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The Task of Hope in Kierkegaard$
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Mark Bernier

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747888.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2022

Hope and the Knight of Faith

Hope and the Knight of Faith

(p.186) 8 Hope and the Knight of Faith
The Task of Hope in Kierkegaard

Mark Bernier

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the second movement of faith is described, and its relation to hope analyzed. The primary example for the knight of faith is Abraham, who accepts the impossibility of keeping Isaac while simultaneously trusting God that Isaac will not be lost. Abraham’s movement is ‘absurd,’ in the sense that he grounds his belief in Isaac’s return on his trust in God, not his own judgment. He entrusts to God his highest good, and relinquishes control. He can only do this if there is a ‘teleological suspension of the ethical,’ which is to suspend his highest mundane good, and with it, his central task, for the sake of the higher spiritual good and the authentic task. Faith thus provides the ground for hope; for the possibility of the good. In trusting God, one is willing to hope, which stands in opposition to despair’s unwillingness to hope.

Keywords:   faith, hope, trust, knight of faith, the absurd, Abraham, double movement

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