Patricia Hofer

Soren Kierkegaard on doctrine vs Christian life

“Take Christianity, for example. It came in as life, sheer daring, that risked everything for the faith. The change began when Christianity came to be regarded as a doctrine. This is the theory; it was about that which was lived. But there still existed some vitality, and therefore at times life-and-death disputes were carried on over “doctrine” and doctrinal formulations. Nevertheless, doctrine became more and more the distinctive mark of being a Christian. Everything then became objective. This is Christianity’s theory. Then followed a period in which the intention was to produce life by means of the theory; this is the period of the system, the parody. Now this process has ended, Christianity must begin anew as life.” (Soren Kierkegaard, Journals and Papers, Vol. iii, 635).

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