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International Kierkegaard Commentary Volume 24: The Book on Adler

Series edited by: Robert L. Perkins, Robert L. Perkins
Product Code: H770
ISBN: 9780881461275
Product Format: Hardback
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability:Not currently available.
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Price: $50.00

The Book on Adler is Kierkegaard’s most revised manuscript, his longest unpublished book, and the book of which he left the most drafts. When he decided not to publish the book, he pulled a chapter (“The Difference between a Genius and an Apostle”) and published it in Two Ethical-Religious Essays (1849). All this rowing and backwatering show the complexity of his personal involvement in this book and concern for the person of Adler. The ostensible subject is the claim by a pastor of the Danish state church, Adolph Peter Adler, that he had received a private revelation from Jesus in which He had dictated the truth about the origin of evil. The content of this revelation was quoted verbatim in the preface to one of Adler’s several books of sermons. Such a claim to a private revelation was then and is still in conflict with the concepts of revelation and authority in Christian churches. Jesus had further commanded Adler to burn all Hegel’s texts that he owned, which he did without hesitation. Adler had written his doctoral thesis on isolated subjectivity in Hegel’s thought, and he apparently thought that the burning of Hegel’s books cleaned up his categories and ridded him of Hegel’s influence on his thinking. The irony is that this observable act demonstrated his own isolation not only from the Hegelian tradition but also from Christian theology, which addresses itself to the human heart. Kierkegaard considered Adler’s revelation claim to be an extreme but still typical example of the religious confusions of the age. The essays in this volume address the issue of revelation, subjectivity, and related topics that remain problematic to this day and are perhaps even more acute in a postmodern age.
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