Concept of Anxiety by Soren Kierkegaard Essay

Concept of Anxiety by Soren Kierkegaard Essay

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The Moment and Inwardness

I. Introduction
In The Concept of Anxiety, S�ren Kierkegaard deals with human anxiety about the possibility posed by freedom as it relates to sinfulness and spiritual progress. This paper will show that Kierkegaard?s concept of the moment and his prescription for inwardness, both in the context of spirituality, are connected. Importantly, inwardness depends on the moment and the possibility of transition that does not take place in time, transition that seems sudden if spotted from a temporal perspective. First, this paper will make sense of Kierkegaard?s concepts of time, eternity, and the moment, which will be an interpretation taken from his discussion at the first part of chapter three. Second, it will explain what his concept of inwardness is and what it means for human life, which will be based on text from chapter four, section two, subsection two (?Freedom Lost Pneumatically?). Finally, it will use those points to explain the connection between the moment and inwardness and then point out the importance of that connection.

II. Time, Eternity, and the Moment
Time and eternity are important concepts that correspond to the finite and infinite aspects of human life. Time is the realm occupied by the human body, the human psyche, and all worldly affairs. In everyday thought people spatialize the events in this finite realm in terms of the past, present, and future. Eternity is the realm of the spirit that synthesizes the body and psyche, and spirit is the aspect of human life that belongs to the infinite. Kierkegaard thinks of eternity strictly in an infinite sense and wants to avoid regarding as eternity the indefinite passing of time.

The inspiring concept that begins in the analysis of ...

... middle of paper ...

...s nature. One angle on this is that abstracting the moment from spirituality, namely, to focus on the temporal moment involving worldly affairs, is to prevent spiritual inwardness to be reached. Another angle is to understand that with spirit it is possible to understand the future with an immediate sense of its possibility to go about life as an earnest task, which means that one does not need to be anxious about the future and idly waiting for it to come in order to understand human possibility.

Finally, it should be added that since spirituality is best regarded from the immediacy of the moment, understanding the moment helps one understand Kierkegaard?s goal in this work of preparing his readers for understanding the leap of faith.


Kierkegaard, S�ren. The Concept of Anxiety. Trans. Reidar Thomte. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980.

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