Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Kierkegaard, Soren (1813–1855)
Graham M. Smith
Soren Kierkegaard was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he spent most of his short but productive life. Kierkegaard intended to bring his readers to a realization of the importance of becoming a Christian—an imperative he thought lost on his fellow residents of Copenhagen, who were contented to sublet this task to the formalities of the established Danish church. Although Kierkegaard's thought is sometimes tarnished by his patriarchal and reactionary views, this does not outweigh his wider pursuits: combating the twin dangers of the hubristic influence of Hegelian ideas in Danish life and the demeaning and dehumanizing relations created by democracy, liberalism, and the demands of equality. Thus, although he was not a political theorist in the restricted sense of the term, Kierkegaard's highly idiosyncratic writings develop a challenging view of the contours of the relationship between the individual and the community as a whole. Before any examination of Kierkegaard's thought ...