Understanding Kierkegaard’s Parables

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About the Book

Kierkegaard is often praised for his poetic writing style. Throughout his works, especially his pseudonymous ones, he often breaks from philosophical prose and instead uses extended metaphors, fairy tales, parables, and allegories. This book, which is the first that directly addresses Kierkegaard’s parables, argues that they help the reader undergo transformative change. It asks why Kierkegaard uses parables in a broad sense, how they function as a form of indirect communication, why Kierkegaard must remain secretive about the purpose of the parables, and how this secrecy plays an important role in Kierkegaard’s authorship.

About the Author(s)

Russell Hamer teaches at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. He has done work in philosophical pedagogy, Kierkegaard, and the intersection of philosophy and pop culture.

Bibliographic Details

Russell Hamer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 197
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8102-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4381-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Abbreviations ix
Introduction 1
Chapter 1. Kierkegaard the Religious Critic 13
Chapter 2. Kierkegaard the Illusionist 42
Chapter 3. Kierkegaard the Poet 78
Chapter 4. Kierkegaard the Storyteller 105
Chapter 5. Kierkegaard the Metaphorical Mirror 136
Postscript 170
Chapter Notes 173
Bibliography 183
Index 187

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “…makes an important contribution to scholarship, by refocusing attention on the parabolic form so important to Kierkegaard.”—Thomas Millay, senior research fellow, Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College