Absolute and the Divine

Posted by on April 27, 2008 at 1:22 pm.

The absolute paradox would be if the Son of God became man, came to the world, went around in such a manner that absolutely no one recognized him; if he became an individual human being in the strictest sense of the world, a person who had a trade, got married, etc. . . . In that case God would not have been God and Father of mankind, but the greatest ironist. . . . The divine paradox is that he becomes noticed, if in no other fashion, then by being crucified, by performing miracles, etc., which means that he is recognizable, after all, by his divine authority, even if faith is required in order to solve its paradox.[1]

[1] From Kierkegaard’s journals as quoted in Garff, Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography, p. 265, emphasis mine.  C.f. Kierkegaard, Point of View, p. 16.

When I first read this, I missed the difference between absolute and divine. Wow. If this is a real difference, and I think it is, this is an extremely illuminating passage from Kierkegaard’s journals. I only wish that there were better citations in Garff’s biography so that I could find this passage easier for the full context. Although journals are often fragmentary, so maybe there is not much more (?).  Those are Garff’s ellipses above though, not mine, so I dunno.