Direct Communication In Kierkegaard's The Sickness Unto Death

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My interpretative line of reading direct communication as something that can be employed against the sickness of the age and for the communication of the religious, is also supported by Kierkegaard's opening remarks in The Sickness Unto Death. There, we find him claiming that 'from the Christian point of view, everything, indeed everything, ought to serve for upbuilding. The kind of scholarliness and scienticity that ultimately does not build up is precisely thereby un-Christian. Everything essentially Christian must have in its presentation a resemblance to the way a physician speaks at the sickbed […] it is precisely Christianity's relation to life (in contrast to a scholarly distance from life) or the ethical aspect of Christianity that…show more content…
Notwithstanding the necessity of indirect communication to the effect of teaching ethics, it does not follow that arts and their transmission are a matter completely disconnected from the business of direct communication. After all, in order to teach someone what correct acting consists in - something which, in Kierkegaard's view, requires us first of all to be able to act correctly, and at the same time to actually do so - we need to connect this knowledge to a theoretical description concerning what it is to act, the nature of the subject, the goal of right action, the virtue to be attained through it, etc. To put in Kierkegaard’s own terms, if indirectly communicated subjective truth is a matter of how one lives and directly communicated objective truth is a matter of what one knows or believes, then it must be the case that the latter supports and frame the former. In this light, we can read Kierkegaard's affirmations in Practice in Christianity such as when he claims that 'you do not have the right to appropriate one word of Christ's [...] if you have not become so contemporary with him in his abasement,' or that 'becoming a Christian truly comes to mean becoming contemporary with Christ and if becoming a Christian does not come to mean this, then all this talk about becoming a Christian is futility and fancy and vanity, and in part blasphemy and sin against the Second Commandment of the Law and sin against the Holy Spirit.' We can see how these claims, especially the final part of the second passage, concerns contents which can hardly be described as indirectly communicated. Rather, it is clear how Kierkegaard is transmitting objective information with the goal of upbuilding his readers, and to cause in them an aporetic shock by pointing to their lack of contemporaneity with Christ. Accordingly, he is challenging the what – what people think it is to be a Christian – in

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