Kierkegaard: Acts of philosophy - the Second Ereignis Conference
How can we enlist the literary image to move readers to act in the world, and how may a philosophical life serve as a theatre in which ideas are enacted? These are key questions for our second Ereignis conference, to be held on-site in Gdynia, Poland, on Saturday, June 11, and on-line on June 12, 2022.
Hosted by Ereignis Center for Philosophy and the Arts, and headlined by internationally acclaimed speakers on literary and political philosophy, this conference seeks to show a wide array of philosophical, literary, and social junctures where Kierkegaard’s philosophy meet with contemporary concerns.
Keynote: Kresten Lundsgaard-Leth
For the Love of God? On Hägglund’s misunderstanding of Fear and Trembling
Abstract Martin Hägglund’s opus from 2019, This Life, has had quite an impact on the philosophy world (and beyond). Building on his previous work, Hägglund advocates a radical secularism that rejects all religious faith and all philosophical striving for transcendence as – in the end – meaningless attempts to rid ourselves of the very conditions of existential meaning whatsoever, namely: the caring relationships to concrete others as these play out under the fragile conditions of complete finitude. In his central chapter on “Responsibility”, Hägglund explicitly criticizes Kierkegaard’s model of faith in Fear and Trembling as a paradigmatic example of the kind of position he revokes. Over and against Hägglund’s critical reading of Kierkegaard, I wish to put forth – and also argue for – two basic claims: Firstly, Hägglund – for a number of reasons – simply misunderstands Kierkegaard’s position wherefore his critique of Fear and Trembling is mostly pretty wide of the mark. Secondly, a better understanding of Kierkegaard’s text actually enables us to see some problematic issues in Hägglund’s own position.