Footnotes, Chapter 6c
Kierkegaard and Radical Discipleship: A New Perspective (Eller)
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In Dru’s and in Rohde’s selections from Kierkegaard’s journals, the number identifies an entry rather than a page; the date following is that of the particular entry.
2. There is a further distinction between the Hegelian and the Kierkegaardian dialectics which constantly should be borne in mind. Because the Hegelian dialectic operates with intellectual concepts, and because concepts are essentially stable, fixed, defined, and thus inanimate, "synthesis" is made possible. Once achieved, the "synthesis" is itself a concept, a third concept which is just as fixed and stable as its parents had been. And once that synthesis is accomplished, the prior dialectic becomes completely relaxed; the parent concepts are transcended and supplanted; the synthesis itself stands ready to perform as a new thesis. But in the existential dialectic of Kierkegaard, "synthesis" would negate the whole idea, for the pattern derives its dynamic precisely from the living and continuing tension between the two positives. To resolve the paradox or to stabilize the situation by defining a middle-ground compromise would be to rob the relationship of its life and vitality. The goal of such dialectic explicitly is not to transcend or synthesize the dichotomy but to keep both poles distinctly in view through constant alternation, through the attempt at simultaneity, through the ever gaining and regaining of balance.
From the above follows a very important implication: The characteristic Kierkegaardian theme of "either/or" is not part of S.K.'s conception of "dialectic"--as many commentators would have it "Either/or" is the proper approach to a thing and its contradictory, to items which are essentially incompatible; to fail to make the decisive choice here is to sin. But on the other hand, (although S.K. does not so use the term) "both/and" is the only proper approach to polar dialectic; at this point to make an "either/or" choice or to synthesize would be to sin by destroying the dialectic. Precisely here, then, lies the crucial issue of the Kierkegaardian method: to recognize contradictories and meet them with an "either/or"; to recognize dialectics and meet them with a "both/and."
8. It is interesting, is it not, that Barth chose to emphasize one pole of S.K.'s dialectic and Tillich the other, and yet that often both have been lumped together as "dialectic theologians!"
9. On Authority and Revelation: The Book on Adler, hereafter referred to as The Book on Adler, translated with an indroduction and notes by Walter Lowrie (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955), p.155.
20. Ibid., 1226 (1851).
21. Ibid., 831 (1848), quoted above, p. 33; 1003 (1849); and 1123 (1850).
23. Michael Frantz, Einfaltige Lehr-Betrachtungen ... (Germantown: Sauer Press, 1770), in the long lead poem, see stanzas 125-26, 359-60; cf. pp. 39-40.