Date of Award

Spring 1969

Document Type




First Advisor

Rev. Francis Wiegenstein

Second Advisor

Rev. Cornelius Kelly

Third Advisor

Rev. Emmett O'Neill


This thesis Is an attempt to present and share a student’s appreciation of Kierkegaard’s thought with regard to existence. As a summary and synthesis of his effort, it is inadequate, for it merely presents an introduction to the richness of the complex man that was Kierkegaard. It will, I hope, however, serve as a guide for the clarification of a number of specific points which must be preliminary to an attempt at understanding Kierkegaard. Finally, I hope that this would be a source of stimulation to those who might wish to pursue Kierkegaard where he is most properly found, in his own writings, many of which are now available in English translation. By way of presentation this thesis is divided into three parts. The first part presents some basic understanding of his life, his place in history, his attitude and direction of mind, and, most important, his method. The second part is a summary presentation of Kierkegaard’s understanding of "existence” as the primary task of man. In this second section, the presentation of existence is thematically organized on the basis of the four essential characteristics of freedom, tension or anxiety, becoming, and temporality and historicity. The third and final section concerns the means, according to Kierkegaard, whereby authentic human existence is achieved

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