Kierkegaard Americanus: towards establishing a comparative analysis unit
Abrahim H. Khan
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard presents an extraordinary challenge not only to scholars in philosophy and theology but also other human sciences. The genius of his numerous writings has inspired many scholars and researchers down the decades, and the number of profound interpretations continues to grow, globally. This study focuses on the hermeneutical question his work provokes. It is a problem to understand the nuances of Kierkegaard's Danish language in the context of his life and culture; but our interpretations are also affected by our own times, culture and values. Several academic centres around the world are developing their own distinctive interpretive frameworks, and these might bias the interpretative effort of other scholars. My aim is to propose a comparative analysis unit or category. This is done by showing a correlation between the various historical, theological and cultural streams, especially in the Anglo-Saxon environment, in their interpretation of Kierkegaard’s unique message in a move that identifies a dominant interpretation. The researchers who are closest to understanding his thought world are those who are willing to risk the undertaking the existential perception of their own time and its challenges in the context of their own authentic story in a Kierkegaardian way.
Key words: Kierkegaard, American exceptionalism, Puritans, hermeneutics, comparative analysis