TTEASK017U Søren Kierkegaard: Kierkegaard's Authorship

Volume 2015/2016

A study of the works of Copenhagen’s most radical author, Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855). Kierkegaard’s entire authorship is centered around the existential project that every human being is confronted with: to become oneself and none other than oneself. And as he sees it, becoming oneself does not happen passively and is never achieved once and for all, but rather requires constant effort. He often describes this project as one of taking responsibility for “choosing,” “gaining,” or “finding oneself.”

This course examines his witty, humorous, but also deeply earnest exploration of the psychology of self identity. And Kierkegaard’s thoughts about the struggle for personhood take us through perhaps unexpected territories: beginning with the breakdown of culture-specific ethnic and religious categories that have traditionally defined the self, he speaks of the culturally destructive power of Socratic irony, the art of seduction, beauty and boredom, religious culture and politics, religious demands that conflict with ethical duty, chronic sicknesses of the soul, the look of the Other, the struggle to see with the eye of faith, the joy of being embodied here and now, and finally, love.

We will remain especially attentive to the ways in which Kierkegaard’s thought is critical of inherited ethnic and cultural definitions of self, and why he nonetheless considers human relationships to be absolutely essential to understanding oneself and one’s obligations to other human beings.

The course will be reading intensive as we explore some of Kierkegaard’s central works including The Concept of Irony, Either/Or, The Sickness Unto Death and a handful of his edifying discourses

Forelæsninger og diskussioner foregår på engelsk, men man må gerne læse Kierkegaards tekster på originalsproget og aflevere opgaver på dansk.



  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
Type of assessment
Written assignment
a) active participation (minimum presence: 75% of all lectures); b) course literature: 1200-1500 pages; c) sub-mission of term paper (12-15 pages, based on 500-750 pages of approved literature). Evaluation is given by the teacher (Passed/Failed).
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Exam period

Winther 2015/2016 and Summer 2016