The Pascalian heart and the Kierkegaardian passion: On faith and subjectivity

Chung Kee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pascal and Kierkegaard are two Christian thinkers whose thoughts and dispositions exhibit many interesting affinities. Both are anti-rationalists who have fought against the dominating philosophical tides of their times. Both feel deeply that human existence cannot be exhausted by objective, scientific, or idealistic knowledge. What they yearn for is not objective truth, but truth for them as existing persons. In their explications of faith, the ‘heart’ in Pascal and the ‘passion’ in Kierkegaard best capture the essence of their thinking. The heart in Pascal stands for a person’s whole personality which includes one’s emotions, thought and will. This comes very close to the notion of subjectivity in Kierkegaard which contains elements such as inwardness, striving, commitment, which can be subsumed under the term ‘passion’. The current essay attempts to put these two approaches together and see how they can form interesting parallels in coming to terms with the Christian faith.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-355
Number of pages18
JournalEvangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2009

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