Kierkegaard, mysticism, and jest

the story of little Ludvig

Christopher A. Nelson

pp. 435-464

Throughout his authorship, Kierkegaard appears remarkably uninterested in the tradition of Christian mysticism. Indeed, in the only two places in the authorship where he broaches the topic directly, the discussion is disclaimed in such a way as to suggest that Kierkegaard really has nothing to say about it at all. However, attending to the successive incarnations of the character(s) named "Ludvig" throughout the authorship – an appellation that harbors an especially self-referential dimension for Kierkegaard – the present paper attempts to elucidate what may, with due reservation, be referred to as the mystical element in Kierkegaard's thought. The ultimate yield of this endeavor is a vision of "mysticism" that is more act than thought oriented, and a vision of the author "Kierkegaard" that is more delightful than melancholy.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11007-007-9042-9

Full citation:

Nelson, C. A. (2006). Kierkegaard, mysticism, and jest: the story of little Ludvig. Continental Philosophy Review 39 (4), pp. 435-464.

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