II—What Neither Abraham nor Johannes de Silentio Could Say

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Abstract

Though there are significant points of overlap between Michelle Kosch's reading of Fear and Trembling and my own, this paper focuses primarily on a significant difference: the legitimacy or otherwise of looking to paradigmatic exemplars of faith in order to understand faith. I argue that Kosch's reading threatens to underplay the importance of exemplarity in Kierkegaard's thought, and that there is good reason to resist her use of Philosophical Fragments as the key to interpreting the ‘hidden message’ of Fear and Trembling. Key to both claims is the Concluding Unscientific Postscript. I also briefly sketch an alternative reading of the ‘hidden message’, one in which Kierkegaard's Christian commitments play a notably different role.

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