Metaphysics - Vol. 1

Metaphysics - Vol. 1

Metaphysics - Vol. 1

Metaphysics - Vol. 1

Excerpt

Danes consider Knud Ejler Løgstrup to be the greatest philosophical and theological thinker their nation has produced since Søren Kierkegaard strolled the cobbled streets of Copenhagen. Like Kierkegaard, Løgstrup possesses a reputation as a difficult author and a strong-willed thinker and, like Kierkegaard, he did not shy away from controversy. He challenged some of the most fundamental intellectual assumptions of his age in order to produce a radically innovative grounding for religious thought.

On the occasion of the thirteenth printing of Løgstrup's most widely known work, The Ethical Demand [Den etiske fordring (1956)], a colleague described him in the following way:

K. E. Løgstrup was an obstinate, headstrong thinker. He thought his own way, one could say. On not a few occasions, to an opponent who would point out an overlooked detail, he would retort--with a certain inertia--with one of his standard answers: Yes, but how does that change what I have said?

He said much. Often, he said the exact opposite of what the epoch accepted as stock, self-evident truths. If Kierkegaard and hundreds of theologians after him said that Christ lived the most paradoxical life that had ever been lived, Løgstrup said that he had lived the only non-paradoxical life on earth.... Løgstrup's influence on Danish spiritual life has been colossal. That his ideas have become so widespread is a tribute not only to his authorship but to just as high a degree to the number of people from a wide variety of disciplines who have felt attracted or repelled by "Løgstrupian" considerations.

Løgstrup's ideas have not only become a source of fruitful discussion in Denmark, they are receiving recognition throughout Europe. In Germany, for example, Løgstrup's doctrines are sometimes seen as an intellectual alternative to those of Jürgen Habermas. An English translation of Løgstrup's magnum opus, the four-volume treatise entitled Metafysik, is overdue. As his . . .

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