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Quaestiones Disputatae

Volume 9, Issue 2, Spring 2019

Christian Personalism

Michael J. Healy, Ronda de Sola Chervin
Pages 31-42

Interpreting Kierkegaard’s Notion That “Truth Is Subjectivity”

The article interprets Kierkegaard’s thesis that “truth is subjectivity,” unfolding four possible meanings: 1. the deepest kinds of knowledge can only come from lived experience; 2. self-knowledge is essential for metanoia or change; 3. if the “how” is right, then the “what” or the truth will also be given; and 4. the deepest importance of truth lies in living it. These reflections are then related to personalist themes: the incarnate person as responsible, as inviolable, and as averse to coercion; the incarnate person as having a mysterious interiority, an infinite abyss of existence, and as never reducible to a mere part of a whole nor simply determined from within or without; this interiority is not isolating but opens up toward others; and freedom is not arbitrary but implies universal moral and particular religious calls. Finally, I ask whether Kierkegaard’s personalism is too individualistic and does not do full justice to some of the themes here.

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