Articles and Features

Soren Kierkegaard's Birthday

May 5, 1813

Week of May 3, 1998

I knew his name because it was the kind of tidbit of information that smart people knew. It was a lot like playing piano or understanding Calculus. Smart people mention Kierkegaard, Sartre and Voltaire. I wanted to be a smart person, so I learned how to pronounce his name correctly, connected it with the concept of existentialism, and went on my merry way, knowing nothing of the man.

Then something happened when I became obsessed with Ayn Rand. I decided that her philosophy of life was the only one that worked for me. All of a sudden, all other philosophies became a source of ridicule and disdain to me. I turned my nose up to Kierkegaard and Sartre (but not Voltaire, who could hate him?). Yet, I still knew less of the man than when I began the journey.

Now, my mind has opened a crack (not the skull, just the mind set). I am now able to learn about the man whose name I dropped like a handkerchief and dropped like a lead weight. Explore the following links and books and make your own decision.

Introduction and quote compilation by Laura S. Moncur, Staff Writer.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
"Most people are subjective toward themselves and objective toward all others, frightfully objective sometimes--but the task is precisely to be objective toward oneself and subjective toward all others."
Works of Love
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
"The man who can really stand alone in the world, only taking counsel from his conscience--that man is a hero."
The Journals, 1850
"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."
"Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living."
"I have no single connection with a single other person: I am the most solitary of persons, the (understood in a worldly sense) most powerless."
The Journals, 1850
"Prayer does not change God, but changes him who prays."
"This is all that I've known for certain, that God is love. Even if I have been mistaken on this or that point: God is nevertheless love."
The Journals, 1850
Featured Books
The following books and tapes are available through
  • Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard Paperback
  • Papers and Journals : A Selection by Soren Kierkegaard Paperback - Many great quotes came from his journals. This book provides a selection of some of his more interesting journal entries.
  • Concept of Irony by Soren Kierkegaard Paperback
  • Short Life of Kierkegaard Paperback by J.A. Lowrie, Walter Lowrie - A biography of Soren Kierkegaard. The original publication date of this book was 1942, and they are still printing it today.
For more information about Soren Kierkegaard, try these links:
  • The Kierkegaarden - A site which includes a collection of quotations, links to other sites and a detailed biography.
  • D. Anthony Storm's Site on Kierkegaard - Another site dedicated to Kierkegaard. Check out the Gallery (includes portraits of him, his family, his tomb, etc.). It takes a little while to download, but is very professionally displayed.
  • Kierkegaard - A simple site which includes background information on Existentialism.
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