A Kierkegaardian Ethics of Mysticism



Brake, Matthew

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This thesis argues that a positive reading of mysticism in the writings of Søren Kierkegaard is possible. I argue that mysticism is capable of the same transfiguration as the aesthetic within Kierkegaard’s thought. Since mysticism is an open and fluid concept and the ethical in Kierkegaard has multiple meanings, I establish the meaning of the mystical in dialogue with William James’ Varieties of Religious. This is followed by a brief description of the various ways the ethical is defined in Kierkegaard, and I established the uniting theme between them all. Through an analysis of Kierkegaard’s Either/Or Part II and The Book on Adler, I establish resonances across Kierkegaard’s corpus that demonstrate that the mystical, like the aesthetic, is made complete and transfigured by the ethical.



Søren Kierkegaard, Mysticism, William James, Ethics, Aesthetics