Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses

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The Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses (Danish: Opbyggelige Taler), sometimes called the Eighteen Edifying Discourses, is a collection of discourses produced by Søren Kierkegaard during the years of 1843 and 1844. Although he published some of his works using pseudonyms, these discourses were signed his own name as author. These discourses are not the same as a sermon because a sermon is preached to a congregation while a discourse can be carried on between several people or even with oneself. Theses discourses or conversations should be "upbuilding", which means one would build up the other person, or oneself, rather than tear down in order to build up. Kierkegaard said: "Although this little book (which is called "discourses," not sermons, because its author does not have authority to preach, "upbuilding discourses," not discourses for upbuilding, because the speaker by no means claims to be a teacher) wishes to be only what it is, a superfluity, and desires only to remain in hiding".[1]

Titling and translation[edit]

David F. Swenson first translated the works in the 1940s and titled them the Edifying Discourses; however, in 1990, Howard V. and Edna H. Hong translated the works again but called them the Upbuilding Discourses. The word "upbuilding" was more in line with Kierkegaard's thought after 1846, when he wrote Christian deliberations about works of love.[2]

Two Upbuilding Discourses, 1843[edit]

Three Upbuilding Discourses, 1843[edit]

Four Upbuilding Discourses, 1843[edit]

Two Upbuilding Discourses, 1844[edit]

Three Upbuilding Discourses, 1844[edit]

Four Upbuilding Discourses, 1844[edit]


  1. ^ Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses, Søren Kierkegaard 1843-1844, 1990 ed. by Howard V. Hong, Princeton University Press, p. 5
  2. ^ Søren Kierkegaard, Works of Love, p. 3 (Hong 1990)