The Big Two Names in Existentialism

English: Sketch of Søren Kierkegaard. Based on...
English: Sketch of Søren Kierkegaard. Based on a sketch by Niels Christian Kierkegaard (1806-1882). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Existentialism came of age in the 19th century a period of unrest and radical social change.

Science was flowering and the belief in the powers of human mind was reaching a crescendo.

The industrial revolution was overturning the traditional social order.

The world was rushing headlong into becoming the industrial, scientific, capitalist and most secular world you know today.

Born into this world were two visionary thinkers, Soren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Both recognized that something was missing and something was awry in this brave new world.

They demanded a new assessment of what it means to be human, what it means to live and what it means to exist.

From there, each of them took one of the two paths:

Kierkegaard became a devout Christian and a man of deeply personal faith.

Nietzsche became a strong atheist.

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