Faith in Fear and Trembling by Kierkegaard Essay

Faith in Fear and Trembling by Kierkegaard Essay

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Kierkegaard believes that true faith can only be attained through a double movement of giving up rationality or logic, while at the same time believing one can understand logically. In “Fear and Trembling” Kierkegaard relates true faith to the Knight of infinite resignation and the Knight of faith; in this paper, I will examine this claim and show why Kierkegaard’s analogy is an excellent metaphor for the double movement which is required in one’s quest to attain faith and why.
Kierkegaard’s position on faith is represented with the Knight of infinite resignation and the Knight of faith. The Knight of faith is regarded as the one who believes in that which is absurd. For, he is the knight that is able to believe in the things that are paradoxical. The Knight of faith is aware of the contradiction that occurs and rationally understands it, but believes despite this. Kierkegaard gives a description of this after relating the knight to one in love with a princess he will never have the chance to be with. He describes the knight in this situation claiming, “I nevertheless believe that I shall get her, namely on the strength of the absurd, on the strength of the face that for God all things are possible” (75). Kierkegaard gives insight into this knight by stating that, “On this Knight of faith is just as clear: all that can save him is the absurd: and this he grasps by faith. Accordingly he admits the impossibility and at the same time accepts the absurd” (76).
The other knight Kierkegaard refers to is the Knight of infinite resignation. This is the knight who works within reason and is able to recognize the contradiction or logical impossibility when faced with a situation; such as the situation where Abraham is commanded by God t...

... middle of paper ... Kierkegaard expresses his honest feelings by stating, “but I do not have faith; this courage I lack” (63).
Kierkegaard makes a valid point by stating that a leap of faith requires a double movement. Believing something is not possible before believing it is possible. Faith is not just something that comes and goes for some people. Attaining faith requires a growth through certain stages, the first one being accepting that something cannot and will not be. The two knights that Kierkegaard describes is one the most excellent metaphors to describe the stages a person must go through to make a true leap of faith.

Works Cited

Huxley, T.H. “Agnosticism.” Introduction to Philosophy of Religion. Ed. James Kellenger. Pearson, 2007. 144-150.
Kierkegaard, Søren, and Alastair Hannay. Fear and Trembling. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1985. Print.

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