Kierkegaard Research

Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources




Volume 7:
Kierkegaard and his Danish Contemporaries

Edited by Jon Stewart


Tome I: Philosophy, Politics and Social Theory

Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate 2009. xix+329pp.

Tome II: Theology

Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate 2009. xiii+364pp.

Tome III: Literature, Drama and Aesthetics

Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate 2009. xiii+309pp.

The period of Kierkegaard’s life corresponds to Denmark’s “Golden Age,” which is conventionally used to refer to the period covering roughly the first half of the nineteenth century, when Denmark’s most important writers, philosophers, theologians, poets, actors and artists flourished. Kierkegaard was often in dialogue with his fellow Danes on key issues of the day. His authorship would be unthinkable without reference to the Danish State Church, the Royal Theater, the University of Copenhagen or the various Danish newspapers and journals, such as The Corsair, Fædrelandet, and Kjøbenhavns flyvende Post, which played an undeniable role in shaping his development.

The present volume features articles that employ source-work research in order to explore the individual Danish sources of Kierkegaard’s thought. The volume is divided into three tomes in order to cover the different fields of influence.



Tome I: Philosophy, Politics and Social Theory


Tome I is dedicated to exploring the sources that fall under the rubrics, “Philosophy, Politics and Social Theory.” With regard to philosophy, Danish scholars of the day were profoundly influenced by German idealism. Through their efforts the philosophies of Kant, Schelling and Hegel made their way to Denmark. Kierkegaard read the works of all of these Danish thinkers and their German antecedents. While he was sympathetic to individual ideas offered by this tradition, he was generally keen to criticize the German model of philosophy and to propose a new paradigm for philosophical thought that was more in tune with lived existence. Kierkegaard also experienced the dynamic period in history that saw the great upheavals throughout Europe in connection with the revolutions of 1848 and the First Schleswig War. While it has long been claimed that Kierkegaard was not interested in politics, recent research supports a quite different picture. To be sure, he cannot be regarded as a political scientist or social theorist in a traditional sense, but he was nonetheless engaged in the issues of his day, and in his works one can certainly find material that can be insightful for the fields of politics and social theory.

Table of Contents

Andreas Frederik Beck: A Good Dialectician and a Bad Reader
K. Brian Söderquist

Jens Finsteen Giødwad: An Amiable Friend and a
Despicable Journalist
Andrea Scaramuccia

Johan Ludvig Heiberg
: Hegel’s Danish Apologist
Jon Stewart

J.L.A. Kolderup-Rosenvinge
: Kierkegaard on Walking Away
from Politics 

J. Michael Tilley

Orla Lehmann
: Kierkegaard’s Political Alter-Ego?
Julie Allen

Poul Martin Møller
: Kierkegaard and the Confidant of Socrates

Finn Gredal Jensen

Ditlev Gothard Monrad
: Kierkegaard on Politics, the Liberal Movement,

and the Danish Constitution
J. Michael Tilley

Rasmus Nielsen
: From the Object of “Prodigious Concern”
to a “Windbag”
Jon Stewart

Hans Christian Ørsted
: Søren Kierkegaard and The Spirit in Nature
Bjarne Troelsen

Frederik Christian Sibbern
: “The lovable, idiosyncratic thinker, Councillor of State Sibbern” and “The Political Simpleton Sibbern”
Carl Henrik Koch

Henrik Steffens
: Combining Danish Romanticism with
Christian Orthodoxy
Andrew Burgess

Peter Michael Stilling
: As Successor? “Undeniably a Possibility”
Carl Henrik Koch

Frederik Ludvig Bang Zeuthen
: “I struck a light, lit a fire—now it is burning. And this “fire,” Dr. Zeuthen wants to extinguish—with
an ‘enema syringe.’ ”
Carl Henrik Koch

Tome II: Theology

Tome II is dedicated to the host of Danish theologians who played a greater or lesser role in shaping Kierkegaard’s thought. In his day there were a number of competing theological trends both within the church and at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Copenhagen, and not least of all in the blossoming free church movements. These included rationalism, Grundtvigianism and Hegelianism. In this quite dynamic period in Danish ecclesial history, Kierkegaard was also exercised by a number of leading personalities in the church as they attempted to come to terms with key issues such as baptism, civil marriage, the revision of the traditional psalm book, and the relation of church and state.


Table of Contents 

Adolph Peter Adler: A Stumbling-Block and an Inspiration
for Kierkegaard
Carl Henrik Koch

Nicolai Edinger Balle
: The Reception of His Lærebog in Denmark
and in Kierkegaard’s Authorship
Christopher Barnett

Henrik Nicolai Clausen
: The Voice of Urbane Rationalism
Hugh S. Pyper

Magnus Eiríksson
: An Opponent of Martensen and an Unwelcome

Ally of Kierkegaard
Gerhard Schreiber

Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig
: The Matchless Prophet
Anders Holm

Hans Frederik Helveg
: A Receptive Grundtvigian
Søren Jensen


Peter Christian Kierkegaard: A Man with a Difficult Heritage
Thorkild C. Lyby

Jacob Christian Lindberg
: An Acceptable Grundtvigian
Søren Jensen

Hans Lassen Martensen
: A Speculative Theologian Determining
the Agenda of the Day
Curtis L. Thompson

Jacob Peter Mynster
: A Guiding Thread in Kierkegaard’s Authorship?
Christian Fink Tolstrup

Just H.V. Paulli
: Mynster’s Son-in-Law
Søren Jensen

Andreas Gottlob Rudelbach
: Kierkegaard’s Idea of an
“Orthodox” Theologian
Søren Jensen

Eggert Christopher Tryde
: A Mediator of Christianity and
a Representative of the Official Christendom

Jon Stewart


Tome III: Literature, Drama and Aesthetics

Tome III is dedicated to the diverse Danish sources that fall under the rubrics “Literature, Drama and Aesthetics.” The Golden Age is known as the period when Danish prose first established itself in genres such as the novel; moreover, it was also an age when some of Denmark’s most celebrated national poets flourished. Accordingly, this tome contains articles on Kierkegaard’s use of the great Danish poets and prose writers, whose works are frequently quoted and alluded to throughout his writings. Kierkegaard regularly attended dramatic performances at Copenhagen’s Royal Theater, which was one of Europe’s leading playhouses at the time. In this tome his appreciation for the art of Denmark’s best-known actors and actresses is traced. Finally, this tome features articles on the leading literary critics and aesthetic theorists of the Golden Age, who served as foils for Kierkegaard’s own ideas.

Table of Contents

Hans Christian Andersen: Andersen was just an Excuse
Lone Koldtoft

Jens Baggesen
: His Master’s Voice: Jens Baggesen Recycled
by Kierkegaard
Henrik Blicher

Steen Steensen Blicher
: The Melancholy Poet of the Jutland Heath
Sven Hakon Rossel

August Bournonville
: Leaps of Faith and the “Noble Art of Terpsichore”: Kierkegaard, Bournonville, and Ballet
Nathaniel Kramer

Mathilde Fibiger
: Kierkegaard and the Emancipation of Women
Katalin Nun

Meïr Goldschmidt
: The Cross-Eyed Hunchback
Johnny Kondrup

Thomasine Gyllembourg
: Kierkegaard’s Appreciation of the Everyday Stories and Two Ages
Katalin Nun

Johanne Luise Heiberg
: An Existential Actress
Katalin Nun

Johan Ludvig Heiberg
: Kierkegaard’s Use of Heiberg as
a Literary Critic
George Pattison

Carsten Hauch
: Hauch and Kierkegaard: A Map of Mutual Misreadings
Poul Houe

Johan Nicolai Madvig
: The Master of Latin in Kierkegaard’s Parnassus:

“…Madvig shall stand unchanged”
Jesper Eckhardt Larsen

Christian Molbech
: Proverbs and Punctuation: The Inspiration

of a Danish Philologist
Kim Ravn

Peder Ludvig Møller
: “If He Had Been a Somewhat More
Significant Person…”
K. Brian Söderquist

Adam Oehlenschläger
: Kierkegaard and the Treasure Hunter
of Immediacy
Bjarne Troelsen

Joachim Ludvig Phister
: The Great Comic Actor of Reflection
and Thoughtfulness
William Banks

Christian Winther
: Lovers and Readers: Christian Winther’s Poetry
and Søren Kierkegaard
Nathaniel Kramer



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