Soren Kierkgaard Quotes


Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. Kierkegaard strongly criticized both the Hegelianism of his time, and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Danish church. Much of his work deals with religious problems such as the nature of faith, the institution of the Christian Church, Christian ethics and theology, and the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. His early work was written under various pseudonyms who present their own distinctive viewpoints in a complex dialogue. Kierkegaard left the task of discovering the meaning of the works to the reader, because “the task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted”.[4] Subsequently, many have interpreted Kierkegaard as an existentialist, neo-orthodoxist, postmodernist, humanist, individualist, etc. Crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, Kierkegaard came to be regarded as a highly significant and influential figure in contemporary thought

“Faith urges the believer onward so that he cannot settle at ease in the world.”

-Soren Kierkegaard

“The matter is quite simple.  The Bible is very easy to understand.  But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers.  We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.  Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly.  My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined.  How would I ever get on in the world?  Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship.  Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close.  Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you?  Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God.  Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”

-Soren Kierkegaard

For Hitherto all who were above the ordinary have been active in the direction of spreading Christianity, but my task lies in the direction of halting its mendacious spreading and also, I suppose, in the direction of making Christianity shake off a lot of Christians who are so in name only.

-Soren Kierkegaard (1854)

How far Christianity is from being a living reality may best be seen in me. For even with my clear knowledge of it I am still not a Christian. Yet I still cannot help feeling that despite the abyss of nonsense in which we are stuck, we shall all be saved.

They have changed Christianity and have made it too much of a consolation, and forgotten that it is a demand upon man. Woe to the lax preachers! As a result it will be that much harder for him who must preach Christianity anew.

-Soren Kierkegaard

Life’s Worth: Not until a man has become so utterly unhappy, or has grasped the woefulness of life so deeply that he is moved to say and mean it; life for me has no value-not until then is he able to make a bid for Christianity. Then his life may acquire the very highest value.

-Soren Kierkegaard

Basically many people believe that Christianity’s Commandment to “love thy neighbor” intentionally are made rather too strict-almost like a clock by which a household rises and which is put half an hour fast to prevent the members from getting up too late.

-Soren Kierkegaard

“Now with God’s help, I shall become myself”

-Soren Kierkegaard

Forgiveness of sin does not apply so much to the particular as to the general; it concerns one’s whole self which is sinful and has a corrupting effect as soon as it gets the least bit of leeway.

-Soren Kierkegaard

The Incarnation is the historical made eternal, and the Eternal made historical. This is the great paradox—the presence of God in time. To believe this truth, Kierkegaard holds, it is necessary to have faith, but it is not a truth we can come to or achieve from within. Mankind needs a teacher in order to grasp this truth, a teacher free from error. This person is Jesus Christ, who has come into the world to reveal the truth to us.

-Soren Kierkgaard

Silence is the measure of the power to act; that is, a person never has more power to act than he has silence. Anyone can understand that to do something is far greater than to talk about doing it. If, therefore, a person has a plan or idea and is fully resolved to carry it out, he does not need to talk about it. What he talks about in connection with the proposed action is what he is most unsure of and most unwilling to do.

-Soren Kierkegaard


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