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Fear and Trembling, first published in 1843, is Søren Kierkegaard's most celebrated book—a gripping examination of the nature of human existence, a founding document of existentialism, and a touchstone for generations of subversive theology.
As pseudonym "Johannes de Silentio," Kierkegaard obsesses over the story of Abraham and Isaac. This biblical near-sacrifice, undertaken at the behest of an unknowable god, forms the terrain of Kierkegaard's engagement with the "madness" of faith.
The roots of twentieth-century existentialism and twenty-first century postmodernism are firmly planted in Fear and Trembling, which asks whether faith requires an acceptance of contradiction—and a leap into the absurd.
Translated from the Danish by Alistair Hannay.