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First published in 1848, "Christian Discourses" is a quartet of pieces written and arranged in contrasting styles. Parts One and Three, "The Cares of the Pagans" and "Thoughts That Wound from Behind--for Upbuilding," serve as a polemical overture to Kierkegaard's collision with the established order of Christendom. Yet Parts Two and Four, "Joyful Notes in the Strife of Suffering" and "Discourses at the Communion on Fridays," are reassuring affirmations of the joy and blessedness of Christian life in a world of adversity and suffering. Written in ordinary language, the work combines simplicity and inwardness with reflection and presents crucial Christian concepts and presuppositions with unusual clarity. Kierkegaard continued in the pattern that he began with his first pseudonymous esthetic work, "Either/Or," by pairing "Christian Discourses" with "The Crisis," an unsigned esthetic essay on contemporary Danish actress Joanne Luise Heiberg., With the Christian Discourses, Kierkegaard intended to conclude the signed second authorship following Concluding Unscientific Postscript as the end of the pseudonymous writings. Parts One and Three contain a polemical element and constitute an overture to the collision with the established order of Christendom. The dominant theme of Parts Two and Four is an affirmation of the joy and blessedness of the Christian life in a world of adversity and suffering. The work combines simplicity and inwardness with reflection and presents Christian concepts as presuppositions with clarity., WithChristian Discourses, Kierkegaard intended to conclude the signed "second authorship" followingConcluding Unscientific Postscriptas the end of the pseudonymous writings. Parts One and Three, "The Cares of the Pagans" and "Thoughts That Wound from Behind--for Upbuilding," contain a polemical element and constitute the overture to the collision with the established order of Christendom. The dominant theme of Parts Two and Four, "Joyful Notes in the Strife of Suffering" and "Discourses at the Communion on Fridays," is a reassuring affirmation of the joy and blessedness of the Christian life in a world of adversity and suffering. Written in ordinary language, the work combines simplicity and inwardness with reflection and presents crucial Christian concepts and presuppositions with unusual clarity. Among the discourses are some of Kierkegaard's masterpieces. The first pseudonymous esthetic work,Either/Or, was accompanied by a series of religious discourses. To maintain the dialectical structure of the dual authorship, Kierkegaard wrote an accompanying work toChristian Discourses: an esthetic essay on a foremost Danish actress. To her, it was a "wonderful surprise to read [how] the inspired theoretician manages to express clearly and unambiguously what one hasfeltwithout being able to find the words to clarify and illustrate this feeling."


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