The objective of this book is to review the complex of issues in Søren Kierkegaard’s concept of existence. It is evident that for Kierkegaard existence is always composed of three elements: namely, the subject, freedom, and the ethical. In the process of clarifying the relation between these three elements in the different stages of existence, the course of the development the individual must go through in order to become the single individual is described.
The study falls into four parts. The first section describes the levels in existence on which a person attempts by his own powers to actualize the ethical ideals; in this stage the center of gravity for a person’s effort still lies within the bounds of immanence. The second section describes a person’s ethical and religious growth as it develops in relation to a transcendent power, whose highest expression is Christ as the revelation of God. The third section discusses the issues in existence that Kierkegaard himself designated as the most difficult of all for human thought. The last section points to the highest existential position to which philosophy in the broader sense and Christianity respectively can take a person. Kierkegaard utilizes these positions as a standard for evaluating existence within immanence and for Christian existence.
This study is supplemented by an examination of the psychological and anthropological presuppositions of freedom and ethics. — Gregor Malantschuk, From the Preface