My thesis argues that Søren Kierkegaard provides a perspective on grief that validates emotional experience while offering the opportunity for transcendence beyond the immediacy of grief through the work of love in recollecting one who is dead. Conventional philosophical approaches offer an incomplete picture by focusing on grief either as exclusively emotional or exclusively moral. The alternative methodology of phenomenology serves to draw out common threads from the intensely subjective, inward experience of grief. Kierkegaard’s writings on the topics of grief, sorrow, and love for the dead reflect the complexity uncovered in the phenomenological analysis. Traditional interpretations of Kierkegaard’s call to love the dead focus on this love as a metaphor for how to love the living, while more recent scholarship identifies love for the dead as valuable in itself. Taking up this approach, I seek to provide a reading that takes seriously the emotional experience of loss and justifies the value of continued love for the dead consistent with the phenomenology of grief and Kierkegaard’s writings.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Sweetman, Nathan, "The Concept of Grief: A Phenomenological Account with Continual Reference to Kierkegaard" (2022). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1274.