1st Edition

The Routledge Guidebook to Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling

By John Lippitt Copyright 2016
    292 Pages
    by Routledge

    292 Pages
    by Routledge

    Søren Kierkegaard is one of the key figures of nineteenth century thought, whose influence on subsequent philosophy, theology and literature is both extensive and profound. Fear and Trembling, which investigates the nature of faith through an exploration of the story of Abraham and Isaac, is one of Kierkegaard’s most compelling and widely read works. It combines an arresting narrative, an unorthodox literary structure and a fascinating account of faith and its relation to ‘the ethical’.

    The Routledge Guidebook to Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling introduces and assesses:

    • Kierkegaard’s life and the background to Fear and Trembling, including aspects of its philosophical and theological context
    • The text and key ideas of Fear and Trembling, including the details of its account of faith and its connection to trust and hope
    • The book’s reception history, the diversity of interpretations it has been given and its continuing interest and importance

    This Guidebook assumes no previous knowledge of Kierkegaard's work and will be essential reading for anyone studying the most famous text of this important thinker.

    1. Introduction 2. Tuning up: ‘Preface’, ‘Attunement’ and ‘Speech in Praise of Abraham’ 3. Resignation and faith: the ‘Preamble from the Heart’ 4. Suspending the ethical: Problemata I and II 5. The sound of silence: Problema III 6. What is Fear and Trembling really about? 7. How reliable is Johannes de silentio?


    John Lippitt is Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Hertfordshire, UK and Honorary Professor of Philosophy at Deakin University, Australia. He is the author of Kierkegaard and the Problem of Self-Love (2013) and Humour and Irony in Kierkegaard’s Thought (2000), as well as co-editor of Narrative, Identity and the Kierkegaardian Self (2015) and The Oxford Handbook of Kierkegaard (2013).

    ‘Lippitt’s text is exceptionally clear in explaining the background, central ideas, and major secondary literature on Fear and Trembling.’
    Michael Strawser, University of Central Florida, USA

    ‘This is an excellent text. Lippitt gives due consideration to all parts of Fear and Trembling, including the early sections that are often neglected, and provides an insightful account and critical evaluation of the various ways in which Kierkegaard’s notorious book has been interpreted.’
    Rick Anthony Furtak, Colorado College, USA

    'A first-rate Kierkegaard scholar, Lippitt has a gift for conveying complex and difficult ideas in a clear, accessible way, which makes this book an ideal guide for undergraduate students and for other readers coming to Kierkegaard for the first time.'
    David Law, University of Manchester, UK

    ‘John Lippitt is one of the top experts on Fear and Trembling in the English-speaking world. The many insights of his work are distilled here in a form that is accessible to undergraduates, yet also thought-provoking for more advanced scholars. This book is essential for any serious reader of Kierkegaard!’
    John Davenport, Fordham University, USA