He used these pseudonyms with a very concrete goal: to represent different forms of thinking. Kierkegaard’s philosophy often brings confusion, since he is attributed with the title of “the first existentialist,” yet he was also a Christian. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813–1855) was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian, and social critic, widely considered a founding figure in existentialism. Religious writing, the Introduction explains, should adopt the manner of a physician at a sickbed. Søren Kierkegaard’s two heroes were Socrates and Jesus Christ. Convinced that the Christian faith, as it was generally practiced, had lost its way, Kierkegaard was a fierce critic of religious dogma. I. Sören Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Summary Summary Summary Summary. For Kierkegaard, truth must be found on an individual basis through an inward existential journey that requires a leap of faith that logic simply cannot articulate. In outlining the six pillars of existentialism, Backhouse cements Kierkegaard’s legacy as the godfather of the philosophical movement. Religious books should instead strive to engage the reader on a personal level. We now turn to our two examples of existentialism. Adorno, on the other hand, in his Habilitationsschrift, later published as Kierkegaard: Construction of the Aesthetic, is critical of Kierkegaard’s politics, though Adorno’s indirect target was Heidegger and existentialism more generally. Since his time existential approaches to philosophy about life have grown very greatly in influence and also appeared in several forms influenced by numerous writers and thinkers. The origins of Existentialism Kierkegaard and Sartre Soren Kierkegaard was the first philosopher to actually consider that he wrote about Existentialism. Søren Kierkegaard carried out most of his work under different pseudonyms such as Victor Eremita, Johannes de Silentio, Anti-Climacus, Hilarius Bookbinder, or Vigilius Haufniensis. CHAPTER 14 EXISTENTIALISM. Some people, Kierkegaard tells us in the Preface, might expect books on religious matters to be serious and scholarly. Pseudonyms and existentialism. Søren Kierkegaard (1813—1855) Søren Kierkegaard is an outsider in the history of philosophy. Chapter Summary. Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher and theologian considered the father of existentialism. 14.1 The Existential Tone Søren Kierkegaard is said to have inaugurated modern existentialism in the early 19th century, while Jean-Paul Sartre is said to have been the last great existentialist thinker in the 20th century. 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