Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology

Department

School of Theology • Seminary

First Advisor

William J. Cahoy

Abstract

The focus of this paper is to attempt to analyze how, in Kierkegaard's paradigm of what constitutes "a self", the representations of the phenomena change in the eyes of the perceiver from a state of "no self" - lacking this consciousness and active engagement of spirit-, to the moment of existential arrest, to a state of being "a self" - new and ever-growing consciousness as a result of this arrest. The primary source for this endeavour is Kierkegaard's text, The Concept of Anxiety. Methodology for this endeavour will involve explication of the text itself with nuances from other post-enlightenment literature - ie: authors such as Dostoevsky, Kafka, and Camus. Part one will address a state of existence which Kierkegaard believes is a state lacking "a self," focusing on the unconscious crisis of no self, and the resultant effect this has on one's imaging of the world - a brief look at idolatry. Part two will focus primarily on that which ultimately brings on an existential arrest: anxiety - the challenge of death, imminent and living. Finally, part three will deal with "self" established through active consciousness, and how it enables one to re-form the appearances via dialectical tension within the awesome creative power of responsibility and relation - the freedom to act upon, and to suffer, the phenomena.

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