Project Seminar: Matoba Atsuya

The most characteristic point in Kierkegaard’s authorship in the middle period is presumably human Love (menneskelig Kjerlighed), which is symbolised by the theme »Love hopes all things«. In Works of Love, Kierkegaard thought that the lover (den Kjerlige) should believe people’s possibilities of goodness no matter how hopeless they seem. On the other hand, in the late and final period, Kierkegaard obviously and completely abandoned this idea, and the martyrdom came to be emphasised. If the martyrdom and imitation of Christ are at the highest stage in Kierkegaard’s thoughts, the middle period or human love is regarded merely as a transit point. However, human love and the lover are supposed to be established on a paradigm different from what supported the martyrdom and the individual (den Enkelte) in the late and final period.

In this paper, two hypotheses are examined: firstly, the purpose of the authorship in the middle period was to reconcile with Regine, who was one of two people that Kierkegaard owed all of his writings to; secondly, human love and the theme »Love hopes all things« are inseparably connected with this purpose. This examination is conducted mainly by analysing statements in Kierkegaard’s writings and journals. And thereby, this paper aims to unveil a part of Kierkegaard’s paradigm in the middle period, about which he remained silence even in On My Work as an Author and The Point of View for My Work as an Author.