What’s interesting to me is that I always understood Kierkegaard as talking about Christianity outside of the confines of “the tradition,” as you put it. The tradition is what he talked about with the crowd — it’s the tradition and the doctrines that move them; it’s how they go through the motions.

Unless I’m misunderstanding him, religion — and especially reaching the religious stage — is deeply, inescapably personal. The relationship with God is deeply personal, and it seems that it needs to be, in order for it to mean anything, to be an authentic one. And though he came upon his faith through the Lutheran pietism he grew up with, I didn’t ever read him as saying that such a sect is the true realization of faith.

This is not to say that the way I open it up at the end to more general faith is something Kierkegaard would agree with. It’s not. Kierkegaard was much too impressed by the relationship of reason, faith, passion, and the absurd to leave it behind. And to a point, I deeply love that about his writing. He seemed to be saying that if you really understand all these things he’s talking about, you’ll realize that God is the endgame of life — the Christian God, which (as he says absurdly) took a separate human form and died for humanity’s sins as Jesus.

At this point, we’re past my knowledge of Kierkegaard, and anything else I’d say would be academic overstepping. But I hope I at least made my position a bit clearer.

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Author of “The Wabi-Sabi Way” and “Be, Think, Do”. Subscribe to my newsletter “Woolgathering”: https://goo.gl/UhzUYL.

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