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Sren Aabye Kierkegaard b1813 d 1855 was a profound and prolific writer in the Danish golden age of intellectual and artistic activity His work crosses the boundaries of philosophy theology psychology literary criticism devotional literature and fiction Kierkegaard brought this potent mixture of discourses to bear as social critique and for the purpose of renewing Christian faith within Christendom At the same time he made many original conceptual contributions to each of the disciplines he employed He is known as the father of existentialism but at least as important are his critiques of Hegel and of the German romantics his contributions to the development of modernism his literary experimentation his vivid re-presentation of biblical figures to bring out their modern relevance his invention of key concepts which have been explored and redeployed by thinkers ever since his interventions in contemporary Danish church politics and his fervent attempts to analyse and revitalise Christian faith Kierkegaard burned with the passion of a religious poet was armed with extraordinary dialectical talent and drew on vast resources of erudition Kierkegaards Life Kierkegaard led a somewhat uneventful life He rarely left his hometown of Copenhagen and travelled abroad only three times - to Berlin His prime recreational activities were attending the theatre walking the streets of Copenhagen to chat with ordinary people and taking brief carriage jaunts into the surrounding countryside He was educated at a prestigious boys school Borgedydskolen then attended Copenhagen University where he studied philosophy and theology His teachers at the university included FC Sibbern Poul Martin Mller and HL Martensen Sibbern and Mller were both philosophers who also wrote fiction The latter in particular had a great influence on Kierkegaards philosophico-literary development Martensen also had a profound effect on Kierkegaard but largely in a negative manner Martensen was a champion of Hegelianism and when he became Bishop Primate of the Danish Peoples Church Kierkegaard published a vitriolic attack on Martensens theological views
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