Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 21, 2014

Kierkegaard’s Aesthetics and the Aesthetic of Imitation

Wojciech Kaftański EMAIL logo


This paper challenges the general approach to Kierkegaard’s engagement with imitation, which privileges a strictly religious reading. Heretofore imitation has been apprehended as a coherent concept shaped within the context of imitatio Christi in the devotio moderna. I locate Kierkegaard’s writings in the broader context of mimesis. Analyzing particular mimetic structures woven into the text, I show that a plurality of imitative models that are different from Christ occurs therein. Addressing the distinction between the religious and the aesthetic in Kierkegaard, I inquire into the status of these imitative models. Referring to the term “Mellembestemmelserne” and “ekphrasis”-the rhetorical device of aesthetics-I show that the other models of imitation exhibit supportive roles to the highest type of prototype (Christ) and therefore question the solely religious rendering of mimesis and the aesthetic confines of Kierkegaard’s concept of aesthetics

Published Online: 2014-6-21
Published in Print: 2014-6-1

© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 31.1.2023 from
Scroll Up Arrow