“I do not pretend to be better than others. Therefore what the old Bishop once said to me is not true–namely, that I spoke as if the others were going to hell. No, if I can be said to speak at all of going to hell then I am saying something like this: If the others are going to hell, then I am going along with them. But I do not believe that; on the contrary, I believe that we will all be saved, I, too, and this awakens my deepest wonder.”
– Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard’s Journals and Papers: Autobiographical, 1848-1855, p. 557
Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) was a 19th-century Danish philosopher who has often been considered the Father of (Christian) Existentialism. During his later years (1848–1855), most of his writings shifted from being philosophical in nature to being religious. Kierkegaard became well-known for his harsh criticism of Christendom and his call to radical discipleship, seemingly holding the belief that most people except himself were going to hell. In the quote above Kierkegaard refutes that assumption about him as mistaken. Søren Kierkegaard’s thinking has been a major influence in the development of 20th century theology.