Decision, betrayal, and faith

Kierkegaard’s commitment and loyalty to true faith


  • Siobhan Doyle UCD and Saint Nicholas Montessori College of Ireland


Kierkegaard, ethics, God, faith, Christianity


Søren Kierkegaard rejects the Kantian argument that the universal demand of ethics is the highest claim upon the individual. Whilst his Christian existentialism focuses on existence as ethical existence, within his existential framework the highest level of existence is the religious. Kierkegaard makes a distinction on this level between Religiousness A, or the last stage before faith; and Religiousness B, true Christianity. This essay explores the movement from religiousness A to B, and questions the location of the actual transition point, the boundary zone of humour. Since, for Kierkegaard, the divine is both immanent and transcendent, the fluidity of this boundary zone opens up the possibility that religious transition entails a double transcendence. This essay suggests that the highest point of Religiousness A is a movement to a certain form of the divine, whilst the absolute movement to Religiousness B is the reclamation of true faith.

Author Biography

Siobhan Doyle, UCD and Saint Nicholas Montessori College of Ireland

Dr Siobhan Marie Doyle completed her PhD in University College Dublin in 2017 with a comparative study of Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) and Plotinus (203-270 AD). Doyle has been a teaching fellow and module co-ordinator in University College Dublin, while also lecturing in St Nicholas Montessori College of Ireland. She is an active participant in the P4C programme in UCD, which is designed to introduce philosophy to children, and has co-coordinated the Irish Young Philosopher Awards since its inauguration in 2018. Her research interests include the philosophy of religion, applied ethics, ancient philosophy, and educational philosophy. Her article “The Nature of Kierkegaard’s Relationship with Socrates,” was published in Kierkegaard in Process, vol. 1, in 2016.


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