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This strikingly original work by Jrgen Bukdahl, first published in Danish in 1961, explores Sren Kierkegaard's relationship, both in the abstract and in his everyday life, with "ordinary" people.
Seeking to undermine the stereotype of Kierkegaard as socially aloof and politically conservative, Bukdahl finds him to be fundamentally interested in and concerned about the plight of "the common man." In the course of his discussion Bukdahl does a thorough job of contextualizing Kierkegaard in mid-nineteenth-century Denmark, shedding light on Kierkegaard's relationships with his family, various religious groups, and the leading intellectual figures of his time. Bukdahl follows the trajectory of Kierkegaard's thoughts on the common man from his earliest writings through his battles with The Corsair and on to his untimely death. Throughout, Bukdahl examines the role of Kierkegaard's Christian faith in shaping his attitude toward the common man and social relationships in general.
Kierkegaard scholar Bruce H. Kirmmse here provides the first English translation of Bukdahl's book and has included many helpful additions---a biographical introduction that fills in the details of Kierkegaard's life, endnotes that identify the many little-known figures referenced in the text, and a preface that explains the context of the book and its author. Kirmmse also includes a bibliographic guide pointing readers to English translations of all of Kierkegaard's writings. This new information and Bukdahl's own colorful style make this an accessible and highly useful work for scholars as well as students new to Kierkegaard.
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