The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air: Three Godly Discourses by Soren KierkegaardIn the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his followers to let go of earthly concerns by considering the lilies of the field and the birds of the air. Soren Kierkegaards short masterpiece on this famous gospel passage draws out its vital lessons for readers in a rapidly modernizing and secularizing world. Trenchant, brilliant, and written in stunningly lucid prose, The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air (1849) is one of Kierkegaards most important books. Presented here in a fresh new translation with an informative introduction, this profound yet accessible work serves as an ideal entree to an essential modern thinker.
The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air reveals a less familiar but deeply appealing side of the father of existentialism--unshorn of his complexity and subtlety, yet supremely approachable. As Kierkegaard later wrote of the book, Without fighting with anybody and without speaking about myself, I said much of what needs to be said, but movingly, mildly, upliftingly.
This masterful edition introduces one of Kierkegaards most engaging and inspiring works to a new generation of readers.
The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air
Kangas, David J. London: Bloomsbury Academic, Bloomsbury Collections. Copyright David J. Kangas All rights reserved.
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However, the page numbers cited here are keyed to Walter Lowrie's translation accompanying Christian Discourses , , Most of Kierkegaard's direct religious writings are called "discourses", as is this work. See Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses for an overview of Kierkegaard's religious discourses. They are for upbuilding, but are "without authority". As in the description on "The Difference Between a Genius and an Apostle" see Two Minor Ethical-Religious Essays , the apostle was in relation to the absolute, whereas he, a mere man though certainly a genius , spoke with, and possessed, no authority—merely sagacity.
In the original preface, Kierkegaard expresses the hope that the lily and the bird would serve as a means for humans to learn silence, obedience, and joy. Those three concepts loom large in some of Kierkegaard's writings, and they receive lucid treatment here. For a reader familiar with Kierkegaard's philosophical work, what's most striking about Three Godly Discourses is its gentle, graceful simplicity. Bruce H. Kirmmse is one of the world's leading Kierkegaard translators and scholars.
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