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Publisher's Summary

An accessible, expert introduction to one of the greatest minds of 19th century. Whether you're completely new to him, or if you're already familiar with his work, Kierkegaard: A Single Life presents a fresh understanding of his life and thought.

Kierkegaard was a brilliant and enigmatic loner whose ideas permeated culture, shaped modern Christianity, and influenced people as diverse as Franz Kafka and Martin Luther King Jr. Though few people today have read his work, that lack of familiarity with the real Kierkegaard is changing with this biography by scholar Stephen Backhouse, who clearly presents the man's mind as well as the acute sensitivity behind Kierkegaard's books.

Drawing on biographical material that has newly come to light, Kierkegaard: A Single Life introduces his many guises - the thinker, the lover, the recluse, the writer, the controversialist - in prose as compelling and fluid as a novel and pursues clarity to long-standing questions about him:

  • What made this Danish theologian so controversial and influential?
  • Why were so many people drawn to his books, even if they didn't understand what they were reading?
  • Can his complicated relationship with the Church and religion be untangled?
  • Or, for that matter, what about his complicated - at times almost paradoxical - relationship with every sphere of life from politics to poetry?

To be considered everything from a great intellect to a dandy, from a martyr to a "false messiah" is no mean feat, and this biography sheds light on Søren Kierkegaard as he was with empathy and humor.

©2016 Zondervan (P)2016 Zondervan

What listeners say about Kierkegaard

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  • Overall
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Great!

Best short, contemporary biography of Kierkegaard. The summaries of SK's bibliography at the end are probably handy in the written form, but the main value of the audiobook is for the straight biographical chapters.

4 people found this helpful

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Extremely accessible biography and overview!

An extremely helpful, orienting introduction to the man and his writings. Engaging narration too. Highly recommended!

2 people found this helpful

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Just what I wanted

I wanted a well-written biography of Kierkegaard and an overview of his authorship in sequence, and that is what Backhouse delivers in an intelligent and accessible book. I withhold a fifth star not so much for the work of Backhouse or his publisher, but for the narration of Tom Parks in the audio version I am reviewing. Parks takes some getting used to, and never gets me past the sensation that, based on his cadence and vocal tones, that he may not always be attending to the meaning of what he is reading.

1 person found this helpful

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History and personality very well explained

Definitely now have a solid knowledge of the person and history. I must say it's the saddest lovestory Ive ever heard :'(
I have to look else where for more in depth look at his existentialism and philosophy. Maybe "either or"?

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Very good intro to Kierkegaard

Based on the objectives stated in the preface... Yep.. Mission accomplished. The narrator is excellent

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Helpful intro to both Kierkegaard’s life and work

o the best of my memory I have never studied or read any Kierkegaard. I have heard several people commend Kierkegaard: A Single Life and when I saw it on sale on audiobook I picked it up.

This is a brief, but good overview of his life. And because Kierkegaard is important primarily for his writing, there is good context for that as well. At the end of the book, there was short descriptions of each piece (1-3 pages) which was much more helpful and interesting than I would have suspected going in.

In general I find biographies worth reading, if when I am finished, I want to either find another biography or pick up books written by the subject. I more want to read Kierkegaard than read more about him at this point. So I rate this as a helpful biography. Light, short, it feels a bit like one of the Very Short Introduction to X styled biographies. It is longer than that, about 300 pages. But this was clearly designed as an introduction.

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Kierkegaard was a real one

Kierkegaard was a real one. Idk how this ended up on audible, given how few academic type books are on here but, I appreciate it. Doesn't go too much into the philosophy but it gives a good overview of what he was doing and why he was doing it a lot of the time. #IntellectualBiography #Academic #WesternPhilosophy #tagsgiving #sweepstakes