Nov 26, 2008

A story

His character was weak; moreover he had a great sense and fondness for enjoying life, and not the simpler pleasures but the more refined ones, yes, the most refined of all: being honored, esteemed, and respected as a man of earnestness, character, and principles, a man who stands firm when everything shakes, etc.

He was in fact a very gifted man intellectually, an exceptional orator, and definitely was brilliantly shrewd.

This combination is Bishop M., and this combination has managed to confuse a whole generation with respect to Christianity. For his weakness of character is never seen, since it is covered up by his brilliant shrewdness; his desire for pleasure is never seen, it is accepted as — a new refinement! — devout freedom of spirit in contrast to pietistic anxiety.

-- Kierkegaard, 1854

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