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Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Soren Kierkegaard
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Clare Carlisle
Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Soren Kierkegaard by Clare Carlisle at Abbey's Bookshop,

Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Soren Kierkegaard

Clare Carlisle


Allen Lane

Biography: literary;
Biography: religious & spiritual;
Western philosophy: c 1600 to c 1900;
Phenomenology & Existentialism;
Philosophy of religion


288 pages

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Søren Kierkegaard is one of the most passionate and challenging of all modern philosophers, and is often regarded as the founder of existentialism. Over about a decade in the 1840s and 1850s, writings poured from his pen pursuing the question of existence - how to be a human being in the world? - while exploring the possibilities of Christianity and confronting the failures of its institutional manifestation around him.

Much of his creativity sprang from his relationship with the young woman whom he promised to marry, then left to devote himself to writing, a relationship which remained decisive for the rest of his life. He deliberately lived in the swim of human life in Copenhagen, but alone, and died exhausted in 1855 at the age of 42, bequeathing his remarkable writings to his erstwhile fiancee.

Clare Carlisle's innovative and moving biography writes Kierkegaard's life as far as possible from his own perspective, to convey what it was like actually being this Socrates of Christendom - as he put it, living life forwards yet only understanding it backwards.

By:   Clare Carlisle
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 34mm
Weight:   592g
ISBN:   9780241283585
ISBN 10:   0241283582
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   April 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Clare Carlisle is Reader in Philosophy and Theology at King's College, London. She is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and has written dozens of articles on philosophy for the Guardian. Her last book, On Habit, was named Outstanding Academic Title of 2014 by Choice, and she has recently edited George Eliot's translation of Spinoza's Ethics. She grew up in Manchester, studied philosophy and theology at Cambridge, and now lives in Hackney.

One of the best biographies of modern masters by a new generation -- Daniel Johnson * Standpoint * Philosopher of the Heart enacts Kierkegaard's audacity and verve in thinking and writing, his new way of doing philosophy , in a thrillingly inward and intimate style -- Boyd Tonkin * Arts Desk * Readable and entertaining -- James Marriott * The Times * Clare Carlisle has an especially deep admiration of Kierkegaard and has studied his work with an intensity that has rarely been matched. Her book, she writes, takes its shape from the Kierkegaardian question about how to be a human being in the world -- Ray Monk * New Statesman * It is a testimony to her skill that, as in a great novel, the portrayal of her protagonist is so vivid ... She wonderfully conveys how, pelican-like, Kierkegaard tore his philosophy from his own breast -- Jane O'Grady * Telegraph * Engrossing ... Carlisle has pulled off the feat of writing a truly Kierkegaardian biography of Kierkegaard -- Julian Baggini * Financial Times * This lucid and riveting new biography at once rescues Kierkegaard from the scholars and makes it abundantly clear why he is such an intriguing and useful figure: that we want, above all, to be reassured about our lives rather than find out what about our lives matters to us. ... Carlisle writes with verve and sympathy. Kierkegaard's life is exemplary, as Carlisle shows with such plain and accessible eloquence -- Adam Phillips * Observer *

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