Homage to Søren Kierkegaard

By Gioia, Dana | First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, October 2013 | Go to article overview

Homage to Søren Kierkegaard


Gioia, Dana, First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life


(1813-1855)

"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

I was already an old man when I was born.

Small with a curved back, he dragged his leg when walking

the streets of Copenhagen. "Little Kierkegaard,"

they called him. Some meant it kindly. The more one suffers

the more one acquires a sense of the comic.

His hair rose in waves six inches above his head.

Save me, O God, from ever becoming sure.

What good is faith if it is not irrational?

Christianity requires a conviction of sin.

As a boy tending sheep on the frozen heath,

his starving father cursed God for his cruelty.

His fortunes changed. He grew rich and married well.

His father knew these blessings were God's punishment.

All would be stripped away. His beautiful wife died,

then five of his children. Crippled Soren survived.

The self-consuming sickness unto death is despair. …

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