posted November 1, 2010

Text Focuses on Kierkegaard and Catholicism

Dr. Jack Mulder Jr., assistant professor of philosophy at Hope College, is author of the book "Kierkegaard and the Catholic Tradition," published earlier this fall by Indiana University Press of Bloomington.

Although Kierkegaard was a Lutheran, Mulder notes that he was dissatisfied with the Lutheran establishment of his day, with some scholars suggesting that he sought to push his faith toward Catholicism.  Mulder's book provides an extended look into convergences and differences between Kierkegaard's thought and Catholicism, including on issues such as natural theology, natural moral law, Christian love, apostolic authority, the doctrine of hell, contrition for sins, the doctrine of purgatory and the communion of saints.

Dr. C. Stephen Evans of Baylor University, who is himself a Kierkegaard scholar, has said of the book, "There have been many comments made about Kierkegaard and Catholicism by various writers, but this is the first serious look at the places where there may be coherence and where there is tension."

Mulder, who has taught at Hope since the fall of 2004, specializes in the philosophy of religion, Kierkegaard's thought and their points of contact with the Catholic tradition.  His book "Mystical and Buddhist Elements in Kierkegaard's Religious Thought" was published by Edwin Mellen Press of Lewiston, N.Y., in 2005, and he is also the author of multiple scholarly articles in professional journals or book chapters in edited volumes regarding Kierkegaard.

He is a 2000 Hope graduate, and completed his master's and doctorate at Purdue University in 2003 and 2004 respectively.  He taught at Purdue prior to joining the faculty at Hope.