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Encounters with Kierkegaard: A Life as Seen by His Contemporaries [Paperback]

By Soren Kierkegaard (Author), Bruce H. Kirmmse (Editor) & Virginia R. Laursen (Translator)
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Item description for Encounters with Kierkegaard: A Life as Seen by His Contemporaries by Soren Kierkegaard, Bruce H. Kirmmse & Virginia R. Laursen...

Often viewed by his contemporaries as a person who deliberately cultivated an air of mystery and eccentricity, Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) has continued to be a subject of great speculation. Here historian Bruce Kirmmse provides a collection of every known eyewitness account of the great Danish thinker. These accounts give us a glimpse of Kierkegaard's spiritual and intellectual development, along with other aspects of his life. 21 photos.

Publishers Description

"Encounters with Kierkegaard" is a collection of every known eyewitness account of the great Danish thinker. Through many sharp observations of family members, friends and acquaintances, supporters and opponents, the life story of this elusive and remarkable figure comes into focus, offering a rare portrait of Kierkegaard the man.

Often viewed by his contemporaries as a person who deliberately cultivated an air of mystery and eccentricity, Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) has been, then and now, a subject of great speculation. His startling attack on the established church, his broken engagement with a young woman from a respected family, and his searing criticisms of literary figures--from the editors of "The Corsair" to Hans Christian Andersen--are among the acts that brought him much notoriety during his short lifetime. Yet arriving at a sense of the philosopher's personality and motives behind his behavior has been a difficult task. He left no memoirs of autobiography, but in the enormous cannon of his published writings, the author and the person Soren Kierkegaard is problematically present in a welter of disguises. An indispensable path to understanding what he was like as a person, maintains Bruce Kirmmse, is through the observations of his contemporaries.

These accounts, ranging from the writings of Meir Aron Goldschmidt, editor of "The Corsair," to the recollections of Kierkegaard's fiancee, are organized around the major episodes of the philosopher's life. They enable us to glimpse, among many things, his spiritual and intellectual development, to get a sense of what it was like to be the object of his friendship or his wrath, and to examine various persons' opinions about his relationship with his young fiancee. The memories of this woman, Regine Olsen, who later married Fritz Schlegel, are among the most moving passages: they reveal her profound suffering, her personal understanding of Kierkegaard, and the satisfaction she ultimately felt, knowing that "he took her with him into history." This collection of first-hand accounts invites the reader to compare and interpret a wealth of fascinating stories, and in the end forms an intriguing "do-it-yourself" biography for both the scholar and general reader.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Princeton University Press
Pages   378
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.23" Width: 6.16" Height: 0.88"
Weight:   1.23 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 21, 1998
Publisher   Princeton University Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0691058946  
ISBN13  9780691058948  

Availability  125 units.
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More About Soren Kierkegaard, Bruce H. Kirmmse & Virginia R. Laursen

Soren Kierkegaard Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology and philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking, and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. He was a fierce critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Swedenborg, Hegel, Goethe, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel, and Hans Christian Andersen.

His theological work focuses on Christian ethics, the institution of the Church, the differences between purely objective proofs of Christianity, the infinite qualitative distinction between man and God, and the individual's subjective relationship to Jesus Christ, the God-Man, which came through faith. Much of his work deals with the art of Christian love. He was extremely critical of the practice of Christianity as a state religion, primarily that of the Church of Denmark. His psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices.

Soren Kierkegaard was born in 1813 and died in 1855.

Soren Kierkegaard has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy
  2. Concluding Unscientific Postscripts to Philosophical Fragmen
  3. Harper Torchbooks
  4. Harperperennial Modern Thought
  5. Kierkegaard's Writings (Paperback)
  6. New York Review Books (Paperback)
  7. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  8. Penguin Classics
  9. Phoenix Books

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Philosophers
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Movements > Existentialism
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( K ) > Kierkegaard, Soren

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