Who is Soren Aabye Kierkegaard?June 26, 2021
Soren Kierkegaard (Sirin Kirkigor) was a Danish philosopher and theologian who lived from 1813 to 1855. Kierkegaard was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, to a deeply religious Lutheran family. Kierkegaard was brought up in a strict religious atmosphere by receiving religious education under the influence of his religious father.
Soren Kierkegaard was born in Copenhagen in 1813. He was the youngest of seven siblings. His father was 56 when he was born. His mother, sisters and two brothers died at a very early age. This event aroused in Kierkegaard the feeling that he, too, would die at an early age. It heightened the existing melancholy.
Statue of Kierkegaard in Copenhagen.
His mother was his father’s second wife and former servants. His father married Kierkegaard’s mother 7 months after his first wife died. The person who has the most influence in his life is his father. His father’s strict religiosity was later influential in shaping Kierkegaard’s thoughts and directing his life.
His father expected his sons, especially Kierkegaard, to do what he himself could not. So his father was trying to mold him into his own thinking. Kierkegaard, who had a childhood under pressure, exhibited abnormal behaviors due to this pressure in the future. His father left deep traces in his soul. What he did was either because of his father’s crushing pressure or because of his reaction to him.
He had his primary education at the School of Civic Virtue. Kierkegaard, a strange student at school, wore old-fashioned, buttoned-up clothes and acted like old men. Even at that time, he surprised everyone with his intelligence. As he grew older, it became clear that old-fashioned clothes were not the only reason for his strange appearance.
His body was leaning slightly, perhaps from a spinal disease that gave him a slight slouching. As a child, he was subjected to the sarcastic remarks of other children because of his strange appearance. Later, he preferred theology department at the university under the influence of his father. He enrolled at the University of Copenhagen.
Along with his theology education, he also studied liberal arts and sciences. He soon became known for his extensive knowledge and sharp wit. He spent a period in his university life, which he called “aesthetic life” in his philosophy. He gained a well-deserved reputation for his academic intelligence at the university where he studied. Towards the end of his university life, he began to criticize Christianity, contrary to his childhood education.
Kierkegaard is one of the leading figures in the philosophy of existentialism.
In 1838 his father died. His father left him a great legacy. Overnight, Kierkegaard became Copenhagen’s richest and most suitable person to marry. Until two years after his father’s death, Kierkegaard lived a good Christian life and worked hard. The year 1841 was an important turning point for Kierkegaard. During this period, he met a young girl named Regine Olsen, who was ten years younger than him. He got engaged to this girl, to whom he would later dedicate his life.
He became attached to her with deep feelings in a short time. This engagement did not last long. Two days after getting engaged, Kierkegaard realized that he had made a big mistake. He decided to break off the engagement without offending the feelings of the young girl on the opposite side and without humiliating her. However, this was not as easy as he thought. Regine’s father even came to beg her not to break off the engagement. But Kierkegaard did not reverse this decision. Kierkegaard broke off the engagement, and he asked for it himself. But he did not give up on her throughout his life and remained faithful to his engagement.
Kierkegaard will refer to this decision later in his diaries when he was about to unite his life with the girl he loved. Kierkegaard, who graduated from the university during this period, wanted to devote himself to philosophy, writing, production and God. He instinctively felt that he had to sacrifice everything in his life for this purpose. In his diaries, he defended this idea as the reason for his separation from Regine.
Just as Abraham sacrificed his son to be close to God (according to Kierkegaard, the real victim here is Abraham who sacrificed his only hope for the future). He would show the courage Abraham showed by breaking up with Regine even though he loved her. By doing so, Kierkegaard was sacrificing himself to God, like Abraham.
After breaking off the engagement, Kierkegaard devoted himself to his works. Over the course of ten years, he published many books and articles, both under his own name and under a pseudonym. The main ones are: Enten/Eller (Either / or) (1843), Frygt og Boeven (Fear and Trembling) (1843), Philosophiske Smuler eller En Smule Philosophie (Philosophical Crumbs) (1844), Begrebet Angest (The Concept of Anxiety) ( 1844), Stadier paa Livets (Stages of the Life Path) (1845), Afsluttende Uvidenskabelig Efter Skrift (Solving the Unscientific Footnote) (1846), Sygdomen Til Dqden (Fatal Illness) (1849).
Kierkegaard struggled with the Official Church of Denmark throughout his life. In 1855, shortly before his death, in conversation with a close friend, his friend asked him if he wanted a religious burial. He also wanted a ceremony.