KIERKEGAARD: UTOPIAN OR DYSTOPIAN?
In recent years, the political dimensions of Kierkegaard’s thought have received increased attention. The SAMLA 88 conference theme Utopia/Dystopia: Whose Paradise is it? offers us an opportunity to consider the political Kierkegaard in a new light, i.e., as a utopian and/or dystopian thinker. Skeptical of modern liberal democracy, Kierkegaard’s utopian vision is based not on a political program but on his Christian faith. “If everyone in truth loved the neighbor as himself,” he writes, “then would perfect human equality be unconditionally attained.” Yet this if expresses all of Kierkegaard’s doubts about the perfectibility of humankind, and his conviction that it is subject to a radical evil. These dark ruminations find vent in the dystopian prophecies of his more explicitly political writings. This panel welcomes papers on any aspect of Kierkegaard’s political thought, but proposals on the conference theme of Utopia/Dystopia are especially welcome. By Friday, June 3, 2016, please submit a 300-word abstract, brief bio, and AV requirements to Troy Wellington Smith (University of California, Berkeley) at firstname.lastname@example.org and Matthew Brake (George Mason University) at email@example.com.