This book is concerned with Kierkegaard's 'apophaticism', i.e. with those elements of Kierkegaard's thought which emphasize the incapacity of human reason and the hiddenness of God. Apophaticism is an important underlying strand in Kierkegaard's thought and colours many of his key concepts. Despite its importance, however, it has until now been largely ignored by Kierkegaardian scholarship. In this book, the author argues that apophatic elements can be detected in every aspect of Kierkegaard's thought and that, despite proceeding from different presuppositions, he can therefore be regarded as a negative theologian. Indeed, the book concludes by arguing that Kierkegaard's refusal to make the transition from the via negativa to the via mystica means that he is more apophatic than the negative theologians themselves.
`one cannot but admire the scholarship and clarity with which David R. Law ... has written Kierkegaard as Negative Theologian ... The subject matter is abstruse but the treatment could hardly have been more erudite or more clearly written'
`This book is a most valuable addition to studies of Kierkegaard ... his book has earned for him a place among the leading Kierkegaard specialists in this country ... Dr Law has rendered an important service both to us and to Kierkegaard's memory.'
'In refreshing contrast to other recent authors, Law pays detailed attention to Kierkegaard's sceptical epistemology and his conception of truth.'
Times Literary Supplement
'well-researched and clearly structured book ... the fact that David Law has given us a case worth arguing against is in itself a commendation ... It should also be said that his survey of Kierkegaard's possible sources for knowledge of the apophatic tradition is an exemplary piece of scholarship that in itself provides a useful tool for anyone wanting to follow further the question of Kierkegaard's knowledge of patristic and medieval sources.'
George Pattison, King's College, Cambridge, Religious Studies, Volume 30, 1994
'This is a book of careful and methodical scholarship, rarely enlivened by an exciting prose style, but full of valuable and judicious commentary...a beautifully produced, addition to the Oxford Theological Monograph series...This is an important addition to British theology's understanding of Kierkegaard's thought, and the basic building blocks of his position.
Reviews in Religion and Theology
'...his book won me over in the end. Kierkegaard's own extraordinarily poignent voice breaks through, and Law himself is intelligent, honest and capable.'
Don Cupitt, Theological Book Review, Vol 6, No 2, February 1994
`...the book is a model of clearly delineated development. This is a worthy and provocative book that will enjoy an argumentative place in the study of negative theology and Kierkekegaard.'
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion