Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (English pronunciation: /ˈsɔrən ˈkɪərkəɡɑrd/ or /ˈkɪərkəɡɔr/; Danish: [ˈsɶːɐn ˈkiɐ̯ɡəɡɒːˀ] ( listen)) (5 May 1813 –11 November 1855) was a Danish 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, primarily that of the Church of Denmark. He is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.
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 commitmen.