The long period from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century supplied numerous sources for Kierkegaard's thought in any number of different fields. The present, rather heterogeneous volume covers the long period from the birth of Savonarola in 1452 through the beginning of the nineteenth century and into Kierkegaard's own time. The Danish thinker read authors representing vastly different traditions and time periods. Moreover, he also read a diverse range of genres. His interests concerned not just philosophy, theology and literature but also drama and music. The present volume consists of three tomes that are intended to cover Kierkegaard's sources in these different fields of thought. Tome I is dedicated to the philosophers of the early modern period and the Enlightenment who played a role in shaping Kierkegaard's intellectual development. He was widely read in German and French philosophy of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, making reference to the leading rationalist philosophers Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz in his journals and published works. Further, connections have also been pointed out between his thought and the writings of the French thinkers Montaigne, Pascal and Rousseau, who share with Kierkegaard a form of philosophy that is more interested in life and existence than purely conceptual analysis. Through the works of the authors explored here Kierkegaard became acquainted with some of the major philosophical discussions of the modern era such as the beginning of philosophy, the role of doubt, the status of autonomy in ethics and religion, human freedom, the problem of the theodicy found in thinkers such as Bayle and Leibniz, and the problem of the relation of philosophy to religion as it appears in the German writers Jacobi and Lessing.
Contents: Preface; Pierre Bayle; Kierkegaard's use of the Historical and Critical Dictionary, Karl Verstrynge; René Descartes: Kierkegaard's understanding of doubt and certainty, Anders Moe Rasmussen; David Hume: Kierkegaard and Hume on reason, faith, and the ethics of philosophy, Thomas Miles; Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi: 2 theories of the leap, Anders Moe Rasmussen; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: traces of Kierkegaard's reading of the Theodicy, HÃ¥vard LÃ¸kke and Arild Waaler; Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: appropriating the testimony of a theological naturalist, Curtis L. Thompson; Michel de Montaigne: the vulnerability of sources in estimating Kierkegaard's study of Essais, SÃ¸ren Landkildehus; Blaise Pascal: Kierkegaard and Pascal as kindred spirits in the fight against Christendom, SÃ¸ren Landkildehus; Jean-Jacques Rousseau: presence and absence, Vincent A. McCarthy; Baruch de Spinoza: questioning transcendence, teleology and truth, Clare Carlisle; Indexes.