Category Archives: translations

Andersen on the Berlin lectures

I have posted a translation of Svend Andersen’s afterword to the Danish edition of Løgstrup’s 1950 Berlin lectures, Kierkegaard’s and Heidegger’s Analysis of the Existence and is Relation to Proclamation: see here. The afterword provides a very helpful overview of the main argument of these lectures, which offer a critical engagement with Kierkegaard and Heidegger. Andersen also puts the lectures in the context of Løgstrup’s later work.

‘Duty or Reponsibility’

I have posted a new translation, of a very interesting article from 1938 called ‘Duty or Responsibility’. In the article, Løgstrup argues that responsibility is a more fundamental ethical concept than duty, in part because it is a more relational notion, and thus does not require justification, as in seeing that you are responsible for someone, no further grounding for action is required than this responsibility  – where without this relational aspect, it is then more mysterious why we should have to act on our duties. Løgstrup uses this idea to criticise Kant’s focus on duty, while the article as a whole makes use of a linguistic approach in a methodologically interesting way.

The Trampoline’s Reply

I have posted a new translation on the ‘resources‘ page, done with Kees van Kooten Niekerk, of an article by Løgstrup from 1980: ‘The Trampoline’s Reply’. This is a response to a book by Johannes Sløk, who was Løgstrup’s younger contemporary, which was critical of Løgstrup’s position but which didn’t mention him by name – the polemical tone of which Løgstrup said made him feel that he was being bounced up and down on like a trampoline, hence the article’s title. Although relatively short and rather polemical in style – as a response to Sløk’s own polemic – the article nonetheless addresses some interesting critical issues concerning Løgstrup’s views, including the challenge that if sovereign expressions of life are really sovereign, can they have an historical origin and can they be overcome.

Olesen Larsen translation

I have posted a translation of an article by K. Olesen Larsen on the resources page here

The article is a response in 1957 by Olesen Larsen to the publication of The Ethical Demand the year before. It is highly critical of what Olesen Larsen sees as an attempt to read the love commandment as the ethical demand in a ‘humanistic’ manner. To Olesen Larsen, all that matters is that we obey the commandment, and the more we relate it to the human good and so see it as an ethical demand, the less we will follow it in pure obedience. The article is therefore helpful in understanding Løgstrup’s rift with the Tidehverv circle, of which Olesen Larsen was a leading representative, where a lot hinged on how to see the relation between ethics and religion, humanism and Christianity.

Jensen translation

I have posted a new translation on the resources page, of an important article by Ole Jensen (who is also co-translator on the article). Jensen raises a significant critique of Løgstrup, namely his lack of clarity concerning the fulfillability or otherwise of the sovereign expressions of life. Jensen argues that Løgstrup moved from his claims about the unfulfillability of the ethical demand to sometimes suggesting that the sovereign expressions of life were unfulfillable also – but sometimes not. Jensen diagnoses the source of Løgstrup’s lack of clarity on this issue – which Løgstrup himself conceded in his response to Jensen in Opgør med Kierkegaard, where he now made clear that ‘the sovereign expression of life is indeed realised, but spontaneously, without being demanded’.

‘The Nazi’s Philosopher’ translation

I have added another translation, of a newspaper article by Løgstrup published in 1936 called ‘The Nazi’s Philosopher’, which discusses Heidegger’s relation to Nazism – and argues that in fact Hitler was the philosopher, and Heidegger merely his ‘prophet’. It provides an interesting insight into Løgstrup’s view of Heidegger’s place in the history of pre-war Germany, when in later work he was more reluctant to discuss Heidegger in these terms – but he makes his disgust perfectly clear here.

See the resources page here



‘Existence Theology’ translation

I have posted a new translation of an article by Løgstrup, which has been translated with Hans Fink:

‘Existence Theology and its Distinction Between Faith and World-View’

See the ‘resources’ page here

The article offers a very interesting discussion of the relation between ‘philosophy of existence’ of a Kierkegaardian kind, and the theology of Bultmann, Gogarten and others, and how both relate to nihilism. It considers how existence theology of this kind rejects the idea of a world-view; but Løgstrup argues that this does not mean that theology can do without an ontology, a claim he illustrates with a discussion of Luther and Jakob Knudsen.

Translation of Løgstrup’s ‘Humanism and Christianity’

I have posted a new translation on the resources page, the first of a work by Løgstrup himself (which I did with Kees van Kooten Niekerk).

It is his 1950 essay ‘Humanism and Christianity’ which relates to several pieces of that time, and foreshadows some central themes from The Ethical Demand, while shedding interesting light on Løgstrup’s relation to the debate between humanism and Christianity more generally. The paper is discussed in the Lomholt translation that is also on the resources page. It is therefore an important article, and it will hopefully be useful to have it now available in English.

More translations to follow soon!

P.S. A slightly revised version has been uploaded (20/10/15).