David J. Gouwens, "Kierkegaard’s Incarnational Realism," Participatio Supplemental Volume 5: "Søren Kierkegaard as a Christian, Incarnational Theologian" (2019): 41-59
Gouwens, David J. "Kierkegaard’s Incarnational Realism." Participatio Supplemental Volume 5: "Søren Kierkegaard as a Christian, Incarnational Theologian" (2019): 41-59
In contrast to common anti-realist readings of Søren Kierkegaard, Thomas F. Torrance correctly sees Kierkegaard as sharing his own theological and incarnational realism. This article argues that Kierkegaard’s focus on the subjective “how” of faith does indeed affirm a “Christian knowledge” of a reality outside ourselves, as seen both in his epistemological realism in Philosophical Fragments and Concluding Unscientific Postscript and in his stress in Practice in Christianity and communion discourses on the believer’s relation to the scripturally-narrated Christ, in all his particularity, prompting offense or faith. While significant differences still obtain between their understandings of the “grammar” of Christian knowledge—especially Kierkegaard’s “unscientific,” pluralist epistemology emphasizing the distinctive passional aspects of Christian knowledge and theology in contrast to Torrance’s interest in seeking a unified account of all human knowledge—they share a realistic “grammar of Christian redemption” that sees “truth” in relation to God’s self-giving in Jesus Christ, a shared vision inviting further exploration.