Reply to Eleanor Helms on Faith Versus Reason in Kierkegaard

Faith and Philosophy 35 (3):367-372 (2018)
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Abstract

Two reasons are given for speaking of “reason” even where Kierkegaard’s pseudonym, Climacus, speaks of “understanding.” First, we are dealing with a significant contribution to a centuries-old discussion of an issue that goes by the name of “faith and reason.” Second, whereas Kant and Hegel sharply distinguish mere understanding from reason, no such distinction is at work in Kierkegaard’s text. At issue is the quite different distinction of unaided human reason and divine revelation. It is not just any notion of reason that is the target of Kierkegaard’s critique, but an autonomous reason, independent of revelation, that claims hegemony over biblical faith in both its popular and academic forms. This hegemony expresses itself in both outright rejection of and radical reinterpretation of elements of biblical faith.

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