Kierkegaard Research

Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources




Volume 6:
Kierkegaard and his German Contemporaries

Edited by Jon Stewart


Tome I: Philosophy
Aldershot: Ashgate 2007. xviii+379pp.

Tome II: Theology
Aldershot: Ashgate 2007. xii+265pp.

Tome III: Literature and Aesthetics

Aldershot: Ashgate 2008. xii+322pp.

This volume explores in detail Kierkegaard’s various relations to his German contemporaries. Kierkegaard read German fluently and made extensive use of the writings of German-speaking authors. It can certainly be argued that, apart from his contemporary Danish sources, the German sources were probably the most important in the development of his thought generally. This volume thus represents source-work research dedicated to tracing Kierkegaard’s readings and use of the various German-speaking authors in the different fields. The goal has been in the first line to trace these influences in a way that is as clearly documented as possible.

The volume has been divided into three tomes reflecting Kierkegaard’s main areas of interest with regard to the German-speaking sources, namely, philosophy, theology and a more loosely conceived category, which has here been designated “literature and aesthetics.”


Tome I: Philosophy


The first tome treats the German philosophical influences on Kierkegaard. The dependence of Danish philosophy on German philosophy is beyond question. In a book review in his Hegelian journal Perseus, the poet, playwright and critic, Johan Ludvig Heiberg laments the sad state of philosophy in Denmark, while lauding German speculative philosophy. Moreover, Kierkegaard’s lifelong enemy, the theologian Hans Lassen Martensen claims without exaggeration that the Danish systems of philosophy can be regarded as the “disjecta membra” of earlier German systems. All of the major German idealist philosophers made an impact in Denmark: Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and most significantly, Hegel. Kierkegaard was widely read in the German philosophical literature, which he made use of in countless ways throughout his authorship.


Table of Contents

Baader: The Centrality of Original Sin and the Difference of Immediacy and Innocence
Peter Koslowski

Bayer: Kierkegaard’s Attempt at Social Philosophy: An Examination of Kierkegaard’s Relationship to Karl Bayer
J. Michael Tilley

Feuerbach: A Malicious Demon in the Service of Christianity
István Czakó

I.H. Fichte: Philosophy as the Most Cheerful Form of Service to God
Hartmut Rosenau

J.G. Fichte: From Transcendental Ego to Existence
David J. Kangas

Hegel: Kierkegaard’s Reading and Use of Hegel’s Primary Texts
Jon Stewart

Herder: A Silent Background and Reservoir
Johannes Adamsen

Kant: A Debt both Obscure and Enormous
Ronald M. Green

Lichtenberg: Lichtenberg’s Aphoristic Thought and Kierkegaard’s Concept of the “Subjective Existing Thinker”
Smail Rapic

Schelling: A Historical Introduction to Kierkegaard’s Schelling
Tonny Aagaard Olesen

Schopenhauer: Kierkegaard’s Late Encounter with His Opposite
Simonella Davini

Schubert: Kierkegaard’s Reading of Gotthilf Heinrich Schubert’s Philosophy of Nature
Stefan Egenberger

Trendelenburg: An Ally against Speculation
Darío González

Werder: The Influence of Karl Werder’s Lectures and Logik on Kierkegaard’s Thought
Jon Stewart



Tome II: Theology

The second tome of the present volume is dedicated to Kierkegaard’s main theological influences. In theology as well, the German and the Danish traditions had long been closely connected via their common source: Luther. In Kierkegaard’s time the main influence on theology was probably German philosophy and specifically Hegelianism. Most all of the German theologians were in some way in a critical dialogue with this movement. Another important influence was Schleiermacher, who visited Copenhagen in 1833 and was important for several Golden Age thinkers. From his student days Kierkegaard kept abreast of the German theological literature, from which he drew much inspiration.


Table of Contents

Bruno Bauer: Biblical Narrative, Freedom and Anxiety
David James and Douglas Moggach

F.C. Baur: On the Similarity and Dissimilarity between Jesus and Socrates
David D. Possen

K.G. Bretschneider: The Tangled Legacy of Rational Supernaturalism
Lee C. Barrett

Carl Daub: Kierkegaard’s Appropriation of a Hegelian Sentry
Jon Stewart

Erdmann: Appropriation and Criticism, Error and Understanding
Stephan Bitter

Günther: Kierkegaard’s Use of an Austrian Catholic Theologian
Christoph Kronabel and Jon Stewart

Marheineke: The Volatilization of Christian Doctrine
Heiko Schulz

Julius Müller: Parallels in the Doctrines of Sin and Freedom in Kierkegaard and Müller
Christine Axt-Piscalar

Rosenkranz: Traces of Hegelian Psychology and Theology in Kierkegaard
Heiko Schulz

Schleiermacher: Revisiting Kierkegaard’s Relationship to Him
Richard E. Crouter

D.F. Strauss: Kierkegaard and Radical Demythologization
George Pattison



Tome III: Literature and Aesthetics

This third tome is dedicated to the German literary sources that were significant for Kierkegaard. These articles feature primarily important authors from German Classicism and Romanticism. Important forerunners for many of Kierkegaard’s literary motifs and characters can be found in the German literature of the day. His use of pseudonyms and his interest in irony were both profoundly influenced by German Romanticism. Moreover, many of Kierkegaard’s views on criticism and aesthetics were decisively shaped by the work of German authors.

Table of Contents

Achim von Arnim: Kierkegaard’s Encounters with a Heidelberg Hermit
Judith Purver

Eichendorff: Kierkegaard’s Reception of a German Romantic
Judith Purver

Goethe: A German Classic Through the Filter of the Danish Golden Age
Jon Stewart and Katalin Nun

Hamann: Sharing Style and Thesis: Kierkegaard’s Appropriation of Hamann’s Work
Sergia Karen Hay

E.T.A. Hoffmann: A Source for Kierkegaard’s Conceptions of Authorship, Poetic-Artistic Existence, Irony and Humor
Judit Bartha

Hotho: A Dialogue on Romantic Irony and the Fascination with Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Joachim Grage

Jean Paul: Apparent and Hidden Relations between Kierkegaard and Jean Paul
Markus Kleinert

Schiller: Kierkegaard’s Use of a Paradoxical Poet
András Nagy

Friedrich Schlegel: On Ironic Communication, Subjectivity and Selfhood
K. Brian Söderquist

Solger: An Apostle of Irony Sacrificed to Hegel’s System
Jon Stewart

: Kierkegaard’s “Guadalquivir” of Open Critique and Hidden Appreciation
Marcia C. Robinson





Kierkegaard and the Bible,
Tomes I-II


Volume 2

Kierkegaard and the
Greek World,
Tomes I-II


Volume 3

Kierkegaard and the
Roman World


Volume 4
Kierkegaard and the

Patristic and

Medieval Traditions


Volume 5
Kierkegaard and the
Renaissance and
Modern Traditions,
Tomes I-III


Volume 6

Kierkegaard and his
German Contemporaries,
Tomes I-III


Volume 7

Kierkegaard and his
Danish Contemporaries,
Tomes I-III

























The series Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources is published Routledge Research, Philosophy
Routledge / Taylor & Francis Group, 711 Third Ave., Eighth Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA

Jon Stewart©2007-2020