Kierkegaard's Psychology, filled with penetrating analyses of the most central and important problems of psychology, opens a new window to understand these enduring problems through a Kierkegaardian lens. Explanations cover the full spectrum of expected topics: sexuality and the damages connected to moralistic condemnation of sexuality; identity and awareness; escape and despair; instinct, guilt, defense, and self-delusion; anxiety, duplicity, conflict, and crisis; the state of encapsulation in which the individual rejects communication with the world and circles around himself; and the list goes on to include varieties of neurosis and psychosis.
Parallels are made to Freudian and post-Freudian psychology, but the accent is put on Kierkegaard's major psychological project, namely, the analysis that obduracy, that sin, which consists in rejecting the possibility of being helped, in turning down "recovery" and clinging to one's own state of despair in spiteful love of it, leads individuals into the tragic zone of perpetually cherishing their own states of crisis. In the end, readers who either have no knowledge of Kierkegaard's concept of existentialism or a wrong notion of it, will be surprised to discover how very straightforward and realistic the Kierkegaardian problems are.
Endorsements & Reviews
"Nordentoft's Kierkegaard's Psychology is still the best and most incisive overview of Kierkegaard's psychological thinking--it remains the standard work in the field."
—Niels Jorgen Cappelorn
"Nordentoft has written one of the most important and wonderfully concrete books we have seen for many years. It is very intelligent, unusually clear and, thorough, and it should be considered one of the weightiest publications within Scandinavian psychology for a very long time. It is something of a monumental work."
About the Author:
Kresten Nordentoft lectured at University of Aarhus (Denmark) in Scandinavian literature. In 1974 he was a visiting professor at Duquesne University's Psychology Department, acquainting both professors and students with Kierkegaardian theory.
Bruce H. Kirmmse, Emeritus Professor of History at Connecticut College, is the author of Kierkegaard in Golden Age Denmark, Encounters With Kierkegaard, and numerous articles. His translations include Joakim Garff's Kierkegaard: A Biography. Kirmmse has served on the faculty of the University of Copenhagen, where he was director of the Department of Soren Kierkegaard Research, and as general editor of the 11 volume set of Kierkegaard's Journals and Notebooks.