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The Dialectic between Trust, Faith and Parrhesia in Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard

Gloria Dell’Eva


In this article, I analyse the concept of trust in Fear and Trembling, where it is closely related to faith, even though there never is a perfect correspondence between the two: Faith is a more complex phenomenon, because trust is always only one of the two feelings that are paradoxically involved in faith. In my interpretation, faith is a struggle between antithetical feelings of man towards God: first, between trust in an almighty God and fear of a tyrannical God; secondly between this fear and a new kind of trust, no longer in an omnipotent God but rather in a God who dwells in man himself and in the world. The task of the individual, once he knows of this divine presence, becomes the expression of this new fiduciary bond with God before other persons. I will show that this communicative, social task is an example of parrhesia.

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