130 Best Soren Kierkegaard Quotes from Top Danish Theologian

Søren Kierkegaard was a famous Danish theologian, philosopher, poet and social critic.

He was the founder of Existentialism and an important personality in Postmodernism.

His writings were strongly influenced by his personal experiences including his childhood that was marked by his father’s depression and the young Kierkegaard’s physical disabilities and his relationship with his muse, Regine Olsen.

Soren Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard’s philosophy, epitomized in his work ‘Either/Or’, dealt with the complexities of choice in diverse facets of life, from individual emotions to socio-political structures.

His writings, often published under pseudonyms to create the illusion of dialogue, critiqued established religion and emphasized skepticism towards social norms, laying the groundwork for existential psychology and postmodernism.

Related: Albert Barnes Quotes from the American Theologian and John Knox Quotes from the Scottish Minister and Theologian

Despite a lack of contemporary recognition, Kierkegaard’s works gained widespread influence following their translation in the 1920s, impacting thinkers and writers like Heidegger, Sartre, Camus and Kafka.

I have selected the popular Soren Kierkegaard quotes.

Best Soren Kierkegaard Quotes

If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.


Faith is the most important factor in religious questions. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Hope is a passion for the possible. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Faith is namely this paradox that the single individual is higher than the universal. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the world – no matter how imperfect – becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

For he who loves God without faith reflects on himself, while the person who loves God in faith reflects on God. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The self is a relation which relates itself to its own self, or it is that in the relation that the relation relates itself to its own self; the self is not the relation but that the relation relates itself to its own self. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Famous Soren Kierkegaard Quotes

On the secretly blushing cheek is reflected the glow of the heart. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

People settle for a level of despair they can tolerate and call it happiness. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

I have only one confidant, and that is the silence of night. Why is it, my confidant? Because it remains silent. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The present state of the world and the whole of life is diseased. If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I should reply, ‘Create silence’. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Ulysses was not comely, but he was eloquent, Yet he fired two goddesses of the sea with love. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

What labels me, negates me. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Never cease loving a person, and never give up hope for him. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

What looks like politics, and imagines itself to be political, will one day unmask itself as a religious movement. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

It is perfectly true, as philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.


Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Love is the expression of the one who loves, not of the one who is loved. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Top Soren Kierkegaard Quotes

Only the person who is essentially capable of remaining silent is capable of speaking essentially. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

For love is exultant when it unites equals, but it is triumphant when it makes that which was unequal equal in love. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

It is in your power to review your life, to look at things you saw before, but from another point of view. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Only one human being recognized as one’s neighbour is necessary in order to cure a man of self-love. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

In my great melancholy, I loved life, for I love my melancholy. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

It’s better to get lost in the passion than to lose the passion. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Leap of faith – yes, but only after reflection. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Don’t forget to love yourself. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations – one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it – you will regret both. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

When you were called, did you answer or did you not? Perhaps softly and in a whisper? ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth – look at the dying man’s struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The proud person always wants to do the right thing, the great thing. But because he wants to do it in his own strength, he is fighting not with man, but with God. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Come, sleep and death; you promise nothing, you hold everything ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Theology sits rouged at the window and courts philosophy’s favor, offering to sell her charms to it. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Language has time as its element; all other media have space as their element. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant, My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Seducing a girl is no art, but it needs a stroke of good fortune to find one worth seducing. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

In relationship to God one can not involve himself to a certain degree. God is precisely the contradiction to all that is ‘to a certain degree’. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Boredom is the only continuity the ironist has. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Why bother remembering a past that cannot be made into a present? ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Great Soren Kierkegaard Quotes

A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The only intelligent tactical response to life’s horror is to laugh defiantly at it. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

It is perhaps the misfortune of my life that I am interested in far too much but not decisively in any one thing; all my interests are not subordinated in one but stand on an equal footing. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

It is impossible to exist without passion. ~ Søren Kierkegaard.

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Every mental act is composed of doubt and belief, but it is belief that is the positive, it is belief that sustains thought and holds the world together. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Anxiety can be replaced only by the freedom whose harsh requirements are its cause. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Fools and young men prate about everything being possible for a man. That, however, is a great error. Spiritually speaking, everything is possible, but in the world of the finite, there is much which is not possible. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

I am convinced that God is love, this thought has for me a primitive lyrical validity. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.


Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The self-assured believer is a greater sinner in the eyes of God than the troubled disbeliever. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Ultimate Soren Kierkegaard Quotes

It is a question of discovering a truth which is truth for me, of finding the idea for which I am willing to live and die. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Silence is the demon’s trap, and the more one is silenced, the more terrible the demon; but silence is also the divinity’s mutual understanding with the single individual. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

My standpoint is armed neutrality. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known – no wonder, then, that I return the love. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Happiness is the greatest hiding place for despair. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

It is unbelievable what a person of prayer can achieve if he would but close the doors behind him. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

But by sitting still, & the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Marriage brings one into fatal connection with custom and tradition, and traditions and customs are like the wind and the weather, altogether incalculable. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Powerful Soren Kierkegaard Quotes

Those who think they can love only the people they prefer do not love at all. Love discovers truths about individuals that others cannot see. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

To be lost in spiritlessness is the most terrible thing of all. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Faith is the highest passion in a man. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

And this is one of the most crucial definitions for the whole of Christianity; that the opposite of sin is not virtue but faith. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.


The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music. ~ Søren Kierkegaard.

Being free requires us to release the brakes that anxiety represents in order to accept and appropriate or proper spiritual fulfillment or perhaps even to recognize. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Since my earliest childhood a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic if it is pulled out I shall die. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

It is hard to believe because it is hard to obey. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Face the facts of being what you are, for that, is what changes what you are. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

It is a positive starting point for philosophy when Aristotle says that philosophy begins with wonder, not as in our day with doubt. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

To have faith is precisely to lose one’s mind so as to win God. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The difference between an admirer and a follower still remains, no matter where you are. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Inspiring Soren Kierkegaard Quotes

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Faith begins precisely where thinking leaves off. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

I have only one friend, and that is echo. Why is it, my friend? Because I love my sorrow, and echo does not take it away from me. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

My soul is like the dead sea, over which no bird can fly; when it gets halfway, it sinks down spent to its death and destruction. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

I stick my finger into existence and it smells of nothing. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

If you want to be loathsome to God, just run with the herd. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

One must not think slightingly of the paradoxical for the paradox is the source of the thinker’s passion, and the thinker without a paradox is like a lover without feeling: a paltry mediocrity. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Once you are born in this world you’re old enough to die ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

If he is not supposed to be that, then he is a hypocrite, and the higher he climbs on this path, the more dreadful a hypocrite he is. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life’s relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. ~ Søren Kierkegaard.

Only the noble of heart are called to difficulty. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Nothing is as heady as the wine of possibility. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Wise Soren Kierkegaard Quotes

It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.


Nothing ventured, nothing gained. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Once you label me you negate me. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite. ~ Søren Kierkegaard.

Therefore do not deceive yourself. Of all deceivers fear most yourself. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

My melancholy is the most faithful sweetheart I have had. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The most common form of despair is not being who you are. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

A poet is not an apostle; he drives out devils only by the power of the devil. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self. And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you’ll never have. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

People understand me so poorly that they don’t even understand my complaint about them not understanding me. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Spiritual superiority only sees the individual. But alas, ordinarily we human beings are sensual and, therefore, as soon as it is a gathering, the impression changes – we see something abstract, the crowd, and we become different. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself. ~ Soren Kierkegaard.

So these were the 130 top Soren Kierkegaard quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Smedley Butler quotes and Sophocles quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar