Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (English pronunciation: /ˈsɔrən ˈkɪərkəɡɑrd/ or /ˈkɪərkəɡɔr/; Danish: [ˈsɶːɐn ˈkiɐ̯gəɡɒːˀ] ( listen)) (5 May 1813 –11 November 1855) was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and religious author. He was a critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel. He was also critical of the state and practice of Christianity in his lifetime, primarily that of the Church of Denmark. He is widely considered to be the first existentialist.
Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking, and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment.
His theological work focuses on Christian ethics, institution of the Church, and on the difference between purely objective proofs of Christianity. He wrote of the individual's subjective relationship to Jesus Christ, the God-Man, which comes through faith.