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Keywords:

  • Kierkegaard;
  • selfhood;
  • sin;
  • the human other;
  • ethics;
  • the crowd;
  • neighbor love

ABSTRACT

In this article, I embark on an analysis of Søren Kierkegaard's view of human otherness in strict correlation to his Christian philosophy. More specifically, my aim is to show that Kierkegaard's thought is essentially informed by a decisive appropriation of the soteriological category of sin which has momentous implications for Kierkegaard's views of selfhood and intersubjectivity. The main argument is that both Kierkegaard's negative evaluation of human otherness and his acerbic indictments of any collectivist interference in salvific matters cohere with his appropriation of the doctrine of the Fall. At the same time, I show in what sense Kierkegaard deems human alterity to be indispensable to one's spiritual self-becoming expressed through the Christian imperative of loving the other as neighbor. Seen thus, agape, while supplementing Kierkegaard's creationistic psychology, actually becomes the necessary restorative opposite of sinfulness in the self's encounters with the distinct uniqueness of the human other.