Mynsters Sermons

A stock ingredient in Soren's Christian upbringing was the sermons of Jacob Peter Mynster (1775-1854), a curate at Our Lady's Church in Copenhagen and a popular preacher among the cultural elite of Danish society at that time. Kierkegaard's father was devoted to Mynster as a preacher and spiritual advisor, and his published sermons were regularly read at devotionals in the Kierkegaard household (JP vi. 6627). Soren was even

encouraged, on promise of a monetary reward, not only to read Mynster's sermons aloud to his father but also to write up from memory those he heard in church, which he refused to do (JP vi. 6355). Nevertheless, this early childhood immersion in Mynster's sermons instilled in the boy a lasting respect for the man, even though Kierkegaard later became highly critical of Mynster as Primate Bishop of the Danish People's Church, admonishing the bishop for the incongruity between his preaching and personal lifestyle and for his failure to admit publicly that the established church he represented was a watered-down version of Christianity.7

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