Publication date:15 September 1997
Length of book:376 pages
PublisherPenn State University Press
Unlike many of the major figures in Western philosophy, Kierkegaard explores many issues of interest to feminist theorists today. Moreover, he does so in a style—labyrinthine, many-voiced, multilayered, adverse to authority—that adumbrates écriture féminine.
A major question probed in the volume is whether Kierkegaard's writings are misogynist, ambivalent, or essentialist in their views of women and the feminine or whether, in some important and vital ways, they are liberatory and empowering for feminists and women trying to free themselves from the maze of patriarchal constructs.
The essays also show how the three existence-spheres—aesthetic, ethical, and religious—articulated in Kierkegaard's authorship inscribe different modalities of the sexual relation: seduction for the aesthetic, marriage for the ethical, and absence from commerce with the other sex for the religious.
Contributors are Sylviane Agacinski, Wanda Warren Berry, Birgit Bertung, Jane Duran, Leslie A. Howe, Céline Léon, Tamsin Lorraine, Robert L. Perkins, Mark L. Taylor, Sylvia Walsh, and Julia Watkin.