. The theological underpinning of this mode of love is found in the imitation of Christ. In other words, just as Jesus adopted an incognito, so also Christians should, at times, appear different or lowlier in order to help others by meeting them where they are. After explaining this form of love, I argue that there are considerable reasons not to follow Kierkegaard in his support of outright deception within personal relationships. I conclude with some brief reflections on whether the deceptive structure of Kierkegaard's own authorship is thereby condemned or whether it can be exonerated
Keywords imitation of Christ  mystification  deception  ethics  love  Kierkegaard
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2010.00464.x
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References found in this work BETA

The Sickness Unto Death.Søen Kierkegaard & Walter Lowrie - 1941 - Princeton University Press.
Fear and Trembling.Søren Kierkegaard - 1941 - Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday.

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