Kierkegaard pp 148-161 | Cite as

Double Contemporaneity, or the Paradox of Repetition

Part of the Renewing Philosophy book series (REP)


Contemporaneity with the biblical figures of Abraham and Job presupposes contemporaneity with Adam, who – according to Kierkegaard – symbolizes the possibility that every single individual becomes an Adam. Thus Adam and every consequent Adam has the logic-defying task of performing the free movement of repetition and becoming contemporaneous with Abraham, ‘the father of faith’. This conception should not surprise the reader as it echoes similar interpretations of the biblical text among the German mystics. In Boehme’s symbolism, for example, Abraham stands in Adam’s stead and Isaac ‘is represented in Christ’s humanity’. Moreover, ‘Abraham, that is Adam, should offer up his person in Isaac, that is in Christ, to the voice of God in the fire of God, that so the humanity might be proved in the fire of God’ (Mysterium Magnum, p. 518). Thus, by asking Abraham to sacrifice his son, God called Adam in Abraham, and therefore all human beings to repeat this sacrifice (Mysterium Magnum, p. 518).


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© Vasiliki Tsakiri 2006

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