Discourses at the Communion on Fridays by Søren Kierkegaard, Sylvia Walsh

By Søren Kierkegaard, Sylvia Walsh

Søren Kierkegaard's thirteen communion discourses represent a unique style one of the a number of kinds of non secular writing composed via Kierkegaard. initially released at various occasions and areas, Kierkegaard himself believed that those discourses served as a unifying point in his paintings and have been an important for realizing his non secular idea and philosophy as a complete. Written in an intensely own liturgical context, the communion discourses arrange the reader for participation during this ceremony through emphasizing the suitable posture for forgiveness of sins and confession.

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Introduction 27 atonement as opposed to others. Clearly, Kierkegaard does not understand the atonement in terms of the classic theory of atonement as an objective, impersonal, cosmic event in which a transaction takes place between God and Satan to free us from the bondage of sin and evil. ” Rather, he views it as a present event in which we are not merely spectators but accomplices, inasmuch as it is the whole human race, to which all of us belong, that is responsible for his death (65–66). In line with the Latin theory, however, Kierkegaard does view Christ’s death on the cross as a sacrifice that makes repayment or satisfaction for the sins of the world and for his crucifixion, but he understands this sacrifice in a more personal manner as being offered “not for human beings in general” nor “to save human beings in general” but “to save each one individually” (59).

90. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, ed. Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert, trans. Charles Arand, Eric Gritsch, Robert Kolb, William Russell, James Schaaf, Jane Strohl, and Timothy J. : Fortress Press, 2000), 44–45, 184–85, 320, 362, 467–70, 505–506, 599, 591–615. 91 As noted above, however, Kierkegaard is not interested in expositing Eucharistic doctrines in the communion discourses but rather in concentrating our attention on Christ’s real presence at the altar—not only in the elements themselves but audibly as well.

For a detailed discussion of the main types of atonement theory, see Gustaf Aulén, Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of the Atonement (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1950). On Kierkegaard’s view of the atonement, see also Sylvia Walsh, Kierkegaard: Thinking Christianly in an Existential Mode (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 132–37. 26 Introduction theological question of how Christ could have let human beings become guilty of putting him to death and concludes that “his death is the Atonement for his death,” and a brief discussion of the comfort the atonement brings to believers in An Upbuilding Discourse (1850),93 the communion discourses are the only place in Kierkegaard’s authorship where the significance of the atonement for the single individual is actually spelled out.

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