Trembling in fear and ecstasy
Kierkegaard’s leap of faith as a source of the sublime
Keywords:leap of faith, Kierkegaard, sublime, Longinus, esthetics
This essay investigates how Søren Kierkegaard’s leap of faith can be viewed as a sublime esthetic experience along the lines of the theories of Longinus and Edmund Burke. In Kierkegaard leaps of faith incorporate feelings of terror and passion. Grounded in notions of eternity and truth, they create occasions for particular kinds of sublime experiences. To Kierkegaard the leap of faith is the step by which one grows into one’s authentic self. This essay suggests that the leap of faith is significant also because of its intrinsic esthetic value.
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