Paul L. Holmer (1916-2004) was one of the most significant American students of Kierkegaard of his generation. Although written in the 1950s and 1960s, Holmer's theological and philosophical engagement with Kierkegaard challenges much contemporary scholarly discussion. Unlike many, Holmer refuses reductionist readings that tie Kierkegaard to any particular "school." He likewise criticizes biographical readings of Kierkegaard, much in vogue recently, seeing Kierkegaard rather as an indirect communicator aiming at his reader's own ethical and religious capacities. Holmer also rejects popular existentialist readings of Kierkegaard, seeing him as an analyzer of concepts, while at the same time denying that he is a "crypto-analyst." In his important reading of Kierkegaard on "truth," Holmer pits Kierkegaard against those who see "truth" empirically, idealistically, or relativistically. His carefully textured account of Kierkegaard's conceptual grammar of "truth" in ethical and religious contexts addresses immediately current discussions of truth, meaning, reference, and realism versus antirealism, relativism, and hermeneutics. It will be of great interest to all interested in Kierkegaard and his importance for contemporary theology and philosophy.
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David J. Gouwens is Professor of Theology at Brite Divinity School. He is the author of ‘Kierkegaard’s Dialectic of the Imagination’(1989) and ‘Kierkegaard as Religious Thinker’ (1996).
David J. Gouwens is Professor of Theology at Brite Divinity School. He is the author of ‘Kierkegaard’s Dialectic of the Imagination’ (1989) and ‘Kierkegaard as Religious Thinker’ (1996).
Lee C. Barrett III is Stager Professor of Theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is the author of ‘The Heidelberg Catechism’ (2007), ‘Foundations of Modern Theology: Kierkegaard’ (2009), and co-editor of ‘Kierkegaard and the Bible’ (2010).
“Paul Holmer, who died in 2004, was a major figure in Kierkegaard studies in the post-war USA. This volume has been lovingly reconstructed from his papers by David Gouwens and Lee Barrett, who have done us a service in making such a significant piece of work available.” (Steven Shakespeare Modern Believing, 54.3, July 2013)
...Holmer occupies an eminent place in the transmission of Kierkegaard's thought in twentieth century America. This book breathes renewed breadth and depth into that influence. [...] As Hauerwas concludes, 'this is not just another book "about Kierkegaard"; rather, this is a book that forces us to read Kierkegaard as if our lives were at stake. In the process I think that you will find that the fear of God makes joy possible'. (Simon D. Podmore The Expository Times, Vol.125, No 3, December 2013)
...this too-brief summary cannot do justice to the complexities and depth of Holmer’s reflective thoughts on Kierkegaard and truth...This volume would be very helpful for anyone interested in Kierkegaard’s concept of truth, his means of communicating it, and perhaps also for those looking to bridge the ‘continental-analytic rift’. (Victoria Davies Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol.21, No.1, January 2014)
On Kierkegaard and the Truth [...] gives us a carefully argued and well written inquiry of Kierkegaard as a philosopher. [...] H.'s book is still an important book to read particularly because of the fruitful and for his time very innovative way that H. uses the later Ludwig Wittgenstein in H.'s interpretation of Kierkegaard's reorientation of thinking about religious, existential and ethical matters. (Iben Damgaard, University of Copenhagen Theologische Literaturzeitung, No 139, Vol 2, February 2014)
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