October 27

“A genius and an apostle are qualitatively different, are qualifications that belong each in its qualitative sphere: of immanence and of transcendence. (1) Therefore the genius can very well have something new to bring, but this in turn vanishes in the human race’s general assimilation, just as the difference ‘genius’ vanishes as soon as one thinks of eternity. The apostle has something paradoxically new to bring, the newness of which, just because it is essentially paradoxical and not an anticipation pertaining to the development of the human race, continually remains, just as an apostle remains for all eternity an apostle, and no immanence of eternity places him essentially on the same line with all human beings, since essentially he is paradoxically different. (2) The genius is what he is by himself, that is, by what he is in himself; an apostle is what he is by his divine authority. (3) The genius has only immanent teleology; the apostle is absolutely teleologically positioned paradoxically.”

~Source: Two Ethical-Religious Essays: “The Difference between a Genius and an Apostle” (1849)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym H. H.


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