Seen as the original Existentialist, Kierkegaard transformed philosophy with his conviction that we must all create our own nature. Fear and Trembling, his great work of religious anxiety portraying Abraham's sacrifice of his son Isaac, argues that true understanding can only be attained by making a personal 'leap of faith'.
Writing under the pseudonym of Johannes de silentio, Kierkegaard uses the form of a dialectical lyric to present his conception of faith. Abraham is portrayed as a great man, who chose to sacrifice his son, Isaac, in the face of conflicting expectations and in defiance of any conceivable ethical standard. The infamous and controversial 'teleological suspension of the ethical' challenged the contemporary views of Hegel's universal moral system, and the suffering individual must alone make a choice 'on the strength of the absurd'. Kierkegaard's writings have inspired both modern Protestant theology and existentialism.