Knud Ejler Løgstrup: The sovereign expressions of life

Extravagant Creation

Knud Ejler Løgstrup (1905-1981) was a Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Aarhus in Denmark.  He is probably the most important Danish philosopher since Kierkegaard.  Løgstrup’s best known book, Den etiske fordring (The Ethical Demand), was published in 1956 (translations: German, 1959; English, 1971, 1997; Swedish, 1994; Norwegian, 1999).  Reviewed or discussed in over 100 articles, the book has been something of a lightning rod ever since its publication: in some quarters, it elicits extravagant praise; in others, it provokes bewilderment or even harsh criticism.  Løgstrup described it as an attempt “to characterize in purely human terms the attitude to the other person contained in the proclamation of Jesus, quite apart from any consideration of its religious setting” (p. 114 of the 1971 English translation).  I think the book can be seen as a phenomenological unpacking of this saying of Løgstrup’s: “We never have anything…

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Knud Ejler Løgstrup: The sovereign expressions of life

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