Happening now: Kierkegaard bicentennial commemoration at First Lutheran Church of West Seattle

With First Lutheran Church of West Seattle pastor Rev. Ron Marshall in that photo is a newly dedicated statue he commissioned, as a tribute to Danish theologian/philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, whose bicentennial is being commemorated today at the church. It began with a lecture this morning and concludes with a mid-afternoon reception, including folk dancing and this array of treats marked with tiny Denmark flags:

Commemorative glass mugs are available:

And distinguished visitors are on hand, including musicians, a poet, and the Kierkegaard statue’s artist, Dr. Rita Marie Kepner of Marrowstone Island (south of Port Townsend):

A pamphlet about the statue includes her memoirs about the process of creating it. She explains that Rev. Marshall contacted her more than five years ago “about finding a student to create a small ceramic portrait” of Kierkegaard … but she herself became intrigued, learning about Kierkegaard’s connection with the Lutheran Church. As she wrote, like many people, he is remembered more “as the father of existentialism.” Talking with the pastor, she eventually realized “the project was important enough that we should do it in bronze, not ceramic.” The brochure, which includes many more musings on her artistic process, notes that she is not only an internationally acclaimed artist but also an appointed federal disaster-response reservist and licensed boat captain. First Lutheran, by the way, is at 4105 California SW, north of The Junction.

6 Replies to "Happening now: Kierkegaard bicentennial commemoration at First Lutheran Church of West Seattle"

  • 1Tim3vs16 November 17, 2013 (7:02 pm)

    To ceremoniously commemorate another human in worshipful adoration; in a place you claim is dedicated to the same God that Christ, himself serves; is one the most offensive and (should be)obvious displays of idolatry. How many are being mislead by the very counterfeit Christianity we were warned about in the Bible?
    The Holy Scriptures are very clear how God feels about idols/statutes.Here are just few scriptures to get started:

    Micah 5:13; Micah 1:7; Deuteronomy 12:3; 2 Kings 23:11; Deuteronomy 7:5; Exodus 34:13; Exodus 23:24; Jeremiah 16:18; Hosea 10:1-2; Isaiah 46:1; Amos 5:26

    I recommend that Rev. Marshall’s followers read their Bibles to learn what offends God. If their religious leader is not clear what “idolatry” is, then are they really being lead by God? Or are they lead by a man representing a religion? Maybe something else we should all consider is the perfect example God’s Son set for all mankind to follow. Would God’s Son have ceremoniously commemorated a statute of one of the apostles in his fathers house? Of all the Bibles I’ve read, not one of them has a record of any such thing.

    • WSB November 17, 2013 (7:13 pm)

      1Tim, Rev. Marshall is a prolific writer and seeker and I’m betting he would love the chance to discuss this with you personally – his contact information is on the church website. Meantime, my co-publisher (who attended a portion of the event to bring back the photos and information we presented here) points out, if it’s of interest, that the quote on the statue (too distant in our photo to read) begins “I will seek my refuge with… the Crucified One….”
      That’s also mentioned in this writing by Rev. Marshall on the church website: http://www.flcws.org/Practice.htm – TR

  • Wakeflood November 18, 2013 (9:45 am)

    Hey Tim…lighten up.

    It’s a philosopher’s job to ask and attempt to answer difficult questions about our universe. The simple fact that some folks want to show appreciation for another human who took a whack at those questions and came up with some ideas that speak to an individual’s sense of connectivity with that universe, DOESN’T preclude your opportunity to follow another interpretation.

    Your scripture quotations are essentially the same thing – humans throwing out thoughts. No idols before me? Um…whatever. I’ll take it under consideration but not being a Christian, I’m not likely to ponder that very long.

    Frankly I think it’s a good sign that some Christians are opening up their self-referential, nee tautological dogma to challenge the scripture. Goodness knows, there’s enough contradictory statements in it to spend a lifetime attempting to reconcile.

    And to anticipate a potential response by you, there’s no empirical evidence to suggest that Kierkie’s thoughts are less valid than any other author of the scripture…or frankly, Sartre, or Nietzche…et al. (I left out L. Ron Rhubarb, because of his obvious neuroses.) ;-)

  • Jim November 18, 2013 (11:56 am)

    I thought this was a great idea. Kierkegaard deserves more attention from modern Christians and I was pleased to see that this was being done by First Lutheran. Now, how about a series on Pascal?

    Honestly, 1Tim3vs16, I think what offends Christ is Old Testament Phariseeism.

  • Tom November 18, 2013 (1:00 pm)

    Absolutely, Jim. Who knows, you might even work your way to an Aquinian calculation of angels dancing per pin? ;-)

  • Tom November 18, 2013 (1:08 pm)

    Beg pardon that last bit of attempted “Pascalian” sarcasm.

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