Sickness Unto Death

by: Søren Kierkegaard

Suggested Essay Topics

Discuss Kierkegaard's concept of despair. Who suffers from despair? What forms does it take? Why is it a problem? What, according to Kierkegaard, does Christianity tell us about despair?

Discuss Kierkegaard's understanding of sin. How is sin related to despair? What sort of people live in sin? Why is sin a problem? What is the opposite of sin and how can people overcome sinfulness?

At several points in The Sickness Unto Death Kierkegaard offers a formula for the eradication of despair. What is Kierkegaard's solution to despair? How does he argue for it?

Kierkegaard frequently criticizes "scientists," "scholars," "speculative thinkers," and others who focus their energies on understanding the world of material things and facts. What are his criticisms? What alternative does he support? Do you agree with his viewpoint?

How do you think Kierkegaard expected his readers to respond to The Sickness Unto Death. Who is his target audience? How are we supposed to change our lives or beliefs after reading his book?

What is your opinion of The Sickness Unto Death? Do you find Kierkegaard's message that we should pursue an individual faith in God compelling? Are there advantages to the viewpoint he criticizes--the view that study of the objective world can provide important moral, religious, and intellectual guidance?