Soren Kierkegaard

Fear and Trembling
  • Fear and Trembling

  • In Fear and Trembling, Søren Kierkegaard's infamous and controversial work made a lasting impression on both modern Protestant theology and existentialist philosophers such as Sartre and Camus. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Danish with an introduction by Alistair Hannay.

    Writing under the pseudonym of 'Johannes de silentio', Kierkegaard expounds his personal view of religion through a discussion of the scene in Genesis in which Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son Isaac at God's command. Believing Abraham's unreserved obedience to be the essential leap of faith needed to make a full commitment to his religion, Kierkegaard himself made great sacrifices in order to dedicate his life entirely to his philosophy and to God. The conviction shown in this religious polemic - that a man can have an exceptional mission in life - informed all Kierkegaard's later writings. His 'teleological suspension of the ethical' challenged the contemporary views of Hegel's universal moral system, and was also hugely influential for both protestant theology and the existentialist movement.

    Alastair Hannay's introduction evaluates Kierkegaard's philosophy and the ways in which it conflicted with more accepted contemporary views. This edition also includes detailed notes to complement this groundbreaking analysis of religion, and a new chronology.

    Danish-born S¢ren Kierkegaard (1813-55) wrote on a wide variety of themes, including religion, psychology, and literature. He is remembered for his philosophy, which pioneered the idea of the Absurd, and was influential and in the development of 20th century existentialism. His other works include The Sickness unto Death, Either/Or, and Papers and Journals, all of which are available in Penguin Classics.

    If you enjoyed Fear and Trembling, you might like Kierkegaard's The Sickness unto Death, also available in Penguin Classics.

Kierkegaard (1813-55) was born in Copenhagen, the youngest of seven children. His childhood was unhappy, clouded by the religious fervour of his father, and the death of his mother, his sisters and two brothers. Educated at the School of Civic Virtue, he went on study theology, liberal arts and science at university, gaining a reputation for his academic brilliance and extravagant social life. He began to criticize Christianity, and in 1841 broke off his engagement to concentrate on his writing. Over the next ten years he produced a flood of works, in particular twelve major philosophical essays, many written under noms de plume. By the end of his life he had become an object of public ridicule, but he is now enjoying increasing acclaim. Alastair Hannay was educated at the Edinburgh Academy, the University of Edinburgh and University College London. In 1961 he became a resident of Norway and is now Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oslo.

We use cookies on this site to enable certain parts of the site to function and to collect information about your use of the site so that we can improve our visitors’ experience.

For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here


Strictly Necessary


Analytics


Preferences & Features


Targeting / Advertising