Kierkegaard's Dancing Tax Collector: Faith, Finitude, and Silence by Sheridan Hough

Kierkegaard's Dancing Tax Collector: Faith, Finitude, and Silence

bySheridan Hough

Hardcover | September 20, 2015

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Kierkegaard's account of the life of faith turns on an astonishing claim: a person living faithfully continually enjoys, and takes part in, everything. What can this assertion actually mean? The pseudonymous author of Fear and Trembling, Johannes de silentio, imagines what such a human beingmight look like; indeed, as de silentio puts it, "He looks just like a tax collector". This seemingly ordinary person, in his "movements" of faith, finds infinite significance and an absorbing joy in his environment, from moment to moment. How does he do it? This characterization of faithfulcomportment is unique in the Kierkegaardian corpus, and becomes the tantalizing centerpiece of an exploration of the Kierkegaardian self. Sheridan Hough embarks on a groundbreaking "existential/ phenomenological" investigation of the uncanny abilities of the faithful life through an analysis of Kierkegaard's "spheres of existence"; each sphere reveals a specific kind of significance, and indeed a way of "being in the world". Houghemploys a distinctively original narrative voice, one that examines Kierkegaard's ontology from the perspective of his pseudonymous voices, and from the characters that they create. This approach is both descriptive and diagnostic: by understanding what someone living out an aesthetic, ethical, or areligious existence seeks to achieve, the phenomenon of the faithful life, and its demands, comes into sharper focus. This faith is not simply some thought about God's greatness-indeed, the "propositional content" of faith is a central issue of the book. Instead, Hough argues that Kierkegaardianfaith is the hallmark of the fullest flowering of a human life, one achieved in ways only hinted at in the demeanor of the cheerful and enigmatic "tax collector", an existential task in which "temporality, finitude is what it is all about".

About The Author

Sheridan Hough is Professor of Philosophy at the College of Charleston.
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Title:Kierkegaard's Dancing Tax Collector: Faith, Finitude, and SilenceFormat:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.68 inPublished:September 20, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198739990

ISBN - 13:9780198739999

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Breathless Confessional Prelude: How and Why I fell in Love with the Tax Collector2. 1st Movement: The Aduton of Selfhood3. 2nd Movement: Choosing Pleasure4. 3rd Movement: The Pleasures of Choice5. 4th Movement: Tax Collector vs. Tax Collector6. (In)conclusive Postlude: The Absolute Distinction Between Propositional Beliefs and Walking (or Dancing)7. Coda: All You Need Is...8. A First and Last ExplanationBibliography