Courses at Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre

Picture by Rasmus Degnbol

Fixed courses





This course uncovers a European history about love that has shaped the present in untold ways. Our love stories reveal that we conceive of the human condition as desiring, striving, and longing, but also as avoiding reality and the concrete commitments that tie us to finitude. We read responses to this escapism in the form of a moral call to respond to the other, also when this means respecting difference and the other’s independence. Throughout, we gain tools for thinking seriously about love today.



This course examines the question of the good life as it surfaces in key texts from Continental philosophy, with particular focus on human freedom and the search for meaning, fulfilment, and happiness. We inquire into our relationships, activities, and commitments; we wonder about the importance of personal responsibility and active engagement; and we ask whether freedom is key to the good life, and, if so, the freedom to do what? We may not discover the secret to happiness in this course, but we do partake in an age-old pilgrimage in search of the good life.












The course takes a Danish perspective on common existential themes by reading the world famous local philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, in his hometown and at his own university. The main topic of the course is Søren Kierkegaard's witty and deeply earnest exploration of the problem of self-identity. Beginning with the breakdown of culture-specific ethnic and religious categories that have traditionally defined the self, the course treats Kierkegaard's scathing critique of religious culture and politics, his view that religious demands can conflict with seemingly universal ethical duties, and his assertion that the look of the Other is a defining factor in self-identity.


Fixed courses will be offered at every semester or as summercourses. Locate them through the University of Copenhagen's course-catalogue.

Kierkegaard as a part of the BA and MA program:

Since the late 1980s, the study of Kierkegaard has been a permanent part of the ‘Ethics and Philosophy of Religion’ program (currently only offered in Danish) at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Copenhagen. All BA students must read Kierkegaard’s Philosophical Fragments, and numerous MA theses and papers for elective courses have been written on Kierkegaard. The study of Kierkegaard has also been a central part of a great number of comprehensive examinations. This professional interest in Kierkegaard has continued with many PhD dissertations.