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

Søren Kierkegaard’s Historical Jesus as the Christ of Faith

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In The Concept of Irony (1841) Kierkegaard employs tendency criticism in his analysis, showing how the picture of Socrates is highly dependent upon the perception of the authors describing him: Xenophon, Plato and Aristophanes. Further, in Philosophical Fragments (1844) and the Concluding Unscientific Postscript (1846), following up on Lessing’s problem, if anything historical is capable of offering a point of departure for an eternal consciousness, he develops his paradoxical Christology claiming the divine not to be directly recognizable. Accordingly, one could imagine that Kierkegaard could accept the result of historical critical scholarship claiming the dependence of the gospel stories, on their authors’ perception of Jesus. However, Kierkegaard reads the gospels as if biblical criticism did not exist. The earthly Jesus of the gospels not only is the Christ, but he also has become so without the confession to him as the resurrected Lord. Thus Kierkegaard totally eliminates the “fact” that we have access to the historical Jesus through the reception of his believers alone

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

© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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