The various kinds and conditions of love are a common theme for Kierkegaard, beginning with his early Either/Or, through "The Diary of the Seducer" and Judge William's eulogy on married love, to his last work, on the changelessness of God's love. Works of Love, the midpoint in the series, is also the monumental high point, because of its penetrating, illuminating analysis of the forms and sources of love. Love as feeling and mood is distinguished from works of love, love of the lovable from love of the unlovely, preferential love from love as the royal law, love as mutual egotism from triangular love, and erotic love from self-giving love. This work is marked by Kierkegaard's Socratic awareness of the reader, both as the center of awakened understanding and as the initiator of action. Written to be read aloud, the book conveys a keenness of thought and an insightful, poetic imagination that make such an attentive approach richly rewarding. Works of Love not only serves as an excellent place to begin exploring the writings of Kierkegaard, but also rewards many rereadings.
Howard V. Hong, the former Director of the Howard and Edna Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College, is the General Editor of Kierkegaard's Writings. Edna H. Hong is a poet, writer, and translator who has collaborated with Professor Hong on other English translations of Kierkegaard's works.
Historical IntroductionLove's Hidden Life and Its Recognition by Its Fruits5You Shall Love17You Shall Love the Neighbor44You Shall Love the Neighbor61Romans 13:10. Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law91Love Is a Matter of Conscience135Our Duty to Love the People We See154Our Duty to Remain in Love's Debt to One Another175Love Builds Up209Love Believes All Things - and Yet Is Never Deceived225Love Hopes All Things - and Yet Is Never Put to Shame246Love Does Not Seek Its Own264Love Hides a Multitude of Sins280Love Abides300Mercifulness, a Work of Love Even If It Can Give Nothing and Is Able to Do Nothing315The Victory of the Conciliatory Spirit in Love, Which Wins the One Overcome331The Work of Love in Recollecting One Who Is Dead345The Work of Love in Praising Love359Conclusion375Supplement387Key to References388Original Title Pages of Works of Love, First and Second Series390Selected Entries from Kierkegaard's Journals and Papers Pertaining to Works of Love395Editorial Appendix489Acknowledgments491Collation of Works of Love in the Danish Editions of Kierkegaard's Collected Works493Notes499Bibliographical Note529Index531