Kierkegaard’s Notion of a Divine Name and the Feasibility of Universal Love

Sharon Krishek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Kierkegaard's well-known analysis of the self, in the first part of his work The Sickness unto Death (1849), presents, even if only in passing, the somewhat enigmatic notion of “divine name.” In this article I offer an interpretation of Kierkegaard's analysis and suggest that the notion of a divine name be understood as expressing the conception of human beings as possessing (what I call) “individual essence.” I further demonstrate that it is this quality that makes a human being a self, namely, the individual that he or she is. In addition to defending the exegetical and substantial plausibility of this conception, I show how it opens the way to affirming the feasibility of universal love.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)539-560
Number of pages22
JournalSouthern Journal of Philosophy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The University of Memphis


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