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Authorship and Authority in Kierkegaard's Writings
Bloomsbury Academic

Authorship and Authority in Kierkegaard's Writings

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Authorship and Authority in Kierkegaard's Writings

Authorship is a complicated subject in Kierkegaard's work, which he surely recognized, given his late attempts to explain himself in On My Work as an Author. From the use of multiple pseudonyms and antonyms, to contributions across a spectrum of media and genres, issues of authorship abound.

Why did Kierkegaard write in the ways he did? Before we assess Kierkegaard's famous thoughts on faith or love, or the relationship between 'the aesthetic,' 'the ethical,' and 'the religious,' we must approach how he expressed them. Given the multi-authored nature of his works, can we find a view or voice that is definitively Kierkegaard's own? Can entries in his unpublished journals and notebooks tell us what Kierkegaard himself thought? How should contemporary readers understand inconsistencies or contradictions between differently named authors?

We cannot make definitive claims about Kierkegaard's work as a thinker without understanding Kierkegaard's work as an author. This collection, by leading contemporary Kierkegaard scholars, is the first to systematically examine the divisive question and practice of authorship in Kierkegaard from philosophical, literary and theological perspectives.


““Authorship and Authority” or “A Master of Disguises” – this collection by renowned and early career Kierkegaard scholars weaves a tapestry of different approaches and voices as diverse as Kierkegaard's authorship itself. A must-read for anyone interested in the work of the elusive Dane and the 'meta-philosophy' of his pseudonymous and non-pseudonymous writings.” —Genia Schönbaumsfeld, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southampton, UK

“A practitioner of "the method of indirect communication" Kierkegaard wrote the works that made him immortal under an array of pseudonyms. He also published many texts under his own name and then reflected about the difference between the signed and unsigned works in his Journals, which were intended for publication. Anyone making a serious approach to Kierkegaard must grapple with the hydra-headed question of Kierkegaard's authorship. Boasting a distinguished roster of contributors, this book is balanced, comprehensive, rigorously argued and above all an indispensable guidewire for anyone entering the labyrinth of Kierkegaard's oeuvre.” —Gordon Marino, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College, USA

“This excellent introduction to the most basic question in Kierkegaard scholarship-Is there an authoritative “Kierkegaard” in Kierkegaard's authorship?-has been sorely needed for years! Westfall has given us a text that presents an exceptionally thorough and even-handed orientation to the question while also enabling a richly-contested discussion among some of the best scholars in the field.” —Paul Martens, Associate Professor of Religion, Baylor University, USA

ISBN:  9781350055957