by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Divine Perspective (12 of 40)
Series: Ecclesiastes
Stephen Whitney
Ecclesiastes 3:12-15

Søren Kierkegaard was born in 1813 to an affluent family in Copenhagen, Denmark. His father Michael was a melancholic, anxious, deeply pious and fiercely intelligent man.

His father believed he had earned God's wrath and that none of his children would outlive him. He is said to have believed that his personal sins, perhaps indiscretions like cursing the name of God in his youth or impregnating Ane out of wedlock, necessitated this punishment. Though five of his seven children died before he did,

He was greatly influenced by his father's fear of God's punishment
for his sins. In his later writings Søren Kierkegaard attacked the formalities and politics of the church which he believed hindered the growth and potential of the individual to be all they could be.

He is regarded as the father of existentialism meaning that the individual is solely responsible for giving their own life meaning.
It was further developed by the German philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger along with the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

Existentialism is the view that life is fatal because everyone dies so just live for the moment or short period of time that you have now.
This view became popular at the end of World War II, when he great cities of Europe were in ruins and all that the people had previously hoped in - the institutions of government and religion - had proved to be powerless to prevent a second world war. It became a way to express the importance of individual freedom.

At the end of the war, people were left with shattered hopes concerning all that they had believed in. They asked themselves,
"What can we trust?" And they concluded that they could only trust their feelings, their experiences, and their reaction to life and to events from one moment to another moment. Instead of living,
they settled for just existing. They felt life ...

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