SKC Annual Conference 2018

Kierkegaard in Dialogue with Late Modernity: Politics, Media, and Society



Wednesday, August 15

13:00-13:15   Joakim Garff: Words of Welcome

Afternoon Session (Chairperson: George Pattison)

13:15-13:45   Mélissa Fox-Muraton: “Equality for unconditionally every human being?”

13:45-14:15   Discussion

14:15-14:30   Coffee / Tea Break

14:30-15:00   Poul Houe: “The people, the Press, and the Public: Dimensions of Populism in Kierkegaard’s World and Ours”

15:00-15:30   Discussion

15:30-16:00   Mads Peter Karlsen: “A Kierkegaardian Politics of the Neighbor”

16:00-16:30   Discussion

16:30-18:00    Reception at the Marketplace

Thursday, August 16

Morning Session (Chairperson: Ettore Rocca)

10:00-10:30   Elisabeth Gräb-Schmidt: “Guilt in History –  The Role of the Individual in Kierkegaards Reflections on Time and Freedom”

10:30-11:00   Discussion

11:00-11:15   Coffee / Tea Break

11:15-11:45   A.J. Goldman: ”Where is Kierkegaard’s Critique of Government? Assessing Works of Love and Fear and Trembling as Ethical /  Political Texts”

11:45-12:15   Discussion

12:15-13:15   Lunch Break

Afternoon Session (Chairperson: Vincent Delecroix)

13:15-13:45   Cæcilie Varslev-Pedersen: “Kierkegaard’s Theory of Action”

13:45-14:15   Discussion

14:15-14:45   Kasper Lysemose: “The (im)proper community. On the notion of “Eiendom­melig­hed” in Kierkegaard”

14:45-15:15   Discussion

15:15-15:30   Coffee / Tea Break

15:30-16:00    Karl Verstrynge: “Unplug Your Life. Digital Detox Through a Kierkegaar­dian Lens”

 16:00-16:30   Discussion

Friday, August 17

Morning Session (Chairperson: Isak Winkel Holm)

 10:00-10:30   Sophie Wennerscheid: “In the Wilderness of Intimacy. Passion, Freedom and Anxiety in Late Modernity”

 10:30-11:00   Discussion

 11:00-11:15   Coffee / Tea Break

 11:15-11:45   Bartholomew Ryan: ”In medias res: Kierkegaard’s 'age of disintegration', interlude and ecological poetics”

 11:45-12:15   Discussion

 12:15-13:15   Lunch Break

Afternoon Session (Chairperson: Isak Winkel Holm)

13:15-13:45    Troy Wellington Smith: “Kierkegaard and the Rise of the Modern Visual Regime”

13:45-14:15   Discussion

14:15-14:45    René Rosfort: “Kierkegaardian Ethics and Global Inequality”

14:45-15:15   Discussion

15:15-15:30   Joakim Garff: Concluding Words

In order to stimulate a dynamic interplay between Kierkegaard understood in historical context and Kierkegaard interpreted in light of contemporary concerns, the SKC Annual Conference in 2018 will be an interdisciplinary discussion about the influence of his authorship in late modernity with special emphasis on politics, media, and the social sphere. The conference aims to both explore and challenge the dialogical dimension of Kierkegaard’s writings. The exploratory aspect consists of an analysis of his critical observations concerning the condition of the late modern period. The challenge lies both in confronting Kierkegaard with the historically conditioned limitations and blind spots of his diagnoses, and in reflecting on the unnoticed resources in his thought that can contribute to a contemporary discussion in these areas. Such resources might very well lie in places other than those where he offers explicit observations of the political or social situation.  It might be possible to find in Works of Love, for example, another form of democratic consciousness than the one that can be derived from his most explicit criticisms of democracy recorded elsewhere.

In the case of the exploratory and confrontational elements, the presentations should consider the hermeneutical and methodological difficulties implicit in a dialogue with Kierkegaard given the historical distance between him and his contemporary reader.

The presentations need not look to Kierkegaard as an ideological sage who can solve all problems, but should seek rather to enter into an even, critical dialogue with him about the most acute and intricate questions of our time.

Venue and Registration

The conference will take place at the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen, located at UCPH South Campus, Karen Blixens Plads 16, DK-2300 Copenhagen. The seminar language will be English. The Centre cannot provide assistance for lodging or travel.

Registration closed

If you have any questions, please contact Bjarne Still Laurberg at

We look forward to seeing you in Copenhagen!


Joakim Garff                            René Rosfort                             Iben Damgaard
Associate Professor               Associate Profesor                   Professor (mso)
Director of SKC