Kierkegaard on patience and the temporality of the self: The virtues of a being in time

Journal of Religious Ethics 36 (3):491-509 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper examines Kierkegaard 's discussion of patience in some of his Upbuilding Discourses, and its connection with his understanding of the nature of selfhood as it appears both in the Discourses and in The Sickness unto Death. That understanding stresses that selfhood is not simply given, but is a task to be achieved—although a task that can only be achieved by the self that is formed in the process of undertaking it. For Kierkegaard, an account of the self that recognizes its essential temporality must give a crucial role to patience as a virtue necessary for the formation and maintenance of personal identity. However, although the self is essentially temporal for Kierkegaard, it is also essentially such as to participate in eternity, and this complexity and tension in his concept of the self gives his understanding of patience a particular character—one that presents an important challenge to some of the dominant assumptions of recent and contemporary philosophy in both the analytic and the continental traditions



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 80,057

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

100 (#133,239)

6 months
5 (#166,179)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Anthony Rudd
St. Olaf College

Citations of this work

The Importance of Patience in Kierkegaard’s Becoming Self.Amber Bowen - 2020 - Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care 13 (2):211-221.
Patience in Kierkegaard.Ángel Viñas Vera - 2022 - Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs 51:9-33.
Fearful asymmetry: Kierkegaard’s search for the direction of time.Patrick Stokes - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 43 (4):485-507.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

After virtue: a study in moral theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1981 - Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
Sources of the self: the making of the modern identity.Charles Taylor - 1989 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
On virtue ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 20 references / Add more references