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The Banquet of the Beggars

Very powerful passage from Works of Love, describing Christ’s parable about the man inviting all the lame, crippled, and beggars to a banquet--the revolutionary thing here, says Kierkegaard, is not that he feeds the poor (any charity can do that!), but that he calls it a banquet, a celebration among friends and equals.

“O my listener, does it seem to you that what has been set forth here is merely quibbling about the use of the word 'banquet'? Or do you not perceive that the dispute is about loving the neighbor? The one who feeds the poor--but still has not been victorious over his mind in such a way that he calls this meal a banquet--sees the poor and the lowly only as the poor and the lowly. The one who gives the banquet sees the neighbor in the poor and the lowly--however ludicrous this may seem in the eyes of the world.”

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