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Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, a Danish religious author, theologian and philosopher was born on 5th May 1813 to a wealthy family in Copenhagen. Before marrying his father Michael Pedersen Kierkegard, his mother Ane Sorensdatter Lund Kiekegard had served as a maid in the same household. Her mother was not very pretty or educated in fact she was quite plain. On the contrary, her father was a strict person and appeared as someone who was very dull and dry and managed to hide his imagination that was so active with his great age. In 1830, he attended school and then went to the Copenhagen University to study theology. Søren is regarded to be the father of existentialism which consisted of three spheres i.e. human existence, knight of faith and infinite qualitative distinction. His other interests were Christianity, metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, ethics, psychology and philosophy. During his time, he criticized the works of Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel, Fredrick Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Not only this, but he was also not in favor of the state and the practice of Christianity carried out in the church of Denmark.

Søren Kierkegaard was the first existentialist philosopher. All his working pertaining to this field dealt with how one lives single handedly as an individual giving more importance to human reality rather than abstract thinking focusing on commitment and personal choice. As far as his theological work is concerned, it is oriented towards Christian ethics i.e. the institution of the Church and the difference regarding the proof of Christianity. He also mentioned about the individuals subjective relationship with Jesus Christ. Basically, most of his work is in relation to Christian love. His psychological work which was inspired by Socrates and the Socratic Method discovered the emotions and feelings that an individual goes through while having to make difficult choices in his life. Søren’s previous work was written with pseudonyms which presented dialogue about viewpoints that were complex in nature. He also did that for critique. Many books were written by him such as Upbuilding Discourse dedicated to the single individual under his own name who wanted to explore the meaning of his work.

Generally, scientists were of the view that they can learn about the world through observation but Søren Kierkegaard completely rubbished saying that it could not explore the insight of the spiritual world. He really liked the comedies of Ludvig Holberg, philosophy of Christian Wolff and the writings of Georg Johann Hamann especially those with reference to Plato and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. He died on 11th November, 1855 at the age of 42. Many of the 20th century philosophers have drawn inspiration from Søren and his work valuing the importance of individual.

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