Soren Kierkegaard has been called many things, from brooding genius and "melancholy Dane" to the father of existentialism. Yet, rather than clarify the nature of Kierkegaard's writings, such labels have often obscured other important aspects of his authorship. Such, indeed, is the case with Kierkegaard's standing as a spiritual author. In From Despair to Faith: The Spirituality of Soren Kierkegaard, Christopher B. Barnett endeavors to remedy this problem. He does so in two overarching ways. First, he orients the reader to Kierkegaard's grounding in the Christian spiritual tradition, as well as to the Dane's own authorial stress on themes such as upbuilding, spiritual journey, and faith. Second, Barnett maintains that Kierkegaard's spirituality is best understood through the various "pictures" that populate his authorship. These pictures are deemed "icons of faith," since Kierkegaard consistently recommends that the reader contemplate them. In this way they both represent and communicate what Kierkegaard sees as the fulfillment of Christian existence.
Christopher B. Barnett received his Doctor of Philosophy in Theology at the University of Oxford. His first book, Kierkegaard, Pietism and Holiness, was released in 2011. In addition to several book chapters and articles on Kierkegaard, he also has published the essay "Spirit(uality) in the Films of Terrence Malick" (Journal of Religion & Film, 2013). After teaching at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, he is now assistant professor in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies at Villanova University.
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