Literature & Religion: Pascal, Gryphius, Lessing, Holderlin, Novalis, Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Kafka

By Walter Jens; Hans Küng et al. | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I could venture to operate in a field that was at best half-familiar only because I was able to count on threefold help: first of all, from the scholarship mentioned in the Bibliography (especially Hans-Henrik Krummacher's articles on Gryphius, in particular the studies of the Perikope sonnets and the Passionslieder; Horst Rumpf's far too little-known dissertation on "The Meaning of the Figure of Christ in the later Hblderlin"; as well as the introductions by Hans-Joachim Mahl, Richard Samuel, and Gerhard Schulz in their edition of the Novalis).

Second, I want to thank my colleagues in Tübingen, who, whenever I needed it, were there for support: Wilfried Barner, Jochen Schmidt (for Hölderlin), and Ludolf Mfiller (who introduced me to Dostoyevsky's novels, with their Christian "ductus").

Third, I acknowledge the help that I got, in many cases a long time ago, from scholars who are no longer alive and whom I now thankfully remember: Romano Guardini, the analyst of Pascal, Hölderlin, and Dostoyevsky, whose private dispute with Walter F. Otto about God and the gods I was there to witness; Ewald Wasmuth in Tfibingen, who shaped my reading of Pascal; Steffen Steffensen in Copenhagen, who commented with Danish wit and stupendous erudition on the art of Kierkegaardian paradox in his study; and finally Heinz Politzer in Berkeley, who gave me an informal lecture on Kafka's Jewish poetic theology.

Walter Jens

Admittedly, this undertaking was full of risks for me on a number of counts. As a theologian, I had to betake myself to nontheological territory, and with each of the authors (about

-vii-

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