Pontus Wikner was born in a poor homestead in Valbo-Ryrs parish in Dalsland.
He came to Uppsala in 1856 and took a lasting impression of the neo-evanglism and of Rydberg and Geijer.
As a disciple of philosopher Christopher Jacob Boström, Wikner developed at first Boström's ideas, to later expose them to religious philosophical and epistemological criticism. Against the philosophy of Boström, which was derived from God as the absolute sense, Wikner's conception a God as marked by sacred will and religion as a me-you relationship.
Between 1863–1884, Wikner was Associate Professor in theoretical philosophy in Uppsala and became lecturer in theology and Hebrew at higher general grammar school in Uppsala 1873, and professor of philosophy and aesthetics in Kristiania (Oslo) in 1884.
In the most read work thoughts and questions before the Son of man (1872) Wikner took personal position in the Christologian battles of the present time. He wanted to reconcile a biblically inspired revival of piety with a culture of open humanism and was beheld in Christian circles, mainly within the young ecclesiastical and the Covenant of Christian Humanism.
When Pontus Wikner died in Oslo after a life of sickness and personal crises, his remains was brought to Uppsala through the student union. A large number of students followed the remains to the grave.
More than 80 years (1971) after Wikner's death, his notes were published, in which he describes his homosexual orientation and the suffering it caused him.
Wikner also became an inspiration when the modern gay movement emerged in Sweden in the 1970s; a movement that has evolved and today can be referred to as the LGBTQI movement.
Burial site: 0121-1085
Image description: Pontus Wikner , ca 1850-1888. Photo: Unknown photographer / UUB. [The image is cropped]
Click here for an uncropped image