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Kierkegaard's Writings, XX: Practice in Christianity: Practice in Christianity v. 20 Paperback – 12 Nov 1991

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Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; New Ed edition (12 Nov. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691020639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691020631
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.9 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 415,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"The definitive edition of the Writings. The first volume . . . indicates the scholarly value of the entire series: an introduction setting the work in the context of Kierkegaard's development; a remarkably clear translation; and concluding sections of intelligent notes."--Library Journal

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Format: Paperback
'Practice in Christianity' makes contemporary books on discipleship look lightweight and superficial. Kierkegaard goes to the heart of the matter, to Jesus' call to follow him personally, as an individual. Apart from the Bible, this is perhaps the best book I've ever read on the nature of true Christianity, and recommended reading for anyone who's venturing into following Jesus, as disciples should, by forsaking other calls. Kierkegaard isn't the author for the readers who loves summaries and bullet points but here and there, there are precious pearls that reward a patient reader.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
I had to stop reading it 19 Oct. 2006
By Rev Mike Nahas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am a minister, and although I though I was a prety good theologian, I only understood the fullest of Christ's message (if this is attainable at all) after I started reading this book.

From the beginnings, through his prayer on the first pages, it is the most brillant Christology/Soteriology ever exposed.

I had to stop reading this book because I wasn't sure that I was ready to deal with the type of feelings that I was being exposed to, and I wanted the book never to end, to be honest.

Although I am a convict Protestant, I must say that the Orthodox principle of Theosis started to make sense to me.

If you want to "get it" Christ, I would recommend this and "Works of Love".
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Below the surface of modern theology 2 Mar. 2000
By Dietrich Wayne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
To describe Kierkegaard is, to say the very least, difficult! Not that his style of writing is boring or even overly difficult. Not at all! His style is poetic, warm, and loving. Yet all the while, he makes you feel uncomfortable, leads you to questioning your faith, and often makes one angry! However, the thing that I admire most about the author and the book "Practice in Christianity", is how he has led me to recklessly look inside myself, so that I can see the the truth about who I am! In short, no other author has ever made me just "think", the way that SK has. I have read and heard much of modern theology. For me, this "modern theology" only scratches the surface of these important thoughts. SK will take your mind and heart, to spiritual depths that are thus far, undiscovered.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
"..Infinite Qualitative Difference..." a Central SK Work 21 May 2005
By Stanford Gibson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I seldom review classical works feeling that posterity has spoken on their behalf far more weightily than I could hope to. However, I had to comment on this fantastic, underrated text. SK wrote in his journal that while he often used pseudonyms in his other works, in part, to distance himself from the ideas, in this book the pen name was employed to distance the ideas from him, feeling himself an imperfect messenger. If we have any access at all to the center of SK's program, this is it, yet it is rarely mentioned as an important work of his authorship.

There is no doubt that Either/Or, Fear and Trembling and Concluding Unscientific Postscript are all brilliant. However, Practice in Christianity deserves every bit as much attention as these works. It is a work of self disclosure calling the reader to examine the basis for their faith and confront the startling choice between imitation and offense based on the risky prospect of embracing paradox. It is also one of SK's most accessible texts that can be read devotionally. One of my favorite books ever.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Important Kierkegaard 7 April 2003
By Ross James Browne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
_Practice in Christianity_ is one of Kierkegaard's more underrated books, and should not be overlooked. I will summarize his concepts as best I can: In this book Kierkegaard encourages a rigorous and "militant" practice of Christianity. By "militant" he does not mean violence in the physical sense, obviously. What he means is a determination to constantly find better ways to understand God and Christ, even though every question that gets answered seems to spawn more questions. Rigorous Christianity is a continuous chasing after that which perpetually eludes us. Even though we may never reach a true catharsis in our understanding, the process of continually seeking understanding is still beneficial to the individual. It helps to strenthen the uniqueness of our individuality, and helps to set us apart from society in a way that preserves the "heterogeneity" of society. Kierkegaard stresses the importance of maintaining heterogeneity within society because this is essential in the creation of individual personalities, and is an essential ingredient to conscious life in general. Kierkegaard states it thus: "woe to the Christian Church when it will have been victorious in this world, for then it is not the Church which has been victorious but the world. Then the heterogeneity between Christianity and the world has vanished, and Christiantiy has lost" (p. 223). It is important that society does not ever reach a consensus on what to believe in, because then we will all rest on our laurels and abandon the continual, rigorous striving that is essential in enhancing our individualist personalities. The loss of individualism is synonymous with the end of conscious life and self-awareness as we know it. There must always be individuals who stand out as beacons of virtue, if for no other reason than to infuse other people with life by making them feel inadequate and subjugated. Rigorous, militant Christians must always turn their back on the world and strive for something better, and indoing so they help to blaze a trail into higher realms of understanding, dragging the reluctant congregation behind them.
If these concepts sound interesting to you, I highly recommend this volume. Die hard atheists will probably view this book as a fruitless discussion over a moot point. But people who consider themselves Christian, and want to set themselves apart from other lackadaisical, so-called Christians, could benefit greatly by reading this book. This is not a book for people who show up to church just to show up and then fall asleep in the pew - it is for people who want to reach a higher standard of rigorous practice in religion.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Christianity Apart From Christendom 18 July 2012
By Darrell A. Jordan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Kierkegaard at his highest and most potent. This work was so ideal, in regards to Christianity, that Kierkegaard himself could not write it, but rather it was written pseudonymously by Anti-Climacus who also wrote The Sickness Unto Death. Kierkegaard writes not only to those in Christendom but also, I think, to himself. Anti-Climacus is the judge of Christendom and Kierkegaard does not want to pass himself off as that judge. He considers himself merely one of the sick while Anti-Climacus is the doctor. This book will challenge you and your faith, but in such a good way. If you don't have faith and don't consider yourself a Christian, then you may not be that interested in the book honestly. And I don't recommend reading this book for pure scholarly purposes as I think that undermines what Kierkegaard wanted. Though, I do think even the non-Christian reader can, if he or she so wishes, get a clearer understanding of what Christianity really means for the individual. But if you do consider yourself a Christian and if you want to really begin to experience the love of Christ, then read this work. You will begin to understand that in order to be a Christian, not only do you have to have faith, but you also have to live contemporaneously with Christ. In my opinion, this is the most important work by Kierkegaard, even more important then Fear and Trembling or Concluding Unscientific Postscript. Surprisingly, it is also easier to read then many of his early works; although, I do suggest having a Bible and a dictionary at your side at all times. This brings me to my only complaint and it is not a complaint about the work but rather about the layout of the book. Firstly, I must say that this is a great translation into English; however, the notes are at the end of the book. This is, I think, a downfall because you will find yourself often flipping to the end of the book to look up the notes. But I still give the book 5 stars!
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