In Search of Transcendence

Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, Kazantzakis


Author: Jerry H. Gill
This book explores the philosophical/religious thought of Soren Kierkegaard, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Nikos Kazantzakis in relation to the concept of transcendence. Each of these thinkers has made a strong impact on Western religious and philosophical thought, but each from a nearly completely different angle as well as from a different national background. This comparative study therefore crosses both national and perspectival boundaries. Each of the three thinkers struggled with the notion of transcendence but in uniquely distinct fashion. The conclusion offers yet a third model, the author’s, for understanding transcendence focusing on the concept of “mediation”.

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Jerry H. Gill (Ph.D. Duke University, 1966) is Professor Emeritus of the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY. He has written and edited over 30 books, and published over 100 articles in professional journals; several on the thinkers central to this study. His major works include Wittgenstein and Metaphor, Mediated transcendence, Deep Postmodernism, and The Tacit Mode.

1 Three Diverse Personas
 1 Kierkegaard, the Melancholy Dane
 2 Wittgenstein, the Austrian Expatriate
 3 Kazantzakis, the Greek Iconoclast

2 Three Differing Philosophies
 1 Kierkegaard’s Ironic Existentialism
 2 Wittgenstein’s Linguistic Analysis
 3 Kazantzakis’ Cosmic Dualism

3 Three Divergent “Theologies”
 1 Kierkegaard’s “Knight of Faith”
 2 Wittgenstein and “God-Talk”
 3 Kazantzakis’ Emerging Deity
 Mediated Transcendence


All scholars, students and libraries interested in philosophy of religion and philosophical theology, especially those interested in Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, and Kazantzakis.