Kierkegaard’s philosophical reception in Australia has been slow and piecemeal.[1]  It has been retarded by an antipathetic context of reception.  Even the modest level of publication, teaching, and organization of events about Kierkegaard’s work has been achieved by the efforts of a few individuals, rather than by institutional structures.  This situation may be on the brink of changing, thanks largely to the efforts of the late Dr Julia Watkin.  Her efforts have been paramount in establishing a bridge between mere individual interest and the institutional structures which will contribute to ongoing renewal of interest in Australia in Kierkegaard’s work.


In order to appreciate Julia’s contribution to this process, we need to understand the obstacles faced in Australia to Kierkegaard reception.  We also need to survey the potential institutional receptors for work in the areas of philosophy of religion, Continental philosophy, philosophical psychology and critical theology.  For logistical purposes I will confine this study to Kierkegaard’s philosophical reception in Australia and will examine the following surfaces of emergence of Kierkegaard’s work in Australia: (i) academic appointments in philosophy at Australian universities; (ii) Australian philosophy journals; (iii) philosophy conferences in Australia; and (v) other Kierkegaard resources, including societies, research networks, and special events.  For the sake of brevity, I will use representative examples only of publications in Australia on Kierkegaard, and omit discussion of international publications by Australian authors.


The Context of Reception

Philosophy was first institutionalized in Australia in the nineteenth century, with the appointment of academic philosophers to universities.  All the philosophy appointments to universities in Australia in the nineteenth century were of philosophers trained in Scotland.[2]  These philosophers were all influenced by the work of Sir William Hamilton, in which German idealism was combined with Thomas Reid’s common sense philosophy, and by the work of Edward Caird, which was an amalgam of Kantian and Hegelian idealism.[3]   


Most of the philosophers appointed to Australian universities in the nineteenth century also had a background in Protestant theology.  However, their theological interests were dominated by philosophical idealism.  William Ralph Boyce Gibson, appointed as the second professor of philosophy at the University of Melbourne in 1911, remarked that between “Idealistic Philosophy and Christianity - there is a profound affinity.”[4]  What Gibson had in mind was the Hegelian contention that Christianity expresses in metaphorical and symbolic form, truths that are more explicitly stated by philosophical concepts. There was little sympathy in this context for a Kierkegaardian critique of Hegelian speculative philosophy.


In the early twentieth century, Australian philosophers yearned for an expression of philosophy that was distinctively Australian.  This yearning was not peculiar to philosophy, but was also a prime motivation for the direction of contemporary art and literature.  Australia attained nationhood through a federation of its states in 1901.  The search for a national identity, independent of Britain and appropriate to Australia’s culture and geography, was paramount.  This was particularly difficult in philosophy, which was widely regarded as a discipline that deals with universal truths, transcending national borders.  But Australian philosophers perceived American pragmatism to have achieved for the United States what they aspired to in Australia.  Part of this was to be achieved by the appointment of a new generation of university lecturers who had received their philosophical education in Australia.  Part of it was also to be achieved in the reconciliation of idealism and realism, in ways analogous to their reconciliation in pragmatism.[5] 


Just as Hegel’s idealism spawned the materialism of Marx and Feuerbach, Scottish idealism contained the seeds of metaphysical realism. This realism already had its precondition in the empiricism of Hume and the common sense philosophy of Thomas Reid. The most important appearance in Australia of “realist” principles within an “idealist” framework was in the work of Sir William Mitchell, who held the chair in philosophy at Adelaide from 1894 until 1923.[6] Mitchell was particularly important in setting the agenda for philosophy of mind at the University of Adelaide, which later became the birthplace of Australian materialism about mind in the work of U. T. Place and J. J. C. Smart.[7]      


The establishment of a secular public education system in the nineteenth century, both in universities and in schools, created a context that was not conducive to Kierkegaard reception among philosophers educated in Australia. The aim was to create an education system which would equip citizens to make informed decisions within the framework of a liberal democratic state, where religion was to be chosen rather than indoctrinated.  This is in marked contrast to contemporary Denmark, where citizens were automatically enrolled in the congregation of the Danish People’s Church unless they specifically opted out of it.  While Kierkegaard fulminated against those who inherited Christianity by virtue of being born in Christendom, such protestations fell on deaf ears in a country which was at pains to prevent its citizens from being born into any sectarian religion.[8]


In 1935 W. R. Boyce Gibson died and was succeeded in the chair at Melbourne by his son, Alexander Boyce Gibson. Alexander Boyce Gibson was only the second author to mention Kierkegaard in an Australian journal of philosophy (1948).[9]  He did not mention Kierkegaard again in an Australian journal until 1966.[10]  The latter article was the second mention of Kierkegaard in Sophia: A Journal for Discussion in Philosophical TheologySophia subsequently became the Australian philosophy journal with the greatest number of articles on Kierkegaard and was originally published at the University of Melbourne with Max Charlesworth as its founding editor.  In the 1940s and 1950s, the University of Melbourne appointed several philosophers with an interest in Wittgenstein, and attempts to dissolve problems of philosophy by paying close attention to how language is used became a hallmark of Melbourne philosophy.  In the 1940s the University of Melbourne also created one of the world’s first centres for the history and philosophy of science, which continues to be a prime focus for Australian philosophy.[11]


Alexander Boyce Gibson’s contemporary in the chair of philosophy at the University of Sydney was John Anderson, who was educated in mathematics, physics and philosophy at the University of Glasgow. Anderson dominated Sydney philosophy as no one else has ever done. He was the most outspoken public intellectual the nation has known. He was a rigorous empiricist and a daunting critic, who delighted in baiting clergymen. Anderson held the Challis chair from 1927 to 1958. Andersonian empiricism and Melbournian Wittgensteinianism marked this as a period of debunking metaphysics (to which religion was assimilated).[12] 


Anderson’s robust empirical realism stamped a new generation of prominent philosophers, including David Armstrong, David Stove, John L. Mackie, and John Passmore. When this was cross-pollinated in the 1960s with the philosophy of mind being developed in Adelaide, Australian philosophy became identified with the doctrine of central-state materialism, most forcefully articulated in the work of David Armstrong and J. J. C. Smart. This reductive theory of mind was hostile to anything that smacked of spirit or transcendence. Subsequently, in the 1970s and 1980s Australian philosophy was rent with an ideological division between Anglo-American analytic philosophy and Continental philosophy.[13] Those in the former camp assimilated themselves to philosophy of science, logic and language, while the latter were intent on exposing the unspoken political assumptions built into the analytic conceptions of philosophy. The Australian Continental philosophers drew their inspiration almost exclusively from French philosophy, particularly the work of Althusser, Lacan, Foucault, Derrida and Deleuze, with a later flurry of interest in French feminists such as Kristeva, Cixous, Irigaray and Le Doeuff as well as an acknowledgement of the importance of Nietzsche to this tradition. There was little sympathy for a nineteenth century Christian existentialist in this hardline political philosophy, which built on the work of those new left French thinkers who had rejected existentialism with Sartre. 


There have been some overt attempts to bridge the gulf between analytic and Continental philosophy in the past fifteen years, and the standoff between the two camps has become somewhat otiose in the twenty first century.  In 1989, the Dawkins reforms in higher education led to fundamental structural change, which converted Australian universities from public institutions to increasingly privatised corporations. The common threat to academic freedom and to collegial endeavour has facilitated a rapprochement between analytic and Continental philosophy.  The changes have also fostered a culture of research production for production’s sake, regardless of content – as long as the resultant publications meet the criteria of the federal Department of Science, Education and Training for counting as fundable research quantum.  As a result over forty percent of all publications on Kierkegaard by Australians or in Australian journals have occurred in the past ten years. 


The recent expression of interest in Kierkegaard’s work has been facilitated by the breakdown of geographical isolation with global electronic communication and the relative ease of international travel.  It has also been enhanced by the presence in Australia of the late Dr Julia Watkin, who set up the Kierkegaard Society of Australia (1994), edited the Søren Kierkegaard Society Bulletin (1995-1997), organized streams of papers on Kierkegaard at two annual Australasian Association of Philosophy conferences (1995, 1996), hosted the International Kierkegaard Newsletter website (1994-2005), taught an undergraduate unit on Kierkegaard and Nietzsche at the University of Tasmania (1999-2002), maintained the Søren Kierkegaard Research Unit at the same university (1994-2003), and donated the Malantschuk Memorial Collection of Kierkegaard books to the Joint Theological Library of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne in 2003.  The presence of the latter collection is one of the main reasons that the Japanese Kierkegaard Society decided to hold its first international conference at the University of Melbourne. 


The Malantschuk Memorial Collection provides the institutional basis for ongoing Kierkegaard research in Australia.  It is the largest collection of research materials on Kierkegaard’s work in the southern hemisphere.  Julia Watkin initially offered it to the University of Tasmania, but her offer was declined.  This is fortunate for Kierkegaard studies in Australia, as the University of Tasmania is too isolated from mainland Australia to facilitate research trips there.  The location of the collection at the University of Melbourne ensures that it will be accessible to many more prospective scholars.  It is also fitting, perhaps, that the university which spawned Sophia, should also house the biggest collection of Kierkegaardiana in Australia. 







The Reception in Australian Philosophy Journals

The first mention of Kierkegaard’s work in an Australian journal of philosophy was in 1947, in a review of Guido de Ruggiero’s Existentialism.[14] In that review article, A. M. Ritchie attributes the relative neglect of existentialism in Australia to geographical isolation, “an isolation aggravated by the war,” and to “political authoritarianism and a commercial and political censorship.” [15] Ritchie cites the claim John Wild made of Kierkegaard in the Philosophical Review of 1940 that “it is, indeed, difficult to point to any single modern philosopher whose influence is at present being more widely felt” and observes that this claim in Australia “would still appear, in 1947, nonsensical.  Indeed, even the name of Kierkegaard is still little known.”[16] 


The next three mentions of Kierkegaard in Australian philosophy journals were also in reviews of books.[17] All of these articles assimilated Kierkegaard’s work to existentialism. All, while asserting the importance of Kierkegaard’s work to this philosophical movement, were critical of Kierkegaard and focused on him primarily as a precursor of the philosophers and theologians who follow – such as Heidegger, Buber and Jaspers. All of these review articles appeared in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. Only four more review articles relating to Kierkegaard’s work have been published in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, between 1969 and 2002.[18] There has never been a research article devoted to Kierkegaard’s work published in this journal. There have only ever been review articles.


Between May 1951 and July 1963 there was silence in Australian philosophy journals on Kierkegaard. The fifth mention of Kierkegaard’s work was the first in Sophia,[19] which was to become that Australian journal with the most frequent publication on Kierkegaard’s work, with seventeen articles appearing between 1966 and 1999. All but two of the articles published on Kierkegaard in Sophia, however, were written by philosophers from outside Australia. The second article in Sophia that mentions Kierkegaard is a Wittgensteinian treatment of the notions of subjectivity and religious truth in Kierkegaard, by D. Z. Phillips.[20] The majority of articles in Sophia on Kierkegaard’s work have a title of the form: “X and Y in Kierkegaard” or “Kierkegaard on X and Y” or “Kierkegaard and X.” This signifies that, even by the 1960s in Australia, authors could not take a close knowledge of Kierkegaard’s work for granted. Instead, they had to introduce his work in relation to concepts that had some currency in analytic philosophy of religion.


The vast majority of articles in Sophia are from the standpoint of logical analysis. Many articles in the first decade of its publication take as a point of reference the very influential book edited by Antony Flew and Alasdair MacIntyre, New Essays in Philosophical Theology.[21] This book includes chapters by two Australian authors, J.J.C. Smart and C. B. Martin, and two New Zealand authors, G. E. Hughes and A. N. Prior. The non-Australian contributors to Sophia in the 1960s, of articles on Kierkegaard, offer analyses in this context.[22]


All the articles on Kierkegaard in Sophia in the 1960s focus primarily on the role of reason in religion and are concerned to rebut the charge that Kierkegaard can be dismissed as an irrationalist. Alexander Boyce Gibson explores the “criticisms of the attempt to commend the ways of God by the ways of reason”[23] to be found in Philosophical Fragments, since he takes that text to articulate the most powerful critiques available of reason in religion. He attempts the logical reconstruction of Climacus’ critique in order to commend a “chastened defence of the role of reason in religion; the older and more confident defences having been outflanked in the pages [of Philosophical Fragments] before us.”[24]


In “Kierkegaard and the Logical Possibility of God”, George Stack tries to classify the cognitive status of the claim that God exists, in Kierkegaard’s terms. He concludes that it is neither “a ‘putative’ factual claim” nor “necessarily true.”[25] Rather, for Kierkegaard, “God, from the point of view of reason…is a logically possible being, a being the existence of which does not entail any contradiction.”[26] However, it requires faith rather than objective reflection to believe the assertion that God exists. Stack argues that “Kierkegaard, like Kant, used reason in order to reveal the limits of reason”[27] and thereby resists the common conception of Kierkegaard as a proponent of irrationalism.


All the articles in Sophia in the 1970s are critical of Kierkegaard.  For example, George Chryssides attempts “to show where the alleged semantic confusions lie in Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling” with respect to the notion of “the teleological suspension of the ethical.”[28] Chryssides argues that for Kierkegaard, Abraham’s faith depends on a sharp distinction between the “universal” claims of morality and the “particular” (and overriding) obedience to God. Chryssides uses a quasi-Wittgensteinian argument that the meanings of words can never be particular but must be universal. Thus, insofar as Kierkegaard uses words to convey the particularity of Abraham’s faith, he universalizes it and thereby undoes the distinction he is at pains to draw. Chryssides charges Kierkegaard with the mistake of imposing “an unduly literalistic interpretation on what is essentially metaphorical language.”[29]


None of the articles in Sophia before 1983 makes anything of the rhetorical structure of Kierkegaard’s authorship, nor of the various pseudonymous perspectives. Instead, they all attribute to Kierkegaard the views expressed in his pseudonymous texts. The texts most referred to are Fear and Trembling, Philosophical Fragments and Concluding Unscientific Postscript.


The majority of papers in the 1980s, however, pay close attention to particular texts and are sensitive to the pseudonymous points of view. For example, Abrahim Kahn’s paper “sketches the essential features of Salighed in Efterskrift”,[30] using electronically-readable text to analyse Kierkegaard’s concept of Salighed in terms of words with which it is clustered and from which it is differentiated. It is the first article in Sophia to use Kierkegaard’s Danish text as a basis for analysis.


The articles in Sophia in the 1990s attempt to situate Kierkegaard’s thought in relation to that of other major thinkers. For example, Curtis Thompson explores the theme of “the end of religion” in Kierkegaard and Hegel. He takes this phrase in three senses with respect to both thinkers, to find close parallels between them: (i) end as demise; (ii) end as conclusion; and (iii) end as purpose. With respect to Kierkegaard these three ends, respectively, are: (i) Christianity ends in Christendom; (ii) Religiousness A and Religious B are sublated in Religiousness C; and (iii) the purpose of religion is to intensify passion because the degree of existential pathos amounts to the degree of selfhood.[31]


Abrahim Kahn is the only author to have written two articles in Sophia on Kierkegaard. His second article “examines a political theory implicit in Kierkegaard’s critique of the novel Two Ages…by juxtaposing him to Locke. Basic to the theory is a notion of individuality which relies on three interlocking concepts: will, equality, and autonomy. That notion in turn supports ideas of authority and leadership that throw further light on Kierkegaard’s understanding of the relation between religion and politics…”[32]


Matthew Jacoby’s article is a critique of Steven Emmanuel’s likening of “Kierkegaard’s notion of the nature of Christian doctrine to George Lindbeck’s ‘regulative theory’ of doctrine.”[33] While Jacoby agrees with Emmanuel “that both [Kierkegaard and Lindbeck] stress the fact that Christianity is not primarily propositional in nature”, he objects to the idea that Christian truth for Kierkegaard is primarily concerned with rules for living. Rather, according to Jacoby, Christian truth for Kierkegaard is relational in nature.[34] 


All but two of the authors in Sophia who mention Kierkegaard are from outside Australia.[35] Even the two Australian authors, Alexander Boyce Gibson and Matthew Jacoby, focus exclusively on non-Australian themes. Trends in interpretation of Kierkegaard in Sophia have been determined more by what was going on in the USA and the UK than in Australian philosophy, except insofar as the use of logical analysis to assimilate Kierkegaard’s philosophical theology to analytic philosophy has an Australian style.


Individuals and Institutions: The Role of Julia Watkin in Australian Kierkegaard Reception

Julia Watkin has been the most prolific and influential Kierkegaard scholar to have been employed in an Australian philosophy department.  She was employed at the Launceston campus of the University of Tasmania from 1994 until her retirement in 2003.  Despite her energy and talents, she was far better appreciated internationally than she was in Australia.  Launceston is a small city, and Tasmania is isolated from the rest of Australia.  Julia set up the Kierkegaard Research Unit there and initiated the Australian Kierkegaard Society.  But neither gained much purchase outside her immediate body of students.  In some ways this was analogous to Kierkegaard’s writing in a “market town” on the periphery of mainland Europe.  Unfortunately, the Australian Kierkegaard Society and the Kierkegaard Research Unit have fallen into abeyance since Julia’s death.  These were dependent on Julia as an individual, and so far have failed to reach escape velocity to become autonomous institutions.  It is not too late to build on the momentum Julia gave them, but this requires that other committed individuals devote themselves with similar energy.


Yet Julia worked tirelessly to establish ongoing institutional bases in Australia for engagement with Kierkegaard.  In 1995 and 1996 she convened streams of Kierkegaard papers at the Australasian Association of Philosophy conferences.  In 1995 papers were presented by John Norris, Julia Watkin, William McDonald, and Peter Vardy.  At the 1996 conference, papers were presented by Julia Watkin, William McDonald, and Murray Rae.  All these papers were subsequently published, some in the Søren Kierkegaard Society Bulletin edited by Julia, some in the series International Kierkegaard Commentary edited by Robert Perkins.[36]

Julia also maintained the invaluable electronic resource, The International Kierkegaard Newsletter.  Julia had initiated this resource in hard copy many years earlier in Copenhagen, but on finding herself in the antipodes, she adapted it to the internet, thereby making it available globally.  It lists international Kierkegaard publications, lectures, societies, electronic resources, conferences, dissertations, and media events.  It has been the prime site for keeping abreast of what is happening internationally in the world of Kierkegaard research.  In 2004 Julia transferred The International Kierkegaard Newsletter to the Hong Kierkegaard Library web site at St. Olaf College, with a mirror site continuing at the University of Tasmania.[37]  Thanks to Julia’s literary executors, Robert Perkins and Sylvia Walsh, together with Gordon Marino, director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library, publication of The International Kierkegaard Newsletter will resume in 2006.  Meanwhile, acting editor David Possen will oversee the completion of the 2005 edition, which Julia had been compiling prior to her death.     


In another case, Julia’s individual effort has enabled the creation of an institutional basis for an ongoing Kierkegaard resource.  That is the Malantschuk Memorial Collection of Kierkegaard resources at the Joint Theological Library, Ormond College, University of Melbourne.  Julia had collected these resources ever since doing her own PhD research into Kierkegaard.  She continued to collect them during her years living in Denmark, working at the Kierkegaard Library in the Theology Faculty of Copenhagen University. Not only did Julia collect resources, she also produced them.  One of the most valuable for scholars of Kierkegaard’s Danish was A Key to Kierkegaard’s Abbreviations and Spelling.[38]  Another invaluable resource is her Historical Dictionary of Kierkegaard’s Philosophy.[39]  Julia dedicated the latter book to Christian Molbech and Ludvig Meyer, the nineteenth century Danish lexicographers whose work has served so many Kierkegaard researchers so well, yet who receive so little overt recognition.  Julia also wrote a lucid introductory book on Kierkegaard’s work, simply entitled Kierkegaard.[40]


Julia contributed to other important international Kierkegaard resources, partly through her numerous publications, but also through her role on the international advisory board for the International Kierkegaard Commentary series edited by Robert Perkins.  She was a fine translator, who contributed the volume of Kierkegaard’s Early Polemical Writings to the Princeton University Press series of Kierkegaard’s Writings.[41]  She also edited and published with notes Nutidens religieuse Forvirring: Bogen om Adler, the book on Adler which Kierkegaard refrained from publishing during his lifetime.[42]


More recently, Julia translated Balle’s Catechism,[43] which she posted on the internet for use by Kierkegaard researchers. She has also translated various articles and book chapters, for example Grethe Kjær’s “Thomasine Gyllembourg, Author of A Story of Everyday Life,”[44] and generously assisted others in their translations.[45]


It might seem there is some irony in Julia’s concerted efforts to set up institutional bases for Kierkegaard research, when Kierkegaard was so focussed on communicating with the single individual.  But to be able to communicate, Kierkegaard needs to be accessible to that single individual.  Julia has provided that access through her very generous donation of the Malantschuk Memorial Collection, and by providing information on Kierkegaard resources through the International Kierkegaard Newsletter.  Perhaps more importantly, Julia herself never related en masse to the many scholars and students who sought her assistance, but always communicated in a heartfelt way with each individual she encountered.  For those who were fortunate enough to meet her, her legacy will be this personal concern, in which she lived the philosophy of the thinker she loved so much.

[1] For a more extended treatment of the history of Kierkegaard’s philosophical reception in Australia, together with an exhaustive bibliography, see William McDonald, “Kierkegaard’s Philosophical Reception in Australia: An Archaeology of Silence,” in Jon Stewart (ed.), International Kierkegaard Reception, Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter (forthcoming).

[2] In 1886 Henry Laurie, who was educated at the University of Edinburgh, was appointed to the Chair of Mental and Moral Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.  In 1890 the University of Sydney created the Challis Chair of Mental and Moral Philosophy.  Its first incumbent was Sir Francis Andersen, who was educated at the University of Glasgow. The University of Adelaide created a Chair of English Language and Literature and Mental and Moral Philosophy in 1874.  Its first occupant, John Davidson, was educated at the University of St. Andrews.  Davidson’s most influential successor in the Chair at Adelaide, Sir William Mitchell, was educated at the University of Edinburgh.  Cf.  S. A. Grave, A History of Philosophy in Australia, Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 1984, pp. 14-22. 

[3] S. A. Grave, op. cit. p. 24.

[4] W. R. Boyce Gibson, “Problems of Spiritual Experience,” Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, vol. 2 no. 2, June 1924, p. 84.

[5] See for example E. Morris Miller, “The Beginnings of Philosophy in Australia,” Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, vol. 7, December 1929, pp. 241-251; W. R. Boyce Gibson, “The Problem of Real and Ideal in the Phenomenology of Husserl,” Mind, vol. 34, July 1925; and S. A. Grave, op. cit. pp. 38-46.

[6] S. A. Grave, op. cit. pp. 22-23.

[7] James Franklin, Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia, Sydney: Macleay Press, 2003, pp. 181-182.

[8] Ibid pp. 215-224.

[9] A. Boyce Gibson, “Critical Notice of Between Man and Man (Martin Buber), Australasian Journal of Philosophy, vol. XXVI no. 1, May 1948, pp. 46-58.

[10] A. Boyce Gibson, “A Metaphysical Crotchet,” Sophia, vol. V no. 2, July 1966, pp. 3-9.

[11] James Franklin, op. cit. p. 135.

[12] S. A. Grave, op. cit. p. 99.

[13] Cf. Richard Campbell, “The Covert Metaphysics of the Clash between ‘Analytic’ and ‘Continental’ Philosophy,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, vol. 9 no. 2, 2001, pp. 341-359.

[14] A. M. Ritchie, “Critical Notice of Existentialism by Guido de Ruggiero,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy, vol. XXV, 1947, pp. 174-184.

[15] Ibid p. 174.  A general shortage of books in wartime Britain, together with the government’s “stringent censorship of any literature that it felt might be injurious to the war effort” and the encouragement of libraries and bookshops to order only “safe” books, meant that existentialist literature was very hard to obtain in New Zealand as well as in Australia.  Cf. Dale Benson, “Pop-Existentialism in New Zealand,” Kotare: New Zealand Notes & Queries – A Journal of New Zealand Studies, June 2005, p. 1.

[16]A. M. Ritchhie, op. cit. p. 174.

[17] A. Boyce Gibson, “Critical Notice of Between Man and Man (Martin Buber),” op. cit. pp. 46-58; G. Stuart Watts, “Review of The Perennial Scope of Philosophy (Karl Jaspers),” Australasian Journal of Philosophy, vol. XXIX no. 1, May 1951, pp. 58-65; and Henry Thornton, “Review of Karl Jaspers et la Philosophie de L’Existence by Mikel Dufrenne et Paul Ricoeur,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy, vol. XXIX no. 1, May 1951, pp. 130-131.

[18] These have been, respectively, reviews of George Schrader, Existential Philosophers: Kierkegaard to Merleau-Ponty (by Leslie Griffiths, 1969), of Jacques Derrida, The Gift of Death (by Andrew Johnson, 1996), of Alastair Hannay and Gordon Marino (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard (by William McDonald, 1999), and of Mark Dooley, The Politics of Exodus: Kierkegaard’s Ethics of Responsibility (by William McDonald, 2002).

[19] Patrick Hutchings, “Do We Talk That Nonsense?” Sophia, vol. II no. 2, July 1963, p. 12.  Hutchings only mentions Kierkegaard in a dismissive aside in this article: “…it is open to the non-religious person to press the charge of absurdity against religion here. Not but that he may, in doing so, give the mildest Loadicean a moment which he does not deserve of Kirkegaardian [sic], Quixotic exultation…”

[20] D. Z. Phillips, “Subjectivity and Religious Truth in Kierkegaard,” Sophia, vol. VII no. 2, July 1968, pp. 3-13.

[21] Antony Flew and Alasdair MacIntyre (eds), New Essays in Philosophical Theology, London: SCM Press 1955.

[22] D. Z. Phillips, op. cit. (p. 6) refers directly to New Essays in Philosophical Theology as does John F. Miller III in “The Logic of Scientific and Religious Principles,” Sophia, vol. XII no. 3, October 1973, p. 13.  Cf. George Stack, “Kierkegaard and the Logical Possibility of God,” Sophia, vol. VII no. 2, July 1968, pp. 14-19; and Leroy T. Howe, “Kierkegaard on Faith and Reason,” Sophia, vol. VIII no. 1, April 1969, pp. 15-24. 

[23] A. Boyce Gibson, “A Metaphysical Crotchet,” op. cit. p. 3.

[24] Ibid p. 3.

[25] George Stack, op. cit. p. 16.

[26] Ibid p. 17.

[27] Ibid p. 15.

[28] George D. Chryssides, “Abraham’s Faith,” Sophia, vol. XII no. 1, April 1973, p. 10.

[29] Ibid p.16.

[30] Abrahim H. Kahn, “Happiness in Kierkegaard’s Efterskrift,” Sophia, vol. 22 no. 1, April 1983, p. 37.

[31] Curtis L. Thompson, “The End of Religion in Hegel and Kierkegaard,” Sophia, vol. 33 no. 2, July 1994, p. 14.

[32] Abrahmin H. Kahn, “Kierkegaard on Authority and Leadership: Political Logic in Religious Thought,” Sophia, vol. 33 no. 3, November 1994, p. 74.

[33] Matthew Jacoby, “Kierkegaard and the Nature of Truth,” Sophia, vol. 38 no. 1, March-April 1999, p. 74.  Steven Emmanuel’s position is articulated in his book, Kierkegaard and the Concept of Revelation, Albany: SUNY Press 1996.

[34] Matthew Jacoby, op. cit. p. 76.

[35] The two Australian authors are Alexander Boyce Gibson and Matthew Jacoby.

[36] John Norris, “the Validity of A’s View of Tragedy in Eitehr/Or,” in Either/Or Part I, ed. by Robert L. Perkins, Macon: Mercer University Press 1995 (International Kierkegaard Commentary Volume 3), pp. 143-157; Julia Watkin, “Judge William – A Christian?” in Either/Or Part II, ed. by Robert L. Perkins, Macon: Mercer University Press 1995 (International Kierkegaard Commentary Volume 4), pp. 113-124; William McDonald, “Confession as Mask,” Søren Kierkegaard Society Bulletin, no. 1, August 1995, pp. 2-10; Peter Vardy, “An Evaluation of Approaches to Love in Either/Or,” Søren Kierkegaard Society Bulletin, no. 2, April 1996, pp. 12-20; Julia Watkin, “Boom! The Earth is Round! – On the Impossibility of an Existential System” in Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, ed. by Robert L. Perkins, Macon: Mercer University Press 1997 (International Kierkegaard Commentary Volume 12), pp. 95-114; William McDonald, “Retracing the Ruins of Hegel’s Encyclopedia” in Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, ed. by Robert L. Perkins, Macon: Mercer University Press 1997 (International Kierkegaard Commentary Volume 12), pp. 227-246; Murray Rae, “The Predicament of Error in Kierkegaard’s Concluding Unscientific Postscript,” Søren Kierkegaard Society Bulletin, no. 3, December 1996, pp. 2-8.

[37] International Kierkegaard Newsletter: (Hong Kierkegaard Library site); (University of Tasmania site).

[38] Julia Watkin, A Key to Kierkegaard’s Abbreviations and Spelling – Nøgle til Kierkegaards Forkortelser og Stavemåde, C. A Reitzel , 1981.

[39] Julia Watkin, Historical Dictionary of Kierkegaard’s Philosophy, Lanham, Maryland, & London: The Scarecrow Press, 2001.

[40] Julia Watkin, Kierkegaard, London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1997.

[41] Early Polemical Writings: Kierkegaard’s Writings Volume I, edited & translated with Introduction & Notes by Julia Watkin, Princeton University Press, 1990.

[42] Nutidens religieuse Forvirring: Bogen om Adler. Med indledning og noter ved Julia Watkin, C. A. Reitzel, 1984.

[43] Julia’s translation of this book, familiar to Kierkegaard from his childhood, is at the following URL:

[44] Grethe Kjær, “Thomasine Gyllembourg, Author of A Story of Everyday Life,” in Early Polemical Writings, ed. by Robert L. Perkins, Macon: Mercer University Press 1999 (International Kierkegaard Commentary Volume 1).

[45] For example, Prefaces: Light Reading for Certain Classes as the Occasion May Require, By Nicolaus Notabene, translated with an introduction & notes by William McDonald, Tallahassee: Florida State University Press, 1989.  Without the generous and able assistance of both Julia Watkin and Grethe Kjær, this translation would not have been possible.