Swenson, David F. (David Ferdinand), 1876-1940

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David F. Swenson, war born in Kristinehamn, Sweden, graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1898, began teaching in the Philosophy Dept in 1901, and became chairman of the department in 1936. He was an authority on the life and writings of Soren Kierkegaard, and spent much of his professional life translating Kierkegaard's work into English.

From the description of David F. Swenson papers, 1912-1978. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 63291907

David Ferdinand Swenson was born in Kristinehamn, Sweden, in 1876. He came to the United States at the age of six. He was educated in the Minneapolis Public Schools and attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1898. He was an instructor in the Department of Philosophy from 1901 to 1906, Assistant Professor from 1906 to 1913, Associate Professor from 1913 to 1917, and Professor from 1917 to 1940. In 1936 he was appointed chairman of the Department of Philosophy upon the retirement of Norman Wilde.

Swenson was an authority on the life and writings of the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, and spent much of his professional life translating Kierkegaard's works into English. Two of these translations were published before his death in 1940. They are Philosophical Fragments (1936) and Two Discourses (1938).

Lillian Marvin, also a graduate of the University of Minnesota in 1898, married Swenson in 1912. After his death, she learned to read Danish and continued working on the translations of Kierkegaard which Swenson had left unfinished. The following works were published as a result of her efforts: Edifying Discourses, Volumes I-IV (1943-1947), Either/Or, Volume 1 (1945), Works of Love (1946), Gospel of Suffering and Lilies of the Field (1948). She also compiled and edited Something About Kierkegaard (1941), which is a collection of Swenson's philosophical talks, and Kierkegaardian Philosophy and the Faith of a Scholar (1949), also a collection of Swenson's addresses and essays. Lillian Swenson died in 1961.

From the guide to the David Ferdinand Swenson papers, 1912-1978, (University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives [uarc])

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Frank M. Rarig papers, 1901-1966 University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives [uarc]
creatorOf Haycraft, Howard, 1905-1991. Howard haycraft papers, 1926-1959 <bulk 1926-1927> University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Cohen, Morris Raphael, 1880-1947. Morris Raphael Cohen papers, 1898-1981. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966. William Ernest Hocking Papers, 1860-1979 Houghton Library
creatorOf Swenson, David F. (David Ferdinand), 1876-1940. David F. Swenson papers, 1912-1978. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
creatorOf David Ferdinand Swenson papers, 1912-1978 University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives [uarc]
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American-Scandinavian Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Beach, Joseph Warren, 1880-1957 person
associatedWith Coffman, Lotus Delta, 1875-1938 person
associatedWith Cohen, Morris Raphael, 1880-1947. person
associatedWith Fox, Donald Hardie person
associatedWith Geismar, Eduard (Eduard Oswald), 1871-1939 person
associatedWith Gray, John H. (John Henry), 1859-1946 person
associatedWith Haycraft, Howard, 1905-1991. person
associatedWith Heinecker, Martin John person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
associatedWith Holmer, Paul LeRoy person
associatedWith Kierkegaard, Søren, 1813-1855 person
associatedWith Kruse, Cornelius person
associatedWith Larsen, Hanna Arstrup, 1873-1945 person
associatedWith Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974 person
associatedWith Lowrie, Walter, 1868-1959 person
associatedWith McGuire, James Arthur, 1874-1933 person
associatedWith Minneapolis Public Schools corporateBody
associatedWith Minneapolis Public Schools. Board of Education corporateBody
associatedWith Niebuhr, H. Richard (Helmut Richard), 1894-1962 person
associatedWith Northrop, Cyrus, 1834-1922 person
associatedWith Nyvall, D. (David), 1863-1946 person
associatedWith Pauck, William person
associatedWith Pillsbury, John Sargent, 1828-1901 person
associatedWith Pratt, James Bissett, 1875-1944 person
associatedWith Rarig, Frank Miller, 1880-1963 person
associatedWith Riley, W. B. (William Bell), 1861-1947 person
associatedWith Rygh, George Alfred Taylor, 1860- person
associatedWith Rypins, Stanley Y. person
associatedWith Sigerfoos, Charles P. (Charles Peter), b. 1865 person
associatedWith Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968 person
associatedWith Smith, Datus Clifford, 1907- person
associatedWith Swedish American Tercentenary Association corporateBody
associatedWith Swenson, Lillian Marvin, 1876-1961 person
associatedWith Todd, Arthur James, 1878-1948 person
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Dept. of Philosophy corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Scandinavian Area Studies corporateBody
associatedWith Vincent, George E. (George Edgar), 1864-1941 person
associatedWith Wilde, Norman, 1867-1936 person
associatedWith Wild, John Daniel, 1902-1972 person
associatedWith Woodbridge, Frederick James Eugene, 1867-1940 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Evolution--Study and teaching
Journalistic ethics
World War, 1914-1918
Academic freedom


Birth 1876

Death 1940



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