Soren Kierkegaard

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Biography Søren Kierkegaard

Feelosofi –  Søren Kierkegaard is one of the most interesting and influential philosophers in the history of Western thought. Born on May 5, 1813 in Copenhagen, Denmark, he had a number of unique characteristics that distinguished him from other thinkers. His tumultuous life and thought have left a deep mark on philosophy, theology, and literature.

Kierkegaard grew up in a rich and religious family. His father was a successful mercantilist, and although his father died when he was young, Kierkegaard inherited the family fortune. However, his life was not always happy. His first love was with Regina Olsen, a young girl he abandoned because he was afraid of the responsibilities of marriage, a reflection of the sadness and regret in his life.

Kierkegaard’s thinking often revolves around existential issues. He explores the concepts of fear, uncertainty, freedom, and faith in a very deep way. One of his most famous works is “Works of Love in Action” where he discusses love and faith in the context of everyday life.

In 1855, Soren Kierkegaard died at the age of 42. However, his intellectual legacy lives on and is an inspiration for many thinkers after him. He is considered the father of existentialism and existential theology, influencing various fields, including literature, art, and philosophy .

Kierkegaard shows that life is a journey full of doubt and uncertainty, but it is in that uncertainty that we find true meaning. It teaches us to pursue true freedom and sincere faith in our existential journey. Søren Kierkegaard remains one of history’s most compelling philosophers , motivating us to live lives of courage and meaning.

Pemikiran Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard is known as one of the important figures in the history of existentialism, a philosophical school that emphasizes the importance of individual existence and life choices. His deep thinking has made a major contribution to the ideas of modern philosophy and theology. Here are some of the core thoughts of Kierkegaard:

Fear And Anxiety

One of the core thoughts of Søren Kierkegaard is his deep understanding of fear and anxiety. For Kierkegaard, fear and anxiety are not simply emotions to be avoided, but are a natural part of human existence. In his thinking, he expounds this concept in a way that deepens our understanding of the human experience.

Fear is a reaction that arises when we are faced with uncertainty and possibility. Kierkegaard believed that humans are free creatures, who have the freedom to make choices in their lives. However, that is what makes fear present. We fear the consequences of our choices, fear the responsibility that comes with this freedom. This often comes in the form of questions like, “Was my choice correct?” or “What happens if I make a mistake?” This fear can block decisions or make us hesitate in facing life.

Anxiety , on the other hand, is the discomfort that arises when we become aware of the uncertainty and risk involved in life choices. It is related to worry about what may happen in the future and the inability to control it completely. Anxiety is the experience when we perceive the consequences, both positive and negative, of our choices, and this can create feelings of being trapped or depressed.

However, Kierkegaard did not see fear and anxiety as something to be avoided. Instead, he emphasized that fear and anxiety are an integral part of human existence. In this profound experience, we discover the true essence of individual freedom. For Kierkegaard, fear and anxiety are a call to think seriously about our choices, to take responsibility for our decisions, and ultimately, to face life with courage.

Thus, Kierkegaard’s thoughts on fear and anxiety teach us that overcoming uncertainty and freedom are integral parts of human existence. We must not run away from fear, but rather we must embrace it as part of our journey in finding the meaning of life and becoming our true selves.

Life As Election

In Søren Kierkegaard’s thinking, the concept of “life as choice” is the main basis for understanding human existence. He states that individuals have the freedom to make choices in their lives, and the way they live their lives is greatly influenced by these choices. Here is a further expansion on this concept:

  • Life as a Series of Choices : According to Kierkegaard, human life is a series of choices made throughout the course of life. Every individual is faced with a variety of choices, from small things like what to eat to big decisions about life goals and values. These choices shape a person’s life path.
  • Personal Responsibility : Kierkegaard emphasized that individuals must be responsible for their choices. Individual freedom brings great responsibility. In making choices, individuals cannot rely solely on social norms or external pressure; they must think seriously about the consequences of their choices.
  • Uncertainty and Risk : Life as an election also brings uncertainty and risk. When individuals make choices, they do not always know the exact consequences of those choices. This creates feelings of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety, which are also important concepts in Kierkegaard’s thought.
  • Choice as Self-Expression : Kierkegaard considers that life choices are a way for individuals to express themselves and live their existence meaningfully. These choices reflect an individual’s values, desires, and beliefs, and as such, they create personal identity and existence.
  • Learning and Repentance : Kierkegaard also emphasized the importance of learning through experience and wrong decisions. He said that mistakes are a natural part of life, and through mistakes, individuals can improve and deepen their understanding of themselves and the world.

With the concept of “life as choice,” Kierkegaard invites individuals to reflect on the importance of freedom, responsibility, and courage in the face of uncertainty. It encourages individuals to make choices that reflect their personal values ​​and existence, and in the process, live lives meaningfully and authentically. This concept reinforces the idea that freedom to make choices is one of the hallmarks of human existence, and teaches us to appreciate and embrace the experience of life with all its uncertainties.

Individuality And Subjectivity

In Søren Kierkegaard’s thinking, individuality and subjectivity are two very important concepts. He emphasized that each individual is unique and that subjective experience has great value in understanding human existence. Here is a further expansion of these concepts:

  • Individuality : Kierkegaard places great emphasis on the importance of individuality. It assumes that each individual is unique in the way they think, feel, and make decisions. In Kierkegaard’s view, each person has a special existential calling, and the main task in life is to discover and live out that calling. This means that there is no universal recipe or guide that can be applied to everyone. Individuality shows the importance of respecting the uniqueness and differences of each individual.
  • Subjectivity : Subjectivity is an important concept in Kierkegaard’s thought. He considers that subjective experiences, such as faith and love, are things that cannot be reduced to objective concepts or criteria. Faith, for example, is a personal experience that can only be understood through subjectivity. This means that individuals have the authority and responsibility to understand their own personal experiences, especially in the context of religion and morality.
  • There Are No Universal Truths : Kierkegaard argued that there are no universal truths or rules that can be applied to everyone. This is related to subjectivity, where each individual has their own point of view. Therefore, he opposes the idea that there is one right answer to existential questions that suits everyone. Instead, he encourages individuals to undergo their own process of existential discovery.
  • Personal Responsibility : Kierkegaard encourages individuals to take personal responsibility in understanding and living their lives. Life is about making choices, and each individual must decide his or her own path. This also means that individuals must take responsibility for their values ​​and beliefs, and not simply follow social norms or external pressures.
  • Search for Existential Meaning : By understanding individuality and subjectivity, Kierkegaard invites individuals to undertake a journey of searching for their own existential meaning. This search includes questions about faith, freedom, and the meaning of life. For Kierkegaard, living a life with meaning means living a life in accordance with one’s individuality and subjectivity.

With a focus on individuality and subjectivity, Kierkegaard teaches us to appreciate human uniqueness and complexity. He encourages us to live life understanding that existential experience is a deeply personal thing, and that only through subjective understanding can we achieve a true understanding of ourselves and the meaning of our lives.

Irony And Paradox

He uses these two concepts as tools to stimulate thought and depict the complexity of human existence in his work. Let’s explore further:

  • Irony : Kierkegaard often uses irony in his writing. Irony is the use of words or expressions that have a hidden meaning or contradict their literal meaning. Kierkegaard uses irony to criticize social norms, religious institutions, and popular views. In some of his works, he can be seen depicting an idea or view in a way that makes it seem like he is supporting it, when in fact he is criticizing it. In doing so, he encourages readers to think deeper and see the depth of thought behind his irony.
  • Paradox : A paradox is a situation or statement that seems contradictory or doesn’t make sense, but may actually have profound truth. Kierkegaard often used paradox to explore uncertainty, the paradoxes of human existence, and the relationship between faith and doubt. One famous example is the concept of “sprt” (jumping) in his thinking, where he states that faith is like jumping into uncertainty, like jumping off a cliff without a safety rope. This is a paradox because faith requires us to detach ourselves from rational understanding and hold on to something uncertain.
  • Contradiction and Reflection : Kierkegaard uses paradox to force the reader to reflect and absorb his ideas more deeply. Paradoxes often describe the complexity of human existence, especially in the context of freedom, faith, and morality. Through contradictions and paradoxes, Kierkegaard encourages readers to think more deeply about these concepts and face them seriously.
  • Existential Exploration : Irony and paradox in Kierkegaard’s writing are tools for exploring complex human existence. They reflect the experiences of uncertainty, ambivalence, and conflict that we often experience in our lives. In this case, Kierkegaard invites us to understand that life is often full of questions and paradoxes that do not have simple answers.

The use of irony and paradox in Kierkegaard’s thought invites readers to think more deeply about human existence, faith, and personal responsibility. He taught that human existence is full of uncertainty, and that we often have to face it with faith and courage, even if definite answers are not always available. In this existential paradox, Kierkegaard searches for meaning and value in the complex journey of life.

True Love

Søren Kierkegaard’s thoughts on true love are an important aspect of his views on human existence and morality. Kierkegaard viewed true love as a much deeper concept than just a romantic feeling. Let’s explore more about how he views true love:

  • True Love is Action : According to Kierkegaard, true love is not just a feeling or emotion, but a real action. He believes that true love requires sincere commitment and sacrifice. True love will be reflected in actions that support and love those we love, even in difficult and challenging situations.
  • True Love and Responsibility : Kierkegaard also connects true love with moral responsibility. For Kierkegaard, true love requires individuals to be responsible for their actions towards the person they love. Genuine love requires us to live morally correct actions and pay attention to the needs and well-being of those we love.
  • The Work of Love in Action : In his famous work entitled “The Work of Love in Action,” Kierkegaard explains that true love is the real action that creates that love. It uses the story of Abraham and his sacrifice of his son, Isaac, as an example of true love. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son because of his love and obedience to God. This shows that true love requires us to act in moral obedience and faith.
  • The Subjective Truth of Love : Kierkegaard emphasized that love is a subjective truth. This means that the experience of love is deeply personal and cannot be measured by objective standards. Each individual has a unique experience of love, and true love is the pursuit of this subjective truth.
  • Sacrifice and Loyalty : Kierkegaard considered that sacrifice and loyalty were important elements of true love. True love will always be willing to make sacrifices for the happiness and welfare of the person we love. Loyalty is also the essence of sincere love, where we remain committed to the relationship despite difficulties or temptations.

Kierkegaard’s thoughts about true love teach us that love is more than just a feeling. It is a real action that requires moral responsibility, sacrifice and loyalty.

Existential Theology

Kierkegaard played an important role in the development of existential theology with his thoughts on individual existence, uncertainty, and sincere faith. Let’s further explore the concept of existential theology in Kierkegaard’s thought:

  • Faith as a Subjective Decision : One of the main concepts in existential theology is faith as a subjective decision. Kierkegaard supports that faith is not just intellectual understanding or adherence to religious doctrine. Instead, he says that faith is a personal decision taken by an individual. This means that faith must be discovered and experienced through deep subjective action.
  • Challenge to the Orthodox Church : Kierkegaard faced the official churches of his time, especially the Lutheran Church in Denmark. He criticized the formality and rigidity of religious practice. Kierkegaard saw that sincere faith must come from the individual’s heart, not just following norms or routine actions.
  • Uncertainty and Fear in Faith : Kierkegaard emphasizes the importance of uncertainty and fear in the experience of faith. He said that true faith often arises in situations of uncertainty or doubt. When individuals face uncertainty, this is when faith becomes more important. He describes faith as “leaping” into uncertainty with the belief that God will provide meaning and guidance.
  • Existential Understanding of God : Kierkegaard also contributed to the existential understanding of God. He emphasized that God is an individual God, present in personal relationship with each person. This concept is contrary to the view of God which is only an abstract concept in theology.
  • The Importance of Authenticity in Faith : Kierkegaard taught that authenticity is a key element in faith. It encourages individuals to live with authenticity and authenticity in relationship with God. This means that individuals must take personal responsibility for their relationship with God and live their faith seriously.

Existential theology in Kierkegaard’s thought emphasizes individual experience in the life of faith. He describes a personal relationship with God as unique and profound.


Irrationalism is a view or approach that emphasizes the importance of irrational, non-logical, or non-reasonable elements in human thought and experience. In Søren Kierkegaard’s thinking, there are elements of irrationalism that can be identified. Let’s explore this concept further:

  • Faith and Doubt : One of the main aspects of irrationalism in Kierkegaard’s thought is his approach to faith. Kierkegaard emphasized that faith is a subjective decision that exceeds reason. He argued that true faith cannot always be explained or understood logically. Rather, faith often arises in a context of uncertainty and doubt. This is an aspect of irrationalism because faith requires action that is outside the framework of rational thought.
  • Sprt (Jump) : The concept of “sprt” or “jump” in Kierkegaard’s thought is another example of irrationalism. Kierkegaard describes faith as an act such as leaping into uncertainty. He argues that we must leap from rational reason to sincere faith, even if it feels contradictory or irrational. This shows that irrationalism is an integral part of the experience of true faith.
  • Contradiction and Paradox : Kierkegaard often uses contradictions and paradoxes in his writing. This creates a situation where rational thinking may feel disturbed or confused. He uses this method to stimulate thought and reflect on the paradoxes of human existence. In this case, irrationalism appears as a tool to stimulate deep consideration.
  • Rejection of Rationalization of Religion : Kierkegaard opposed attempts at rationalization of religion that tried to explain religious beliefs in a way that was consistent with logic and science. He sees such efforts as simplifying religion and eliminating irrational elements that are an integral part of the experience of faith.
  • Uncertainty and Fear : Kierkegaard’s use of uncertainty, fear, and incomprehension in his thinking can also be attributed to elements of irrationalism. Kierkegaard advocates that uncertainty and fear are part of human existence and that they must be faced with faith and courage, even though they often lack adequate rational answers.

By using these elements of irrationalism in his thoughts and works, Kierkegaard invites readers and thinkers to better appreciate the complexity of human existence and the deep experience of faith. Although irrationalism can confuse or challenge reason, for Kierkegaard, it is an integral part of the human existential journey towards meaning and sincere faith.

Karya Søren Kierkegaard

  • Either/Or” – 1843
  • “ Fear and Trembling ” (Thought-Agar) – 1843
  • “ Works of Love ” (Works of Love in Action) – 1847
  • “ Christian Discourses ” (Formation of Christian Character) – 1848
  • “ Stages on Life’s Way ” (Character Formation) – 1845
  • “ The Concept of Anxiety ” (Pagan Thoughts) – 1844
  • “ The Sickness Unto Death ” (Human Prison) – 1849
  • “ A Call to Our Age ” – 1850


Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher and theologian who has left a legacy of thought that is very influential in existential thought and Christian theology. His thinking emphasizes the importance of the individual, subjective faith, and the meaning of life. He views that human existence is full of uncertainty and conflict between reason and sincere belief. Kierkegaard is also known for using various concepts such as “ sprt ” (jump), paradox, and fear in his work to stimulate deep thought. His famous works, such as “ Fear and Trembling ” and “ Works of Love ” are still relevant today and have made major contributions to the development of existentialism, existential theology, and moral philosophy . In conclusion, Søren Kierkegaard’s thoughts emphasize the importance of individual existence, sincere faith, and the search for meaning in human life.


Who Is Søren Kierkegaard?

Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher and theologian who lived in the 19th century. He is known as one of the main figures in existentialism and existential theology. Kierkegaard viewed human existence, faith, and morality as the main aspects of his philosophical thought.

What Is Meant By “Sprt” In Kierkegaard’s Thought?

“Sprt” is a concept in Kierkegaard’s thought that describes the act of leaping or taking a leap of faith. This refers to subjective decision making that goes beyond rational thinking and relies on sincere faith.

How Does Kierkegaard View Love?

Kierkegaard viewed love as a deep action and commitment, not just a feeling. He teaches that true love is sacrifice, responsibility, and the courage to act for the welfare of the person we love.

What Is The Role Of Fear And Anxiety In Kierkegaard’s Thought?

Fear and anxiety are important concepts in Kierkegaard’s thought . He considers that fears are a natural part of human existence and that they play a role in decision making and the search for meaning in life.

How Did Kierkegaard’s Works Influence Philosophy And Theology?

Kierkegaard’s works have influenced the development of existentialism, existential theology, and moral philosophy . He emphasized the importance of individual existence, subjective faith, and moral responsibility. His work is still a source of inspiration in modern philosophical and theological thought.


  • Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography ” – Joakim Garff (2000)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard” – Alastair Hannay dan Gordon D. Marino (1998)
  • Kierkegaard: A Single Life” – Stephen Backhouse (2016)
  • The Sickness unto Death” – Robert L. Perkins (2009)
  • Kierkegaard: An Introduction” – C. Stephen Evans (2009)
  • The Essential Kierkegaard ” – Søren Kierkegaard dan Howard V. Hong (2000)
  • Kierkegaard’s Influence on Theology: German Protestant Theology” – Jon Stewart (2012)
  • Kierkegaard: A Guide for the Perplexed” – Clare Carlisle (2007)

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