Embrace the Absurd

Mon, Mar 30

Is religious faith absurd or paradoxical? Is the person of faith called to transcend the rational and moral realms?  What does it mean to have an authentic religious faith?  In this session, we look at existentialist philosopher Soren Kierkegaard's theory of faith.  Kierkegaard meditates on the apparent absurdity and immorality of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac in order to demonstrate his faith in God.  

By the end of this session:

  1. You will be able to identify and comparatively evaluate both fideistic and rationalist theories of faith.
  2. You will be able to describe the key features of existentialist philosophy.
  3. You will understand the Christian existentialism that Kierkegaard championed and ways in which it differs from natural theology.

Read This:


"The Binding of Isaac" (Genesis 22)

Interactive Essay: Embrace the Absurd


Introduction Under the Banner of Heaven (Jon Krakauer)

Do This:

Complete the following reflection questions in your GGL Journal:

  1. Kierkegaard writes, "...I can understand a tragic hero, but not Abraham, even though in a certain lunatic sense I admire him more than all others." Do you agree? Why or why not?
  2. How should we think about the relation between Abraham and religious zealots like Ron and Dan Lafferty?

Watch This: