409 “Fear and Trembling” (The Story of Abraham and Isaac) by Soren Kierkegaard

In our last look at Søren Kierkegaard, we left our hero after he had just left the love of his life, Regine Olsen, in favor of a life devoted to God and philosophy. In this episode, Jacke looks at one of the great products of that seismic schism: Fear and Trembling, or Kierkegaard’s analysis of God’s command that Abraham should sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. How does Abraham’s decision fit into moral and ethical principles? And if it doesn’t fit, what does that mean for our society – or for Christianity itself?

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175 Virgin Whore – The Virgin Mary in Medieval Literature and Culture (with Professor Emma Maggie Solberg)

Today, we know the Virgin Mary as quiet, demure, and (above all) chaste, but this wasn’t always the way she was understood or depicted. In her new book Virgin Whore, Professor Emma Maggie Solberg investigates a surprising – and surprisingly prevalent – theme in late English medieval literature and culture: the celebration and veneration of the Virgin Mary’s sexuality. Professor Solberg joins Jacke for a discussion of the portrayals of Mary in medieval dramas and other works – and what we can learn from those portrayals today.

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