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Kierkegaard’s Writings (26 vols.)
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Overview

Princeton University Press, for nearly 50 years, has lovingly translated the works of Søren Kierkegaard, the 19th century Danish theologian and philosopher, into English. While English-speaking people have had access to some of Kierkegaard’s corpus, the whole of it has been unavailable until the past few decades. Covering his theological, philosophical, and cultural observations, this series provides readers with newly discovered masterpieces in the history of Christian thought from the mind of one of Christianity’s most profound thinkers.

For the first time ever, this essential edition of the works of Kierkegaard is available in Logos Bible Software. Never before has it possible to ponder the depths of Christian existence in such an accessible format, granting readers the ability to trace Søren’s thinking as he works through the problem of faith in Fear and Trembling, examines cultural Christianity in Either/Or, or expounds upon the works of the Christian life in Training in Christianity. Thoroughly searchable and integrated with your entire Logos library, Writings is the best way to study Kierkegaard—period.

In the Logos edition, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Contains all of Kierkegaard’s writings translated into English
  • Provides searchable texts
  • Offers helpful introductory notes

Praise for the Print Edition

These new translations are excellent.

Choice

The definitive edition of the Writings. The first volume . . . indicates the scholarly value of the entire series: an introduction setting the work in the context of Kierkegaard’s development; a remarkably clear translation; and concluding sections of intelligent notes.

Library Journal

Product Details

Individual Titles

Early Polemical Writings

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editor: Julia Watkin
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 352

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Early Polemical Writings covers the young Kierkegaard’s works from 1834 through 1838. His authorship begins, as it was destined to end, with polemic. Kierkegaard’s first published article touches on the theme of women’s emancipation, and the other articles from his student years deal with freedom of the press.

Modern readers can see the seeds of Kierkegaard’s future career these early pieces. In “From the Papers of One Still Living,” his review of Hans Christian Andersen’s novel Only a Fiddler, Kierkegaard rejects the notion that environment is decisive in determining the fate of genius. He also puts forward his belief that each person needs a life-view or life for which and by which to live, a thought he explores further in the comic play The Battle between the Old and the New Soap-Cellars.

The Concept of Irony, with Continual Reference to Socrates/Notes of Schelling’s Berlin Lectures

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 664

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

A work that “not only treats of irony but is irony,” wrote a contemporary reviewer of The Concept of Irony, with Continual Reference to Socrates. Presented here with Kierkegaard’s notes of the celebrated Berlin lectures on “positive philosophy” by F.W.J. Schelling, the book is a seedbed of Kierkegaard’s subsequent work, both stylistically and thematically. Part One concentrates on Socrates, the master ironist, as interpreted by Xenophon, Plato, and Aristophanes, with a word on Hegel and Hegelian categories. Part Two is a more synoptic discussion of the concept of irony in Kierkegaard’s categories, with examples from other philosophers and with particular attention given to A.W. Schlegel’s novel Lucinde as an epitome of romantic irony.

The Concept of Irony and the Notes of Schelling’s Berlin Lectures belong to the momentous year 1841, which included not only the completion of Kierkegaard’s university work and his sojourn in Berlin, but also the end of his engagement to Regine Olsen and the initial writing of Either/Or.

Either/Or: Part I

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 728

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Søren Kierkegaard, the nineteenth-century Danish philosopher rediscovered in the twentieth century, is a major influence in contemporary philosophy, religion, and literature. He regarded Either/Or as the beginning of his authorship, although he had published two earlier works on Hans Christian Andersen and irony. The pseudonymous volumes of Either/Or are the writings of a young man (I) and of Judge William (II). The ironical young man’s papers include a collection of sardonic aphorisms; essays on Mozart, modern drama, and boredom; and “The Seducer’s Diary.” The seeming miscellany is a reflective presentation of aspects of the “either,” the esthetic view of life.

Either/Or: Part II

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 536

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Søren Kierkegaard, the nineteenth-century Danish philosopher rediscovered in the twentieth century, is a major influence in contemporary philosophy, religion, and literature. He regarded Either/Or as the beginning of his authorship, although he had published two earlier works on Hans Christian Andersen and irony. The pseudonymous volumes of Either/Or are the writings of a young man (I) and of Judge William (II). The ironical young man’s papers include a collection of sardonic aphorisms; essays on Mozart, modern drama, and boredom; and “The Seducer’s Diary.” The seeming miscellany is a reflective presentation of aspects of the “either,” the esthetic view of life.

Part II is an older friend’s “or,” the ethical life of integrated, authentic personhood, elaborated in discussions of personal becoming and of marriage. The resolution of the “either/or” is left to the reader, for there is no Part III until the appearance of Stages on Life’s Way. The poetic-reflective creations of a master stylist and imaginative impersonator, the two men write in distinctive ways appropriate to their respective positions.

Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 581

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

There is much to be learned philosophically from this volume, but philosophical instruction was not Kierkegaard’s aim here, except in the broad sense of self-knowledge and deepened awareness. Indicating the intention of the discourses, the titles include “The Expectancy of Faith,” “Love Will Hide a Multitude of Sins,” “Strengthening in the Inner Being,” “To Gain One’s Soul in Patience,” “Patience in Expectancy,” and “Against Cowardliness.”

In tone and substance these works are in accord with the concluding words of encouragement in Either/Or, which was paired with the first volume of discourses: “Ask yourself and keep on asking until you find the answer, for one may have known something many times, acknowledged it; one may have willed something many times, attempted it—and yet, only the deep inner motion, only the heart’s indescribable emotion, only that will convince you that what you have acknowledged belongs to you, that no power can take it from you—for only the truth that builds up is truth for you.”

Fear and Trembling/Repetition

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1983
  • Pages: 464

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Presented here in a new translation, with a historical introduction by the translators, Fear and Trembling and Repetition are the most poetic and personal of Søren Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous writings. Published in 1843 and written under the names Johannes de Silentio and Constantine Constantius, respectively, the books demonstrate Kierkegaard’s transmutation of the personal into the lyrically religious.

Each work uses as a point of departure Kierkegaard’s breaking of his engagement to Regine Olsen—his sacrifice of “that single individual.” From this beginning Fear and Trembling becomes an exploration of the faith that transcends the ethical, as in Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac at God’s command. This faith, which persists in the face of the absurd, is rewarded finally by the return of all that the faithful one is willing to sacrifice. Repetition discusses the most profound implications of unity of personhood and of identity within change, beginning with the ironic story of a young poet who cannot fulfill the ethical claims of his engagement because of the possible consequences of his marriage. The poet finally despairs of repetition (renewal) in the ethical sphere, as does his advisor and friend Constantius in the aesthetic sphere. The book ends with Constantius’ intimation of a third kind of repetition—in the religious sphere.

Philosophical Fragments, or a Fragment of Philosophy/Johannes Climacus, or De omnibus dubitandum est

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1985
  • Pages: 400

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume contains a new translation, with a historical introduction by the translators, of two works written under the pseudonym Johannes Climacus. Through Climacus, Kierkegaard contrasts the paradoxes of Christianity with Greek and modern philosophical thinking. In Philosophical Fragments he begins with Greek Platonic philosophy, exploring the implications of venturing beyond the Socratic understanding of truth acquired through recollection to the Christian experience of acquiring truth through grace. Published in 1844 and not originally planned to appear under the pseudonym Climacus, the book varies in tone and substance from the other works so attributed, but it is dialectically related to them, as well as to the other pseudonymous writings.

The central issue of Johannes Climacus is doubt. Probably written between November 1842 and April 1843 but unfinished and published only posthumously, this book was described by Kierkegaard as an attack on modern speculative philosophy by “means of the melancholy irony, which did not consist in any single utterance on the part of Johannes Climacus but in his whole life. . . . Johannes does what we are told to do—he actually doubts everything—he suffers through all the pain of doing that, becomes cunning, almost acquires a bad conscience. When he has gone as far in that direction as he can go and wants to come back, he cannot do so. . . . Now he despairs, his life is wasted, his youth is spent in these deliberations. Life does not acquire any meaning for him, and all this is the fault of philosophy.” A note by Kierkegaard suggests how he might have finished the work: “Doubt is conquered not by the system but by faith, just as it is faith that has brought doubt into the world!.”

Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editor: Reidar Thomte
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1980
  • Pages: 296

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Along with The Sickness unto Death, the work reflects from a psychological point of view Søren Kierkegaard’s longstanding concern with the Socratic maxim, “Know yourself.” His ontological view of the self as a synthesis of body, soul, and spirit has influenced philosophers such as Heidegger and Sartre, theologians such as Jaspers and Tillich, and psychologists such as Rollo May.

In The Concept of Anxiety, Kierkegaard describes the nature and forms of anxiety, placing the domain of anxiety within the mental-emotional states of human existence that precede the qualitative leap of faith to the spiritual state of Christianity. It is through anxiety that the self becomes aware of its dialectical relation between the finite and the infinite, the temporal and the eternal. This edition replaces the earlier translation by Walter Lowrie that appeared under the title The Concept of Dread.

Prefaces: Writing Sampler

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editor: Todd W. Nichol
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 208

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Prefaces was the last of four books by Søren Kierkegaard to appear within two weeks in June 1844. Three Upbuilding Discourses and Philosophical Fragments were published first, followed by The Concept of Anxiety and its companion—published on the same day—the comically ironic Prefaces. Presented as a set of prefaces without a book to follow, this work is a satire on literary life in nineteenth-century Copenhagen, a lampoon of Danish Hegelianism, and a prefiguring of Kierkegaard’s final collision with Danish Christendom.

Shortly after publishing Prefaces, Kierkegaard began to prepare Writing Sampler as a sequel. Writing Sampler considers the same themes taken up in Prefaces but in yet a more ironical and satirical vein. Although Writing Sampler remained unpublished during his lifetime, it is presented here as Kierkegaard originally envisioned it, in the company of Prefaces.

Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Pages: 200

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions was the last of seven works signed by Kierkegaard and published simultaneously with an anonymously authored companion piece. Imagined Occasions both complements and stands in contrast to Kierkegaard’s pseudonymously published Stages on Life’s Way.

The two volumes not only have a chronological relation but treat some of the same distinct themes. The first of the three discourses, “On the Occasion of a Confession,” centers on stillness, wonder, and one’s search for God—in contrast to the speechmaking on erotic love in “In Vino Veritas,” part one of Stages. The second discourse, “On the Occasion of a Wedding,” complements the second part of Stages, in which Judge William delivers a panegyric on marriage. The third discourse, “At a Graveside,” sharpens the ethical and religious earnestness implicit in Stages’s “‘Guilty’/‘Not Guilty’” and completes this collection.

Stages on Life’s Way

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 808

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Stages on Life’s Way, the sequel to Either/Or, is an intensely poetic example of Kierkegaard’s vision of the three stages, or spheres, of existence: the esthetic, the ethical, and the religious. With characteristic love for mystification, he presents the work as a bundle of documents fallen by chance into the hands of “Hilarius Bookbinder,” who prepared them for printing. The book begins with a banquet scene patterned on Plato’s Symposium. (George Brandes maintained that “one must recognize with amazement that it holds its own in this comparison.”) Next is a discourse by “Judge William” in praise of marriage “in answer to objections.” The remainder of the volume, almost two-thirds of the whole, is the diary of a young man, discovered by “Frater Taciturnus,” who was deeply in love but felt compelled to break his engagement. The work closes with a letter to the reader from Taciturnus on the three “existence-spheres” represented by the three parts of the book.

Stages on Life’s Way not only repeats themes, characters, and pseudonymous authors of the earlier works but also goes beyond them and points to further development of central ideas in Concluding Unscientific Postscript.

Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, Volume I

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1992
  • Pages: 648

In Philosophical Fragments the pseudonymous author Johannes Climacus explored the question: What is required in order to go beyond Socratic recollection of eternal ideas already possessed by the learner? Written as an afterword to this work, Concluding Unscientific Postscript is on one level a philosophical jest, yet on another it is Climacus’s characterization of the subjective thinker’s relation to the truth of Christianity. At once ironic, humorous, and polemical, this work takes on the “unscientific” form of a mimical-pathetical-dialectical compilation of ideas. Whereas the movement in the earlier pseudonymous writings is away from the aesthetic, the movement in Postscript is away from speculative thought. Kierkegaard intended Postscript to be his concluding work as an author. The subsequent “second authorship” after The Corsair Affair made Postscript the turning point in the entire authorship. Part One of the text volume examines the truth of Christianity as an objective issue.

Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, Volume II

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1992
  • Pages: 368

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In Philosophical Fragments the pseudonymous author Johannes Climacus explored the question: What is required in order to go beyond Socratic recollection of eternal ideas already possessed by the learner? Written as an afterword to this work, Concluding Unscientific Postscript is on one level a philosophical jest, yet on another it is Climacus’s characterization of the subjective thinker’s relation to the truth of Christianity. At once ironic, humorous, and polemical, this work takes on the “unscientific” form of a mimical-pathetical-dialectical compilation of ideas. Whereas the movement in the earlier pseudonymous writings is away from the aesthetic, the movement in Postscript is away from speculative thought. Kierkegaard intended Postscript to be his concluding work as an author. The subsequent “second authorship” after The Corsair Affair made Postscript the turning point in the entire authorship. Part Two examines the subjective issue of what is involved for the individual in becoming a Christian, and the volume ends with an addendum in which Kierkegaard acknowledges and explains his relation to the pseudonymous authors and their writings. The second volume contains the scholarly apparatus, including a key to references and selected entries from Kierkegaard’s journals and papers.

The Corsair Affair and Articles Related to the Writings

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1982
  • Pages: 328

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The Corsair affair has been called the “most renowned controversy in Danish literary history.” At the center is Søren Kierkegaard, whose pseudonymous Stages on Life’s Way occasioned a frivolous and dishonorable review by Peder Ludvig Møller. Møller was associated with The Corsair, a publication notorious for gossip and caricature. The editor was Meïr Goldschmidt, an acquaintance of Kierkegaard’s and an admirer of his early work. Kierkegaard struck back at not only Møller and Goldschmidt but at the paper as a whole. The present volume contains all of the documents relevant to this dispute, plus a historical introduction that recapitulates the sequence of events surrounding the controversy.

Parts I (Article) and II (Addenda) contain articles both signed by and attributed to Kierkegaard in response to the affair. A supplement includes writings pertaining to the Corsair affair by Goldschmidt and Møller, as well as unpublished pieces by Kierkegaard from his journals and papers. Although the immediate occasion was literary, for Kierkegaard the issues as well as the consequences were ethical, social, philosophical, and religious. Howard Hong argues that the most important consequence was wholly unexpected and unintended: the second phase of Kierkegaard’s authorship.

Two Ages: The Age of Revolution and the Present Age, A Literary Review

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1978
  • Pages: 208

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

After deciding to terminate his authorship with the pseudonymous Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Kierkegaard composed reviews as a means of writing without being an author. Two Ages, here presented in a definitive English text, is simultaneously a review and a book in its own right. In it, Kierkegaard comments on the anonymously published Danish novel Two Ages, which contrasts the mentality of the age of the French Revolution with that of the subsequent epoch of rationalism.

Kierkegaard commends the author’s shrewdness, and his critique builds on the novel’s view of the two generations. With keen prophetic insight, Kierkegaard foresees the birth of an impersonal cultural wasteland, in which the individual will either be depersonalized or obliged to find an existence rooted in “equality before God and equality with all men.”

This edition, like all in the series, contains substantial supplementary material, including a historical introduction, entries from Kierkegaard’s journals and papers, and the preface and conclusion of the original novel.

Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Pages: 464

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In his praise for Part I of Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits, the eminent Kierkegaard scholar Eduard Geismar said, “I am of the opinion that nothing of what he has written is to such a degree before the face of God. Anyone who really wants to understand Kierkegaard does well to begin with it.” These discourses, composed after Kierkegaard had initially intended to end his public writing career, constitute the first work of his “second authorship.”

Characterized by Kierkegaard as ethical-ironic, Part One, “Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing,” offers a penetrating discussion of double-mindedness and ethical integrity. Part Two, “What We Learn from the Lilies in the Field and from the Birds of the Air,” humorously exposes an inverted qualitative difference between the learner and the teacher. In Part Three, “The Gospel of Sufferings, Christian Discourses,” the philosopher explores how joy can come out of suffering.

Works of Love

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1995
  • Pages: 584

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The various kinds and conditions of love are a common theme for Kierkegaard, beginning with his early Either/Or, through “The Diary of the Seducer” and Judge William’s eulogy on married love, to his last work, on the changelessness of God’s love. Works of Love, the midpoint in the series, is also the monumental high point, because of its penetrating, illuminating analysis of the forms and sources of love. Love as feeling and mood is distinguished from works of love, love of the lovable from love of the unlovely, preferential love from love as the royal law, love as mutual egotism from triangular love, and erotic love from self-giving love.

This work is marked by Kierkegaard’s Socratic awareness of the reader, both as the center of awakened understanding and as the initiator of action. Written to be read aloud, the book conveys a keenness of thought and an insightful, poetic imagination that make such an attentive approach richly rewarding. Works of Love not only serves as an excellent place to begin exploring the writings of Kierkegaard, but also rewards many rereadings.

Christian Discourses: The Crisis and a Crisis in the Life of an Actress

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 512

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

First published in 1848, Christian Discourses is a quartet of pieces written and arranged in contrasting styles. Parts One and Three, “The Cares of the Pagans” and “Thoughts That Wound from Behind—for Upbuilding,” serve as a polemical overture to Kierkegaard’s collision with the established order of Christendom. Yet Parts Two and Four, “Joyful Notes in the Strife of Suffering” and “Discourses at the Communion on Fridays,” are reassuring affirmations of the joy and blessedness of Christian life in a world of adversity and suffering. Written in ordinary language, the work combines simplicity and inwardness with reflection and presents crucial Christian concepts and presuppositions with unusual clarity.

Kierkegaard continued in the pattern that he began with his first pseudonymous esthetic work, Either/Or, by pairing Christian Discourses with The Crisis, an unsigned esthetic essay on contemporary Danish actress Joanne Luise Heiberg.

Without Authority

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 320

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

“Without authority,” a phrase Kierkegaard repeatedly applied to himself and his writings, is an appropriate title for this volume of five short works that in various ways deal with the concept and practice of authority. The Lily in the Field and the Bird of the Air contemplates the teaching authority of these creatures based on three different passages in the Gospels. The first of Two Ethical-Religious Essays mediates on the ethics of Jesus’ martyrdom; the second contrasts the authority of the genius with that of the apostle. The remaining works—Three Discourses at the Communion on Fridays (1849), An Upbuilding Discourse (1850), and Two Discourses at the Communion on Fridays (1851)—are meditations on sin, forgiveness, and the power of love.

Sickness Unto Death: A Christian Psychological Exposition for Upbuilding and Awakening

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1980
  • Pages: 232

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

A companion piece to The Concept of Anxiety, this work continues Søren Kierkegaard’s radical and comprehensive analysis of human nature in a spectrum of possibilities of existence. Present here is a remarkable combination of the insight of the poet and the contemplation of the philosopher.

In The Sickness unto Death, Kierkegaard moves beyond anxiety on the mental-emotional level to the spiritual level, where—in contact with the eternal—anxiety becomes despair. Both anxiety and despair reflect the misrelation that arises in the self when the elements of the synthesis—the infinite and the finite—do not come into proper relation to each other. Despair is a deeper expression for anxiety and is a mark of the eternal, which is intended to penetrate temporal existence.

Practice in Christianity

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1991
  • Pages: 440

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Of the many works he wrote during 1848, his “richest and most fruitful year,” Kierkegaard specified Practice in Christianity as “the most perfect and truest thing.” In his reflections on such topics as Christ’s invitation to the burdened, the imitatio Christi, the possibility of offense, and the exalted Christ, he takes as his theme the requirement of Christian ideality in the context of divine grace. Addressing clergy and laity alike, Kierkegaard asserts the need for institutional and personal admission of the accommodation of Christianity to the culture and to the individual misuse of grace. As a corrective defense, the book is an attempt to find, ideally, a basis for the established order, which would involve the order’s ability to acknowledge the Christian requirement, confess its own distance from it, and resort to grace for support in its continued existence. At the same time the book can be read as the beginning of Kierkegaard’s attack on Christendom. Because of the high ideality of the contents and in order to prevent the misunderstanding that he himself represented that ideality, Kierkegaard writes under a new pseudonym, Anti-Climacus.

For Self-Examination / Judge For Yourself!

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 320

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

For Self-Examination and its companion piece Judge for Yourself! are the culmination of Søren Kierkegaard’s “second authorship,” which followed his Concluding Unscientific Postscript. Among the simplest and most readily comprehended of Kierkegaard’s books, the two works are part of the signed direct communications, as distinguished from his earlier pseudonymous writings. The lucidity and pithiness, and the earnestness and power, of For Self-Examination and Judge for Yourself! are enhanced when, as Kierkegaard requested, they are read aloud. They contain the well-known passages on Socrates’ defense speech, how to read, the lover’s letter, the royal coachman and the carriage team, and the painter’s relation to his painting. The aim of awakening and inward deepening is signaled by the opening section on Socrates in For Self-Examination and is pursued in the context of the relations of Christian ideality, grace, and response. The secondary aim, a critique of the established order, links the works to the final polemical writings that appear later after a four-year period of silence.

The Point of View

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 376

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

As a spiritual autobiography, Kierkegaard’s The Point of View for My Work as an Author stands among such great works as Augustine’s Confessions and Newman’s Apologia pro Vita Sua. Yet Point of View is neither a confession nor a defense; it is an author’s story of a lifetime of writing, his understanding of the maze of greatly varied works that make up his oeuvre.

Upon the imminent publication of the second edition of Either/Or, Kierkegaard again intended to cease writing. Now was the time for a direct “report to history” on the authorship as a whole. In addition to Point of View, which was published posthumously, the present volume also contains On My Work as an Author, a contemporary substitute, and the companion piece Armed Neutrality.

The Moment and Late Writings

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 776

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Kierkegaard, a poet of ideals and practitioner of the indirect method, also had a direct and polemical side. He revealed this in several writings throughout his career, culminating in The Moment, his attack against the established ecclesiastical order.

Kierkegaard was moved to criticize the church by his differences with Bishop Mynster, Primate of the Church of Denmark. Although Mynster saw in Kierkegaard a complement to himself and his outlook, Kierkegaard challenged Mynster to acknowledge the emptying and estheticizing of Christianity that had occurred in modern Christendom. For three years Kierkegaard was silent, waiting. When Mynster died, he was memorialized as “an authentic truth-witness” in the “holy chain of truth-witnesses that stretches through the ages from the days of the apostles.” This struck Kierkegaard as blasphemous and inspired him to write a series of articles in Fædrelandet, which he followed with ten numbers of the pamphlet The Moment. This volume includes the articles from Fædrelandet, all numbers of The Moment, and several other late pieces of Kierkegaard’s writing.

The Book on Adler

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editors: Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 496

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Kierkegaard was driven to write The Book on Adler after news spread that a Danish pastor, Adolph P. Adler, claimed to have experienced a revelation in which Christ dictated a new doctrine. Like many others, Kierkegaard was intrigued by Adler—but for different reasons than most. Over the eight years during which Kierkegaard worked on the manuscript, the phenomenon of Adler became a concern secondary to the larger question of authority. Kierkegaard revised the manuscript many times, and published a segment of it as “The Difference between a Genius and an Apostle” in Two Ethical-Religious Essays, but did not publish the work as a whole before his death. The latest integral version of The Book on Adler is included here, along with excerpts from the earlier drafts and a sampling of writing by Adler himself.

Letters and Documents

  • Author: Søren Kierkegaard
  • Editor: Henrik Rosenmeier
  • Series: Kierkegaard’s Writings
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication Date: 1979
  • Pages: 560

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume provides the first English translation of all the known correspondence to and from Søren Kierkegaard, including a number of his letters in draft form and papers pertaining to his life and death. These fascinating documents offer new access to the character and lifework of the gifted philosopher, theologian, and psychologist.

Kierkegaard speaks often and openly about his desire to correspond, and the resulting desire to write for a greater audience. He consciously recognizes letter-writing as an opportunity to practice composition. Unlike most correspondence, Kierkegaard’s letters expressly “do not require a reply”—he insists on this as a principle, while he clearly and earnestly yearns for a response to his efforts. Among his other principles are purposefulness, directness, and the equality of a letter to a visit with a friend (Kierkegaard preferred the former to the latter). Perhaps more than anything else in print, Kierkegaard’s Letters and Documents reveal his love affair with the written word.

About Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and religious author. He was a critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel; he was also critical of the state and practice of Christianity in his lifetime, primarily that of The Church of Denmark. He is widely considered to be the first existentialist.

About the Series Editors

Howard V. Hong is the former director of the Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College, and is the general editor of Kierkegaard’s Writings.

Edna H. Hong (1913-2007) was a poet, writer, and translator who collaborated with Professor Howard V. Hong on the Kierkegaard’s Writings series, as well as other English translations of Kierkegaard’s work.