Isaac Williams, Søren Kierkegaard and the Poetic Vision of Communicating Religious Knowledge (an abstract)

I am very pleased that the journal „Religion & Literature“ (University of Notre Dame) is going to publish my article with the above title in the coming year 2023. Here comes the abstract as a sort of teaser.

The poet, theologian and member of the Oxford Movement Isaac Williams (1802-1865) and the Danish intellectual Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) never communicated with each other. However, they shared not only contemporaneity but also a common interest in the question of how to communicate the “truth” to a society that is seemingly ignorant of this “truth”? Remarkably, both Williams and Kierkegaard developed very similar concepts as an answer to this question, namely that truth can only be adequately communicated in a reserved (Williams) or indirect (Kierkegaard) manner. Using a comparative approach, this article identifies common points and differences between the concepts of reserve and indirect communication. The article claims that ultimately both approaches share a romantic vision . Confronted with an increasingly skeptical mid-19th Century audience, Williams and Kierkegaard seem to suggest, that religious truth-claims are best communicated poetically.

Watch this space or the journal website: https://religionandlit.nd.edu/

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