The Religion Of Existence: Asceticism In Philosophy From Kierkegaard To Sartre

Hardcover | December 2, 2016

byNoreen Khawaja

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The Religion of Existence reopens an old debate on an important question: What was existentialism?

At the heart of existentialism, Noreen Khawaja argues, is a story about secular thought experimenting with the traditions of European Christianity. This book explores how a distinctly Protestant asceticism formed the basis for the chief existentialist ideal, personal authenticity, which is reflected in approaches ranging from Kierkegaard’s religious theory of the self to Heidegger’s phenomenology of everyday life to Sartre’s global mission of atheistic humanism. Through these three philosophers, she argues, we observe how ascetic norms have shaped one of the twentieth century’s most powerful ways of thinking about identity and difference—the idea that the “true” self is not simply given but something that each of us is responsible for producing.

Engaging with many central figures in modern European thought, this book will appeal to philosophers and historians of European philosophy, scholars of modern Christianity, and those working on problems at the intersection of religion and modernity.

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From the Publisher

The Religion of Existence reopens an old debate on an important question: What was existentialism? At the heart of existentialism, Noreen Khawaja argues, is a story about secular thought experimenting with the traditions of European Christianity. This book explores how a distinctly Protestant asceticism formed the basis for the chief e...

Noreen Khawaja is assistant professor of religious studies at Yale University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:December 2, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022640451X

ISBN - 13:9780226404516

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Feel of Religion
1          Authenticity and Conversion
2          Conversion as a Way of Life
3          Philosophical Methodism
4          The Infinite Mission
5          Ascetics of Presence
Conclusion
Abbreviations
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“This is a smart, well-written book that will make a real contribution to the philosophy of religion, the intellectual history of the modern west, and theoretical thinking about religion and the study of religion, not to mention scholarship on Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Sartre. Khawaja’s readings of these figures are remarkably clear, fluid, and exacting. Her interpretive precision and critical forthrightness give great authority to her arguments and—this is very refreshing—she is able to exercise this authority with grace and even humor. I have nothing but praise for The Religion of Existence.”