Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (born 5 May 1813 – died 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.
He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables.
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 commitment. He was against literary critics who defined idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time. Swedenborg, Hegel, Goethe, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel and Hans Christian Andersen were all "understood" far too quickly by "scholars".