Translated by Dr. Russell Dees. Commissioned by Aarhus University, Denmark. A two volume translation of the major work of the most important Danish philosopher since Kierkegaard.
“At the time of his death in 1981, K. E. Løgstrup was in the process of completing his four volume treatise entitled Metafysik. As his recent biographer Hans Hauge put it, this work was Løgstrup’s summa theologica, the culmination of a lifetime of reading and thinking. Løgstrup published two volumes of this work during his lifetime. The remaining two volumes were edited and published posthumously in 1983 and 1984, respectively, by his widow and several colleagues: Rosemarie Løgstrup, Svend Andersen, Karstein Hansen, Ole Jensen and Viggo Mortensen. The group has edited and published two additional volumes of K. E. Løgstrup’s papers. This translation was commissioned by the University of Aarhus, where Løgstrup was professor of theology from 1943 to 1975, and consists of excerpts from all but one of these works. Danes consider Knud Ejler Løgstrup to be the greatest philosophical/theological thinker their nation has produced since Søren Kierkegaard strolled the cobbled streets of Copenhagen. Like Kierkegaard, Løgstrup has the reputation of being a difficult and strong-willed thinker. On the occasion of the thirteenth printing of Løgstrup’s most widely known work, The Ethical Demand (1956), Poul Erik Tøjner described him in the following way:
K. E. Løgstrup was an obstinate, headstrong thinker. He thought his own way, one could say. He said much. Often, he said the exact opposite of what the epoch accepted as stock, self-evident truths. If Kierkegaard and hundreds of theologians after him said that Christ lived the most paradoxical life that had ever been lived, Løgstrup said that he had lived the only nonparadoxical life on earth. Løgstrup’s influence on Danish spiritual life has been colossal. That his ideas have become so widespread is a tribute not only to his authorship but to just as high a degree to the number of people from a wide variety of disciplines who have felt attracted or repelled by “Løgstrupian” considerations. Løgstrup is recalled as a charismatic figure, one who did not shy away from controversy and who not infrequently expressed his ideas with great eloquence.” — From the Translator’s Foreword