The polymath Johan Ludvig Heiberg (1791-1860) represented
in many ways a kind of crossroads in the Danish Golden Age,
where many different figures and cultural institutions converged.
Although he has been studied for years in his native Denmark,
he has not enjoyed the same reception abroad. Recently, however, his work has begun to catch the eye of international scholars, and, largely as a result of their efforts, Heiberg has now become a familiar name among the most recent generation of Anglophone and international researchers working in fields such as Scandinavian literature, Danish theater history and Kierkegaard
studies. However, Heiberg was one of the most versatile figures
of his age, and the full scope of his activity and thought is still far
from being adequately explored in the literature.
The present collection features articles from leading Danish
and international experts that reflect the different dimensions
of Heiberg’s thought. The volume is thus interdisciplinary in an
attempt to cover as many different aspects of Heiberg’s intellectual activity as possible. It is divided into four rubrics:
I. Philosophy, II. Literature and Criticism, III. Drama and Aesthetics, and IV. Politics and Social Criticism.
The hope is that this collection will encourage students and scholars to further explore the different dimensions of Heiberg’s thought, both on its own terms and in connection with other important figures such as Søren Kierkegaard and Hans Christian Andersen.
Jon Stewart is Associate Research Professor at the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre at the University of Copenhagen.