Public Release: 

International congress on Kierkegaard

University of Copenhagen

From 5 May to 8 May The Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, at the University of Copenhagen will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Kierkegaard's birth by hosting an international congress with the title "Kierkegaard reconsidered in a Global World".

The congress is attended by Kierkegaard scholars from around the world from Norway to Japan. Among the keynote speakers is Norwegian-American author Siri Hustvedt and Professor Arne Grøn from University of Copenhagen.

"Søren Kierkegaard's thoughts touch the very core of human existence. His analysis of anxiety, despair, sorrow, joy and especially love have an everlasting actuality that engages scholars and individuals all over the world. The congress will be the largest of its kind and the goal is to facilitate the ongoing and growing interest in the authorship as well as to show that the University f Copenhagen is the natural centre of this interest", says Pia Søltoft, the head of The Kierkegaard Research Centre.

The works and objects of love

For the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre 5 May, the 200th anniversary of Kierkegaard's birth also marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of the philosopher's life through a variety of dissemination activities. One of these activities is a new exhibit, organised by the Museum of Copenhagen in collaboration with the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre which opens on 5 May.

The exhibit is titled "The works and objects of love". It aims at explaining Kierkegaards philosophic ideas about love by use of some of the author's personal belongings

"Love was something Kierkegaard took up in all of his works. He saw love as an urge to give and show affection. Love is instilled in us by God and expressed in our relationships with other people. Love assumes different forms: the physical love between lovers, the bond between parents and their children or between friends, and the Christian love that exists in the respect for one's self and for others," says Joakim Garff, associate professor at the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre.

The exhibit contains a number of objects from Kierkegaard's life that symbolise the various forms of love: the key to his boyhood home, for example, or the coffee cups he used when entertaining guests, and finally the engagement ring he gave to Regine Olsen. All the items serve as a biographical insight into Kierkegaard's relationships and breathe life into his thinking.

"After Kierkegaard broke off the engagement to Regine Olsen, he had the ring remade so that the stones formed the shape of a cross. The symbolism of that decision can be interpreted as a transformation of his physical love for Olsen to Christian love, and thus as an eternal symbol of the marriage that would never come to be," says Joakim Garff.


See programme:

The celebration of Kierkegaard

Read more about the celebration on the anniversary website:

The exhibit

Read more about the exhibit "The works and objects of love":


Pia Søltoft, director of the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre
Phone: +45 51 22 75 94

Anne Rahbek, communication officer
Phone: + 45 20 56 98 34

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