Kierkegaard and Unamuno’s San Manuel Bueno, mártir: A Study in the Ethical Life

Jan E. Evans

Jan E. Evans argues Miguel de Unamuno’s San Manuel Bueno, mártir provides rich possibilities for discussion of ultimate values. The novel’s protagonist, a Catholic priest, lives an exemplary life of self sacrifice for his parishioners, but does not, himself, believe. Anticipating postmodern thinking by at least seventy years, Unamuno demonstrates the passionate life, well lived, depreciating the need for any ultimate truth claims. This article considers Unamuno’s use of the Kierkegaardian existence sphere of the ethical in the creation of his memorable protagonist, and then allows the Kierkegaardian existence sphere of the religious to challenge the adequacy of a life limited to the ethical sphere. Ms. Evans is Assistant Professor of Modern Foreign Languages at Baylor University.

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Last Updated: October 8, 2004
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