Anxiety and Faith
Lacan <em>avec</em> Kierkegaard
The essay questions Lacan’s debt to Kierkergaard in reference to the relationship between the experience of faith and the affect of anxiety. From the beginning, for Lacan, faith is configured as faith in the word given, trust that the Other does not deceive us; Kierkegaard’s contribution instead consists in detaching it definitively from any reference to knowledge – a position on which Hegel stands –, linking it instead to the mere affect of anxiety understood as the uncanny signal of the desiring subject’s exit from the aesthetic stage, i.e. from the condition of dreaming and not yet awakened spirit. Faith in a God who does not deceive, an inevitable corollary of modern science, is transformed with Kierkegaard into faith in the absurd, as evidenced by the case of Abraham, ready on the one hand to sacrifice Isaac, but on the other confident that God will give him back at usury.