Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

Soren Aaby Kierkegaard lived in Copenhagen, Denmark from 1813-1855. He studied at the University of Copenhagen from 1830-1840 with the intention of becoming a Christian Lutheran preacher and teacher as his father requested.  Sometime during his studies he made the decision that he really didn’t want to preach or teach because he felt he was called to write. So he wrote book after book, publishing them in his own name as well as pseudonymously under a variety of different names.

Lawrence Cahoone is a Professor of Philosophy at The College of the Holy Cross. I like his video about Kierkegaard.

I like his description of Soeborg Lake from his 1845 book States on Life’s Way as translated by Walter Lowrie in 1940.

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When Mikael Kierkegaard (Michael) died on August 9, 1838 Soren had lost both his parents and all his brothers and sisters except for Peter who later became Bishop of Aalborg in the Danish State Lutheran Church.

What did he think of the soul?  Who owns the soul of each single individual? I read a section of Kierkegaard’s writings from 1843 and made it into a YouTube video.  I like what he write here about the soul and patience.

He was very interested in faith as a passion. What if someone heard that faith is the highest and went to another and asked “How do I get this faith?” That’s what Kierkegaard wrote about in this discourse from 1843.

Kierkegaard was sitting in class one day while the professor was going over the location of the stars in the universe. Each student had a sheet of paper showing the location of each star and the professor was explaining the locational references.  Kierkegaard got bored and began scribbling on his paper. After a little while he had an outline for a new book, Fear and Trembling, which he published in 1843.  I read selections of the book as translated by Lee M Hollander in 1923 for librivox.org and then made this video and put it on YouTube.

I like the way professor Gregory Sadler explains Kierkegaard’s book.  Below are two videos spotlighting his views on Kierkegaard.  Gregory Sadler’s videos

It is cunning of the inviter to say: I heal all sicknesses, and then when one comes says: I acknowledge only that there is one sickness-sin-of that and from that I heal all of those “who labor and are burdened,” all of those who labor to work themselves out of the power of sin, labor to resist evil, to overcome their weakness, but only manage to be burdened. Of this sickness he heals “all”; even if there were but one single person who turned to him on account of his sickness-he heals all. Soren Kierkegaard, Practice in Christianity 1850 P. 61 Hong translation.

Hans Lassen Martensen was a Danish teacher and peacher who wrote about Soren Kierkegaard in his book Christian Ethics.

Adolf Hult was looking at a Swedish translation of Soren Kierkegaard’s 1849 book The Sickness Unto Death and became interested in the writer. He read Georg Brandes’ biography of Kierkegaard and Waldemar Rudin’s biography of Kierkegaard written in the same year. He decided to systematically study Kierkegaard and his writings and wrote this report of his discoveries in 1906.

David F Swenson left Sweden and moved to Minneapolis with his family. Later he bacame very interested in the works of Soren Kierkegaard and translated many of his works into Engllish. He wrote this essay about Kierkegaard’s idea of indirect communication and subjective thinking in 1916.

He wrote a biography about him in 1920.

Yes, Kierkegaard recognized that Christ came to save sinners. He published this short psychologial study of sin in his 1844 book, The Concept of Dread (Anxiety) and again in his 1845 book, Thoughts on Crucial Situations in Human Life.

The nineteenth century thinkers spent most of their time pouring over all the books published since the invention of the printing press and the growth of the universities. Kierkegaard thought there was so much noise and that the increase and spread of knowledge was causing some things very valuable to be forgotten. Silence, Love and Forgiveness.

Modern philosophy gave birth to the idea that it was best at some point to doubt everything. Rene Descartes came up with this idea and a host of philosophers and philosophical students began doubting. Kierkegaard addressed doubt in 1847.

Once you begin to doubt that God loves you things change in your relation to him. We tend to forget the lesson Christ gave about love for the neighbor and can come to doubt our neighbor’s love toward us as well as our own love of yourself.

At this point we come to Kierkegaard’s view of the tasks of life. He views Christianity filling the individual with tasks to carry out and expressed himself in this 1846 book – Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments.

One of the tasks for the Christian is to read the Bible. Each Christian can read the Bible if he can read or can listen to the Bible read to them. Kierkegaard wrote about reading the Bible in his 1847 book Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits.

The video below is from the same book. It deals with the difference between those who admire Christ and those who follow Christ.  The God-man is not the union of God and man-such terminology is a profound optical illusion. The God-man is the unity of God and an individual human being.  Soren Kierkegaard, Practice in Christianity 1850 P. 82 Hong

If you decide to follow Christ you find that he has graciously forgiven your sins and he wants you to just as graciously forgive the sins of your neighbor.

Kierkegaard stressed the present moment in his writings.

If you are conscious of yourself as a sinner, he will not question you about it; he will not break the bruised reed even more, but will raise you up when you accept him. He will not identify you by contrast, by placing you apart from himself so that your sin becomes even more terrible. Soren Kierkegaard, Practice in Christianity, P. 20 Hong

Kierkegaard stressed over and over again that you should choose to live as a single individual instead of wanting to become lost in the crowd. He wrote about that in in the reading below. He also wrote about it in his book, The Present Age.

Kierkegaard published 18 upbuilding discourses in 1844 and in that book he discussed what the highest is in each individual.

Once you recognize the fact that you, yourself, is a sinner and need God you find that you’ve been responding to Christ’s invitation all along even if you weren’t aware of it.

Lord, increase my faith. The person who prayed this prayer was not an unbeliever but a believer. The person who prays this prayer aright must already feel himself drawn. Be aware of His presence. Soren Kierkegaard, Practice in Christianity, 1850 P. 156 Hong

Now you’ve completed your Christian tasks and you’ve prepared yourself for your own death. Kierkegaard wrote about death in 1845.

works of SK

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