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A Short Life of Kierkegaard$
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Walter Lowrie

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157771

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157771.001.0001

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At the Cross Roads

At the Cross Roads


(p.79) At the Cross Roads
A Short Life of Kierkegaard

Walter Lowrie

Princeton University Press

This chapter details Kierkegaard's initial forays into young adulthood. Though the events of the Great Earthquake had crushed him, it had also liberated him from his father's dominance—and, as he would realize later on, from God. In addition, the incident had aroused the intellectual side of his nature, and allowed him to take stock of his own self in a deliberate and thorough way. He took on the Socratic maxim, “Know thyself,” to illustrate this task. The chapter goes on to furnish the reader with several excerpts of Kierkegaard's letters and deliberations, revealing the choices Kierkegaard found himself making and the sense of exhilaration he experienced in making them as he further emancipated himself from his father and from Christianity, though he would later claim that he had never given up the latter.

Keywords:   Søren Kierkegaard, Christianity, earthquake, young adulthood, Michael Pedersen Kierkegaard, theology, North Seeland, independence, defiance

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