Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard Panegyric

This section is called a Panegyric . This term is defined as high praise or  a eulogy for someone of great esteem. At such Kierkegaard does just that praising Abraham and the enormity of the task which befell him. The entirety of the section is mainly used to ruminate on the sacrifice which was requested. Kierkegaard speaks of different levels of faithful adherence and talks of how Abraham’s was to the greatest extent because of his spirit and character in carrying out the deed required by God.

This does not get to the heart of the argument for the issues which Kierkegaard is planning to address, but it’s used to more so display the love that he has for the character of Abraham. It seems that Kierkegaard sees Abraham as one of the most striking examples of Faith as the father of the faith which would eventually result in Christ as the ultimate sacrifice.

One standout section states “One became great by expecting the possible, another by expecting the eternal, but he who expected the impossible became greater than all.” Kierkegaard provides many of these three-fold character examinations but this one I found the most striking due to it implicit illogicality. This is illogical because faith itself is ultimately outside of logic in the traditional sense and expecting the impossible seems like a fool’s errand yet this expectation is exactly what is required and is alike to the faith of a mustard seed as spoken by Christ. I believe that this exact characteristic is the hardest to achieve as we always believe what we see or what follows a basic cause and effect narrative. Yet placing belief on something which goes beyond that takes a leap which is difficult to take.


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