Temporal goods, divine love and the poverty of Christ: or, how Kierkegaard’s Ethic in Works of Love is Economically Apathetic
Amongst the most serious objections to Kierkegaard’s ethics in Works of Love (1847) is that it does not seek to change temporal socio-economic or political conditions; on these matters, it is alleged, Kierkegaard’s thought is apathetic. After first discussing Jamie Ferreira’s widely accepted answer to this charge, this article further problematises the issue. Rather than downplaying the implications of Kierkegaard’s claims, in what follows I set the vision of Works of Love’s ethics against the intertextual backdrop of Kierkegaard’s thought on the individual’s relatedness to God, and the nature of the love which God mandates towards others. The linchpin of both these strands of thought is the figure of Jesus Christ: the self-revelation of God and “the prototype” for humanity. The result of this, I argue, is to heighten the potentially objectionable nature of Kierkegaard’s remarks.
Publisher: Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship
Keywords: Kierkegaard; Works of Love; Ethics; Busyness; Theological anthropology
Research Type: Journal Article