Kierkegaard Project Seminar: Lucilla Pan – Københavns Universitet

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Kierkegaard Project Seminar: Lucilla Pan

The Concept of Freedom in the Pseudonymous and Personal Authorships

This presentation will examine the concept of freedom within Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous and personal authorships.  I will show how Kierkegaard’s discussion of freedom in Concept of Anxiety to be insufficient because it does not explain how human beings make the leap from sinfulness to salvation through a free choice of the good.  Haufniensis himself admits that repentance can only mourn sin but it cannot pull the individual out of sin.  Instead, faith is necessary for human beings to leave sinfulness.  However, faith is not an autonomous action that human beings can enact alone because it does not fully explain how it is possible for human beings to be transformed out of sinfulness.

I turn to the personal authorship (in particular, the upbuilding discourses) to show that freedom is only possible for human beings through an external power, divine grace.  While grace does not necessitate that human beings will choose the good, it is a necessary condition for its possibility.  Without grace, the free choices that the pseudonyms discuss are not possible, and Christian salvation referenced in Concept of Anxiety cannot be fulfilled.  The freedom that is expounded in Concept of Anxiety can only be fully manifested through the intervention of an external force.