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Apart from this acceptance of the abyss dn. Dyb as the severance of humanity from God, Podmore stresses upon a second meaning. This second meaning of the abyss suggests that what is the most dreadful is not the abyss in itself but the relation of the individual to the abyss. Despair marks the relation between the individual and God, a step which the individual has to surpass in order to come before God for forgiveness.

Podmore dwells on this inner struggle of despair in the second chapter entitled The inner Abyss. According to the author despair represents the failure of the isolated self to become a self before God. Starting with its elementary sense as separation from the other, the self ends up by being also separated from itself as the Cartesian striving to sustain the self as both the subject and the object of its own self knowledge. Without God, the self has only its melancholy failure to become itself on which to meditate.

And even the death of God itself comes as a consequence of this modern autonomy of the self, as defining itself without the God on whom it once depended While despair is the abyss of the unknown, melancholy is an existential abyss which expresses the sense of a loss.

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Still the religious melancholy is not sufficient in itself to overcome the abyss between the human and the divine even though it opens the desire to behold God. Despite the alienation created by melancholy and despair and the fear and trembling of the self before that which is the Wholly Other God , divine omnipotence does not crush the human but ensures his freedom.

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But before one can be able to accept this gift of freedom one has to pass through a spiritual trial. Podmore starts the discussion on the spiritual trial dn. This is the kind of trial which Abraham has to overcome when he is asked to sacrifice his son only to regain him right before he was about to kill him. Chapter six, The Anatomy of Spiritual Trial dwells further on the tormenting experience of spiritual trial starting with a comparative discussion between Kierkegaard and Luther upon the topic.

The Structure of the Kierkegaardian ‘Self’ | SpringerLink

If one can evade the temptation as being some kind of seduction, one should on the other hand voluntarily accept the confrontation with the dreadful Other if one intends to relate to God not through sin but through forgiveness. Nonetheless both of them believe that the anguish of spiritual trial is created by the feeling that one finds himself before a dreadful God. Christ submits his will to the divine will which means he does not ignore his own willing but he acknowledges his thoughts and desperation in order to relinquish them We can ask ourselves at this point what does human impossibility and divine possibility actually refer to?

Throughout the chapters of this book we could experience the great struggle that the human self has to pass through in order to first be conscious about and then surpass this abyss, this infinite, radical and qualitative difference as Kierkegaard names it which separates itself from God. If the meaning of this difference is essentially sin then the whole struggle is just a dying cause. What is it that can be forgiven? It is of course our sins but this is a job we cannot do and this is because of a thousand reasons thoroughly depicted by the author within his study.

Kierkegaard and the Self before God: Anatomy of the Abyss

The self surrender of prayer marks the maximal point of intimacy between self and God and one must be careful in dealing with it otherwise one falls again in the deepest despair. Kierkegaard and the self before God is not the lightest reading one can have and a book review of words is not the best way to clarify all the aspects and the themes treated when rightly understood! Philosophical Fragments. Hong and Edna H. Princeton: Princeton University Press. SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries.

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Kierkegaard and the self before God : anatomy of the abyss. Responsibility Simon D. Imprint Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c Physical description xxviii, p. Series Indiana series in the philosophy of religion.

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Online Available online. Green Library. S4 P63 Unknown.

More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p. Contents Preface Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations 1. Introduction: Anatomy of the Abyss 2.

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The Inner Abyss 3. The Abyss of Melancholy 4. The Melancholy Theophany 5. The Allegory of Yisrael 6. The Anatomy of Spiritual Trial 7. The Gaze of the Abyss 8.