Kierkegaard is often described as the first existentialist, one of the nineteenth century precursors of a philosophical movement which, according to Sartre, “puts every man in possession of himself as he is and places the entire responsibility for his existence squarely upon his own shoulders.” (Sartre, Existentialism and Humanism, p. 29) Certainly there is much in Kierkegaard’s work to justify such an attribution: he shares with his twentieth century successors, such as Sartre, an emphasis on choice, subjectivity, despair, irony, anxiety, isolation, and a distrust of abstract philosophising, together with a literary and personal style of writing that is recognisably modern. And yet these themes are all worked out within the context of a theism which was not shared by later existentialists, but which has made him a central figure for subsequent Christian thought. Kierkegaard himself most often likened his position to that of a Christian Socrates, an heroically individual thinker faced with the struggle of faith.
KeywordsReligious Context Civic Life Folk Religion Metaphysical Level Objective Uncertainty
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- G.W.F. Hegel, Logic tr. William Wallace, 3rd. ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press 1987.Google Scholar
- —, Philosophy of Mind tr. William Wallace and A.V. Miller, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- —, Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion tr. E.B. Spiers and J.B. Sanderson, new ed., 3 volumes, London: Humanities Press 1962.Google Scholar
- Immanuel Kant, The Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, tr. H.J. Paton as The Moral Law, London: Hutchinson 1948.Google Scholar
- Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, tr. David P. Swenson and Walter Lowrie, Princeton: Princeton University Press 1944.Google Scholar
- —, Either-Or, tr. David F. Swenson and Lillian Marvin Swenson, with revisions by Howard A. Johnson, Princeton: Princeton University Press 1959.Google Scholar
- —, Fear and Trembling and Repetition, ed. and tr. Howard V. Hong Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, Princeton: Princeton University Press 1983.Google Scholar
- —, Soren Kierkegaard’s Journals and Papers, ed. and tr. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong (7 vols), Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1978.Google Scholar
- —, The Point of View for My Work as an Author, tr. W. Lowrie, New York: Harper and Row 1962.Google Scholar
- Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism and Humanism, London: Eyre Methuen 1948.Google Scholar