Theology of Søren Kierkegaard - Kierkegaard's Audience

Kierkegaard's Audience

Kierkegaard's primary religious audience was Christian readers, especially those who did not fully grasp what Christianity was all about. It was not his intention to convert non-Christians to Christianity, although much of Kierkegaard's religious writings do appeal to some non-Christian readers. For example, Martin Buber was a Jewish existentialist theologian who critiqued many of Kierkegaard's ideas.

Kierkegaard delivered religious discourses because he didn't become a theologian or a philosopher of religion. His audience was any single individual who is laboring to become what God wants her to become.

The invitation to a religious address is quite simply this: Come here, all you who labor and are burdened-and the address presupposes that all are sufferers-indeed that they all should be. .... The speaker is not to go down among the listeners and single one out, if there is such a one, and say, “No you are much too happy to need my discourse," because if this is heard from the lips of a religious speaker, it must sound like the most scathing irony. The distinction between fortunate and unfortunate is only jest, and therefore the speaker ought to say, “We are all sufferers, but joyful in our suffering-this is what we strive for.” Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Hong P. 437-438

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