Kierkegaard and Levinas : The Subjunctive Mood book cover
1st Edition

Kierkegaard and Levinas
The Subjunctive Mood

ISBN 9781138263901
Published November 15, 2016 by Routledge
306 Pages

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Book Description

The Danish Christian existentialist Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) and the Jewish Lithuanian-born French interpreter of modern phenomenology Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) have enabled theology and philosophy to illuminate and confront one another in radical and important ways. This book addresses the theological and philosophical thought of both Kierkegaard and Levinas with a focus on the special form that exists in the grammar of many languages for cases of uncertainty, possibility, hypothesis and for expressions of hope: the subjunctive mood. As well as presenting arguments and observations about Kierkegaard and Levinas through an analysis of the subjunctive mood, Patrick Sheil offers an interesting and accessible way into the thought of these two major European philosophers and he explores a wide range of Kierkegaardian and Levinasian texts throughout.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Identity and the subjunctive; Representing the seducer; Interrupting philosophy: the complaint about knowledge; Transcendence and negativity; The moodiness of the subjunctive; The accusation of ethics; Working through love: the subjunctive hopes all things; Freedom; Suffering, faith and forgiveness; Concluding with the unscientific; Bibliography; Index.

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Patrick Sheil read English and Modern Languages at King's College Cambridge, where he then completed an M.Phil. degree, as well as the doctorate on which this book is based. He is now a news writer and web developer for Cambridgeshire County Council.


’Enhancing the linguistic perspective, Sheil is thus able to systematically displace the accents, inviting us to reread carefully Kierkegaard and Levinas, bringing forth hidden dimensions that only the linguistic approach is able to unveil. In Sheil’s work, the idea of grammar as philosophy inspires hermeneutics, offering the reader a genuine philosophical exercise more than a mere comparative study.’ Journal of Religion