Kierkegaard was driven to write The Book on Adler after news spread that a Danish pastor, Adolph P. Adler, claimed to have experienced a revelation in which Christ dictated a new doctrine. Like many others, Kierkegaard was intrigued by Adler--but for different reasons than most. Over the eight years during which Kierkegaard worked on the manuscript, the phenomenon of Adler became a concern secondary to the larger question of authority. Kierkegaard revised the manuscript many times, and published a segment of it as "The Difference between a Genius and an Apostle" in Two Ethical-Religious Essays, but did not publish the work as a whole before his death. The latest integral version of The Book on Adler is included here, along with excerpts from the earlier drafts and a sampling of writing by Adler himself.
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 (1913-2007) was a poet, writer, and translator who has collaborated with Professor Hong on other English translations of Kierkegaard's work.
Historical IntroductionThe Book on Adler: The Religious Confusion of the Present Age Illustrated by Magister Adler as a PhenomenonEditor's Preface3Introduction7Ch. IThe Historical Situation: The Collision of Magister Adler, as a Teacher in the State Church, with the Established Order; the Special Individual Who has a Revelation-Fact28Ch. IIA Revelation in the Situation of the Present Age36Ch. IIIAdler's Own Shifting of His Essential Point of View, or That He Does Not Understand Himself, Does Not Himself Believe That a Revelation Has Been Given to Him51Appendix to Chapter III88Ch. IVA Psychological View of Adler as a Phenomenon and as a Satire on Hegelian Philosophy and the Present Age91Addendum IThe Dialectical Relations: the Universal, the Single Individual, the Special Individual143Addendum IIThe Difference between a Genius and an Apostle173Supplement189Key to References190Initial Pages of Versions of The Book on Adler192Selected Entries from Kierkegaard's Journals and Papers Pertaining to The Book on Adler211Selections from Adler's Writings339Editorial Appendix349Acknowledgments351Notes353Bibliographical Note383Index385