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God and Human Freedom

A Kierkegaardian Perspective


Tony Kim

In God and Human Freedom: A Kierkegaardian Perspective Tony Kim discusses Søren Kierkegaard’s concept of historical unity between the divine and human without disparaging their absolute distinction. Kim’s central analysis between the relation of God and human freedom in Kierkegaard presents God’s absoluteness as superseding human freedom, intervening at every point of His relation with the world and informing humanity of their existentially passive being. Kim argues Kierkegaard is not a strict voluntarist but deeply acknowledges God’s absoluteness and initiative over and against human life. Moreover, the author’s exploration of unity in Kierkegaard points to the very ethics of who God is, one who loves the world. Ultimately, God manifests that love in Jesus Christ, representing God’s ultimate reconciliation with the world in his humility.
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Chapter 4. Conclusion


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In this book, I have argued the relation between God and human freedom in Kierkegaard is one of absolute distinction and historical unity which is initiated by God. As much as he separates God and humanity in infinite terms, he conceives historical relation between God and humanity, and thus between God’s absolute essence and our historical freedom. He modifies freedom so as to show its limits and how it subjects to God’s eternal or absolute initiative.

In that regard, I have argued Kierkegaard’s concept of God-freedom relation essentially is linked to God’s Incarnation in Jesus Christ. Just as he sees the Incarnation as one of absolute distinction and historical relation, Kierkegaard offers the same solution to the problem of the God-freedom dichotomy, namely as one of qualitative distinction and historical unity.

He contends the relation demands, not so much its theoretical treatment, but an inward appropriation and decision. With respect to the God-freedom dichotomy, one faces the challenge of dialectically qualifying that relation. What materializes the paradox of the God-freedom relation then is an appropriation and decision of faith at the levels of both the eternal and the historical. The aim of each is to achieve unity between God and humanity while seeing their rational contradictions. Human nature is such that it alternates between the eternal and the historical. ← 71 | 72 →

Both are irrefutably true: man’s independence and his dependence, his freedom and his...

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