En Opbyggelig Tale. [An Edifying Discourse].

"The most striking expression of the religious sublimation of earthly love": Exceptionally rare first edition of Søren Kierkegaard's En Opbyggelig Tale. [An Edifying Discourse]; inscribed by him to Jens Olaus Hansen

En Opbyggelig Tale. [An Edifying Discourse].



Item Number: 131507

Kjøbenhavn: C. A. Reitzel, 1850.

First Edition of Kierkegaard’s major philosophical work. Octavo, original full black paper-covered boards, the presentation binding personally commissioned by Kierkegaard. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Høivelbårne Hr. Konf[erensråd] Hansen R[idder] a[f] D[annebrog] i dyb Ærbødighed f. Forf [Honoured Mr. Adviser of Conference Hansen R. of D. with reverence from the Author].” The recipient, Norwegian jurist Jens Olaus Hansen held a very high honorary title in Denmark and served as the head of the Second Department of the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs and Public Instruction of Denmark from 1848 to 1851. In very good condition. Housed in a custom clamshell box. Books signed and inscribed by Kierkegaard are exceptionally rare.

Kierkegaard’s major philosophical works, published under pseudonyms, appeared in the period 1843 to 1846. His opbyggelige taler (“edifying discourses” or “upbuilding discourses”), published at various times, were issued under his own name and were intended to make clear the religious intention of his other works. He was persecuted after an attack on the Corsair, a comic journal, by having his works ridiculed in the paper, and he was often involved in controversy. Shortly before his death he made his criticism of “official Christianity” clear in a series of pamphlets entitled Øieblikket (1855, 1881; The Instant, 1944). His work was a reflection of a progression in action from the aesthetic to the ethical and finally to the religious. He died believing in God but not in communion from the hands of a parson, a “royal functionary.”

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