An Introduction to Kierkegaard is an accessible introduction to one of the most influential philosophers of the nineteenth century. Peter Vardy is an internationally known scholar with several bestselling titles.
Søren Kierkegaard died in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the age of forty-two in 1855. His writings had little influence in his lifetime and after his death; even with the translation of some of his works into German, he was barely known. Yet today, he is internationally accepted as one of the world's greatest thinkers and is often considered the father of existentialism. The purposes of this book are very similar to Kierkegaard's own purposes, namely:
to help you think through the meaning and purpose of your life and what Christianity means today
to reintroduce Christianity into a world that has largely forgotten what the word means
to show the limitation of reason and modern philosophy
Here, Peter Vardy makes Kierkegaard's often complex and difficult thinking accessible to a wide audience. He sketches a few of the central themes of Kierkegaard's thought and gives the reader a feeling for the way he approaches problems and some sense of the breadth of his work. This revised and expanded edition is an ideal introduction to Kierkegaard for both students and the general reader.
"Peter Vardy is a gifted communicator. He is the best popularizer of the philosophy of religion currently working in Britain."--Theology
"Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard gets a refreshingly clear and concise introduction in this latest book from Vardy. . . . The author's skill as a teacher is apparent, as he manages not only to render the themes and intellectual characteristics of Kierkegaard's theology accessible to general readers but also to elicit sympathy for the occasionally off-putting and morose Dane. Dedicated to 'that solitary individual' to whom Kierkegaard aimed his own writings, this book makes the 19th-century philosopher's explanation of a faith lived in the face of the absurdity of the incarnation engaging and sensible. Some thoughtful Christians will find it inspiring. Drawing from a variety of Kierkegaard's writings, Vardy shows how Kierkegaard's principled and uncompromising definitions of truth and sin, his understanding of the function of suffering, and his view of love and the God-relationship are all crucial to understanding the Danish thinker's intellectual arguments and personal sense of purpose. Although this introduction cannot treat Kierkegaard's works exhaustively, it succeeds in making his key ideas come to life and gives the primary sources valuable context." --Publishers Weekly
"An accessible introduction to one of the most influential philosophers of the nineteenth century. Peter Vardy makes Kierkegaard's often complex and difficult thinking accessible to a wide audience. He sketches a few of the central themes of Kierkegaard's thought and gives the reader a feeling for the way he approaches problems and some sense of the breadth of his work. This revised and expanded edition is an ideal introduction to Kierkegaard for both students and the general reader. If you're a Kierkegaard lover, nothing makes you cringe more than seeing all the simplistic, far-too-abridged, usually-off-the-mark condensations and interpretations of his massive corpus (especially those that try to systematize it!). Thankfully, in Vardy's case, there is cause for jubilation. His Introduction fares well indeed by teasing out SK's key thoughts, mood, and contributions, but without ever reducing it to anything so terribly un-Kierkegaard as a system! For those who don't know SK at all but want to, this will now easily be my first recourse."--American Theological Inquiry
"Peter Vardy's An Introduction to Kierkegaard is an astonishing feat; he has managed in relatively few words to summarize and share the essence of this Danish philosopher. . . . Vardy forms a compelling reading of [Kierkegaard's] life and his thoughts for any student of philosophy or those simply seeking to reach an adequate understanding of the philosopher."--Suresh Vythylingam, Southwestern Journal of Theology
"Vardy's An Introduction to Kierkegaard is basic, but he is full of passion and excitement about Kierkegaard that his world and thoughts come alive for the reader. . . . Vardy's writing style is very attractive, as he regularly draws modern illustrations . . . to demonstrate some aspect of Kierkegaard's thought or argumentation. Also, his work is not only descriptive, but he sometimes corrects false notions of this philosopher. . . . If you are like me, finding philosophers dense and difficult to comprehend, I commend this book to you. Vardy has brought this great thinker to my level without too much reduction, a feat not accomplished by many theologians."--Nijay K. Gupta, Ashland Theological Journal
"A fine primer. [A] highly readable [survey] that demonstrate[s] the abiding relevance of the peculiar insights and penetrating critiques that abound in Kierkegaard's complicated corpus. Perhaps [its] greatest . . . strength is that [Vardy] read[s] Kierkegaard as Kierkegaard wanted to be read."--Bruce P. Baugus, Calvin Theological Journal