Courses at Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre

Picture by Rasmus Degnbol

Fixed courses








We will follow the evolution of religious thinking in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, much of which argues that religion should avoid the distorting demand of justifying itself solely in terms of rationality and that it ought to consider the volitional and experiential aspects of religious life, as well. Our goal is to gain a critical appreciation of the development of religious thought, with a particular focus on the significance of religious experience, based on a study of a handful of highly influential texts by authors such as Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Friedrich Nietzsche, William James, as well as Copenhagen’s most famous philosophical mind, Søren Kierkegaard.







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.