Selected Quotes from Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855)
Kierkegaard was critical of the state and practice of Christianity, primarily that of the Church of Denmark. He is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking, and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment.
His theological work focuses on Christian Ethics, Institution of the Church, and on the differences between purely objective proofs of Christianity. He wrote of the individual's subjective relationship to Jesus Christ, the God-Man, which came through faith.
A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.
Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.
At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference.
Boredom is the root of all evil - the despairing refusal to be oneself.
During the first period of a man's life the greatest danger is not to take the risk.
Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.
God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure. But he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.
It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself.
Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.
Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.
The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.
The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.
To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music.