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Stephen Evans presents on Kierkegaard and the limits of politics.

Kierkegaard society speakers AAR 2018

Earlier this week, Institute Professorial Fellow Stephen Evans was one of five speakers at a session of the Soren Kierkegaard Society, which meets annually with the American Academy of Religion. This year the annual AAR meeting was held in Denver, Colarado.

The title of the session Stephen presented at was “Truth is Subjectivity: Kierkegaard and Political Theology: A Symposium in Honor of Robert Perkins.”

The other four speakers were George Pattison of the University of Glasgow, Marilyn Piety of Drexel University, John Davenport of Fordham University, and Lee Barrett of Lancaster Theological Seminary.  Christopher Nelson commented on all of the papers.

Robert Perkins, who the symposium was in honour of, was a giant in Kierkegaard studies, founder of the Kierkegaard Society in North America, and also the editor of the 22 volume “International Kierkegaard Commentary” series.  There was a packed room and attendees included Sylvia Walsh, widow of Perkins and a distinguished Kierkegaard scholar in her own right, and Joakim Garff, of the University of Copenhagen, an award-winning writer and scholar.

Prof. Stephen Evans’ paper was titled “Putting the Modern State in its Place: Kierkegaard on the Limits of Politics”.

All of the papers tried to show that the stereotype of Kierkegaard as the “radical individualist” is false, and that his thought has important implications for political thinking.  Kierkegaard has some very penetrating things to say about the kinds of problems populism can pose in a democracy.

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