Personlig profil


Niels Reeh,

Associate Professor, Ph.D., Department of History, University of Southern Denmark Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark, [email protected], Orcid: 0000-0002-3339-7409, Born 1968, married, 3 children.

Orcid: 0000-0002-3339-7409


Short Bio

I received my Ph.D. in sociology of religion from University of Copenhagen in 2007 on a case study of the political decission making process with regard to teaching of religion from 1720 to 2006. The thesis showed that sociological studies had overwhelmingly described secularization as a result of internal societal modernization process and neglected the state's regulation of religion in the analysis (Reeh 2009a, 2009b). This work led to the ground breaking discovery of the importance of the dynamic relations between religious groups (i.e. that religious groups relate, react and adapt to each other), which hitherto had not been sufficiently incorporated in to the theoretical description of religious groups (2013a, 2016). Since 2018, I have worked increasingly on the tremendous potential in DH and shown that even simple digital searches can rewrite the history of the concept of religion (Reeh 2020b).



2007-8 Adjunktpædagogikum (university teacher license)

2007 January the 10th. PhD, Religion, UCPH: Religion and the State of Denmark, state religious politics in the elementary school system from 1721 to 1975: an alternative approach to secularization

2001 Master in Sociology of Religion from UCPH

1996 BA in Sociology of Religion, History and Anthropology

1991 BA in Economics


Academic Employment

2016 Associate Professor in Religious Studies, University of Southern Denmark

2015-16 Visiting scholar UC, Berkeley, CA, USA.

2014-15 Extra Mural Lecturer at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, UCPH

2012-14 Associate Research Professor at the collective research project Many Roads in Modernity, Faculty of Humanities, UCPH

2010-12 Post doc at The Institute for Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, UCPH

2007-10 Assistant Professor at The Department of Religion, UCPH

2002-3 Paternity leave (6 months)


Awards (K)

1998 University of Copenhagen’s Silvermedal for the MA-thesis David Hume's History of Religion.


Scientific focus areas

Sociology of Religion, Historical Sociology, Conceptual History, Digital Humanities


Management and collaborations

Panels at ISSR 2019 (Inter-religious relations), 2021 (Digital Humanities in the Study of Religion)

Initiator of the DH working group at Department of History, SDU, 2020

Initiator of Health, culture and religion network at ToRS, UCPH, 2014

Initiator of a talent program for ambitiøs students (Den gode uddannelse) at University of Copenhagen in 2009. Three students (Mads Damgaard, Erik Sporon Fiedler and Kristian Frisk) subsequently obtained a Ph.D. fellowship and Ph.D. degree


PhD students (J)

Due to lack of funding, there has in many years been no options for Ph.Ds at Religious Studies, SDU.

Co-supervisor of Ph.D. Kristian Frisk, SDU, Esbjerg.


Research funding (H)

2015 Carlsberg 1 year grant for research project at Department of Philosophy, UC Berkeley.

2013 Grant (15.000 kr.) for Miniworkshop at ToRS (Peter Beyer, Ottawa University)

2012 Grant (18 months) from the Carlsberg Foundation as partaker in the research project Modernitetens mange veje led by Professor Catharina Raudvere, UCPH

2011 ToRS seed money grant for The Religion of the Other

2010 Grant (2 years) from The Danish Council for Independent Research in the Social Sciences

2007 Grant (3 years) from The Danish Council for Independent Research in the Humanities


Selected international talks (I)

2019 Functional, substantial or a  relational approach to the study of religion, ISSR/SISR, Barcelona.    

2017 Collective consciousness as a key to the study of religion?, ISSR/SISR, Lausanne.

2016 Collective inter-religious subjectivity, UC Berkeley.  

2010 Presentation at The Dewey-Seminar, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA.



International published monograph

Reeh, N. (2016) Secularization Revisited, Teaching of Religion and the State of Denmark: 1700-2006, Springer Science


Ph.D. dissertation

Religion and the State of Denmark, state religious politics in the elementary school system from 1721 to 1975: an alternative approach to secularization, University of Copenhagen


Peer-reviewed articles in international journals in the last 10 years

Reeh, N. (2021) "Dancing with religion.....", NUMEN, Brill.

Reeh, N. (2020b) " The early modern notion of religion: the religious other, mutual recognition and inter-religious translation", Journal for the Study of Religion in Europe, Brill.

Reeh, N. (2020a) "Inter-religious relations as a new foundation for comparative religion", MTSR.

Reeh, N. (forthcoming). “Educational Reforms in Denmark 1780 to 1920” in Dynamics of Religious Reform, vol.3, Leuven University Press.

Reeh, N. and J. E. Larsen (2015). From Competing Technologies of Mass Schooling to the Spiritual Enlightenment of the Nation: The reception of the monitorial system of education in Denmark 1814-1849. Changing Mass Teaching in the 19th Century: Global Circulation, National Models, Local Experiments. M. Caruso, G. Geißler & S. Reh (eds.), Frankfurt am Main et al.: Peter Lang

Reeh, N. (2013b). "The Field of Religions in Norwegian Pluralist Society." Testing Pluralism. G. Giordan and W. Swatos. Leiden, Brill. 23: 175-192

Reeh, N. (2013a). "A Relational Approach to the Study of Religious Survival Units." MTSR.

Reeh, N. (2013c). "Danish state policy on the teaching of religion from 1900 to 2007" Social Compass.

Reeh, N. (2011). "A Shinning City on Another Hill: Danish Civil Religion as State Mythology." Social Compass 58(2): 235-246


Peer-reviewed Danish Articles in the last 10 years

Reeh, N. (2021) "Cuius regio, eius religio og konstruktionen af begrebet religion ", Religionsvidenskabeligt Tidsskrift.
Reeh, N. (2020c) " Religionens teknik og teknikkens religion ", Religionsvidenskabeligt Tidsskrift.

Reeh, N. (2015). Hvad er religion i Danmark 2014? Den danske religionsmodels grænseflade. M. Warburg (ed.). Særnummer af Religionsvidenskabeligt Tidsskrift

Reeh, N., C. Drejer, et al. (2014). "Indførelsen af den indbyrdes undervisningsmetode i Danmark, dens konkrete udformning som disciplinær teknik i klasserummet og dens transnationale variationer." Uddannelseshistorie.

Reeh, N. (2012). Jørgen Podemann Sørensens ritualteori og begreb om effikacitet. Den sammenklappelige tid. T. Jensen & M. Rothstein (eds.). Kbh., Forlaget Chaos

Reeh, N. (2012). Om den danske stats religionsundervisning fra enevælden til new public management. Den danske religionsmodel. L. Christoffersen (et al. eds.). København, Hans Reitzels Forlag

Reeh, N. (2012). Om statens interesser i fremtidens danske religionsmodel. Den danske religionsmodel. L. Christoffersen (et al. eds.). København, Hans Reitzels Forlag

Reeh, N. (2012). Civil religion i den danske skole i et historisk perspektiv. Civil Religion i Danmark. M. Warburg (ed.). Copenhagen, Forlaget Univers

Reeh, N. (2011). "Konfirmation og rytterskoler i Danmark i lyset af den enevældige stats overlevelseskamp i første halvdel af det 17. århundrede." Uddannelseshistorie 45: 13- 29


Eksterne ansættelser

Medlem af Kirkeministeriets udvalg for anerkendelse af trossamfund

16. apr. 2018 → …


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