Fathers and sons
an attempt to make some loving sense of Johannes de Silentio’s Fear and Trembling
Keywords:Kierkegaard, Existentialism, Fear and Trembling, faith, paradoxality, ethical life
In this article, I take a closer look at the inconsistencies of Johannes de Silentio's position in Fear and Trembling. First, the article lays out the different inconsistencies of de Silentio's text. Secondly, I argue the case that the ultimate tension of the Abraham narrative is the way in which it points toward the self-sacrifice - and teachings - of Christ. Thirdly, I consider Robert A. Paul's reconstruction of Freud's analysis of the foundational myth of Moses and the establishment of Western civilization. Whereas it is Paul's point that we need to re-experience the guilt of mythical crimes to make sense of Christian atonement, I suggest that we must go through Abraham's - potentially fatal - faithful suspension of the ethical in order to understand why both God and loving deeds must ultimately be understood as self-sacrificial and other-concerning.
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