Following Kant, Søren Kierkegaard’s Works of Love
illustrates a conception of Christian equality which essentially abstracts
from the everyday conditions of power and subordination within social life. He offers us a picture of social life that would systematically deny the moral significance of social inequality. For Kierkegaard, however, it is through the duty to love others that I am to learn to recognise others as ‘neighbours’. This is to create a connection between us as human beings that is supposed to be more important than whatever divides us in the social world. This is the importance of Christian love:
It is the Christian love which discovers and knows that the neighbour exists, and what amounts to the same thing, that everyone is a neighbour. If it were not a duty to love, then the concept of neighbour would not exist; but only when one loves one’s neighbour, only then is the selfish partiality eradicated, and the equality of the eternal preserved. (Works of Love, p. 37)
KeywordsMoral Psychology False Sense Moral Culture Human Equality Moral Limit
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