Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Cates, Diana Fritz

First Committee Member

Curley, Melissa Anne-Marie

Second Committee Member

Pesantubbee, Michelene


The goal of this thesis is to bring Rogers and Kierkegaard into productive conversation with each other, across disciplines, around the themes of self, authenticity, and relationality. The purpose is to show that people can still learn a great deal from these thinkers, particularly by reading each of them in light of the other. Rogers and Kierkegaard wrote in different historical periods and cultural settings. However, by identifying some cognate concepts (in English) we can appreciate how, for both of them, the central task of life is to promote human well-being, in community with each other, and in humble relation to a higher good or ideal.

This thesis shows more specifically that Rogers' theory of person-centeredness and Kierkegaard's theory of Christian neighbor-love both reflect the conviction that being an authentic self if necessary for sustaining good relationships with others. Both authors argue that being in right relationship with others is, in turn, essential to self-actualization and authenticity.


actualization, becoming a self, relational self, selfhood


ii, 69 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 67-69).


Copyright 2013 Susan M. Woolever

Included in

Religion Commons