Volume 23, Issue 1, Fall 2018
Joshua M. Hall
Religious Lightness in Infinite Vortex
Dancing with Kierkegaard
Dance is intimately connected to both Kierkegaard’s personal life and his life in writing, as exemplified in his famous nightly attendance at the dance-filled theater, and his invitation to the readers of “A First and Last Explanation” to (in his words) “dance with” his pseudonyms. The present article’s acceptance of that dance invitation proceeds as follows: the first section surveys the limited secondary literature on dance in Kierkegaard, focusing on the work of M. Ferreira and Edward Mooney. The second section explores the hidden dancing dimensions of Kierkegaard’s “leap” and “shadow-dance” (Schattenspiel). And the third section reinterprets the pseudonymous works richest in dance, Repetition and Postscript, concluding that the religious for him is the lighthearted dance of a comic actor through the everyday theater of the world.