Sometimes described as the first existentialist, Soren Kierkegaard has a reputation for being a melancholy and misanthropic Christian theologian. It’s a reputation which is unjust. As a young man in 1841 he had gone to Berlin, in part to escape a failed romance, in part in search of philosophy, but also because of his tremendous passion for theatre and music.
And it was in Germany that he was to produce some of his most important works, including Either/Or, written in an intriguing number of voices and under a pseudonym. What was Kierkegaard trying to portray with these multiple fictitious characters? In Journeys in Thought, our series about turning points in the lives and thoughts of famous thinkers, Jonathan Rée travels to Berlin to discover why Kierkegaard found that city so inspirational.
The programme features interviews with Kierkegaard experts such as George Steiner, George Pattisson and Stephen Mulhall, while John Deathridge talks about Kierkegaard’s musical writings. Also featured are Tim Hagemann, Bernd Henningsen and Ulrich Johannes Schneider.