Between Kierkegaard and Descartes
faith, reason, and the ontology of creation
Keywords:Kierkegaard, Descartes, creation, faith, reason
In this essay I pose the question of the relationship between faith and reason by examining central texts of Kierkegaard and Descartes. I focus particularly on the relationship of the Genesis story creation – its ontology and ethics – to Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling and Descartes’ Meditations and Discourse on Method in order to examine the history and ethics that underpin the latter three texts. I argue that, in aligning their projects with biblical principles and values, and in also distinguishing their work from the principles and values underpinning ancient Greek thought, Kierkegaard and Descartes together teach us that existence cannot be divided between faith and reason, that existence is religious or philosophical, faithful or rational, only if it is both simultaneously.
The Bible. Revised Standard Version. Meridian, 1974.
Descartes, René. Discourse on Method in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Volume I. Trans. Cottingham, Stoothoff, and Murdoch. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1985.
Descartes, René. Meditations in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Volume II. Trans. Cottingham, Stoothoff, and Murdoch. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1984.
Kierkegaard, Søren. The Concept of Irony. Trans. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989.
Kierkegaard, Søren. Fear and Trembling. Trans. Alastair Hannay. London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1985.
Kierkegaard, Søren. Philosophical Fragments. Howard . Hong nd dna H. Hong. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985.
Kierkegaard, Søren. Works of Love. Trans. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995.
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