DOI link for Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard book
In his childhood, Kierkegaard was exposed to weekly meetings of the Society of Moravian Brethren as well as to the sermons of J. P. Mynster, later Bishop Primate of the Danish People’s Church (Gar 2005: 10-12). e former has its roots in Herrnhut pietism, the latter in liberal-rationalist Lutheranism, although Mynster himself was raised by a staunchly pietistic stepfather (Kirmmse 1990: 100). e Moravian Brethren emphasized the inward deepening of religious feeling, fostered anticlerical attitudes and attacked bourgeois comforts, while the state church catered primarily to the rising middle class and in the 1830s assimilated itself to the intellectual fashion of Hegelianism. Kierkegaard’s oeuvre traces a distinct trajectory from positive engagement with Hegel’s work and its early reception in Denmark by J. L. Heiberg, through an intermediate and ironic engagement with Hegel in his dissertation e Concept of Irony: With Continual Reference to Socrates, through a long-running satire on the work of the Hegelian theologian H. L. Martensen, accompanied by a turn against Heiberg (Stewart 2003: 596-610), to a complex parody of Hegel’s Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences (McDonald 1997), and then to a diagnosis of the case of the Hegelian pastor Adolph Adler as an unconscious satire on Hegel (KW 24: 131). Alongside this negative critique of Hegelianism, Kierkegaard retained a deep devotion to his Moravian roots, especially to the edifying hymns of H. A. Brorson, and the Moravian emphasis on inward deepening through contemplation of the tension between “the conviction of sin and the joy of salvation” (Burgess 2004: 236).