From the History of Religions to the Study of Religion in Denmark

An Essay on the Subject, Organizational History and Research Themes

Tim Jensen, Armin W. Geertz

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The history of the academic study of religion in Denmark resembles
developments in other Nordic and European countries as it has moved
from a primarily historical-philological and comparative ‘history of
religions’ towards a broader ‘study of religion(s)’ that includes history
of religions together with theories and methods from a wide
variety of the human, social and today also natural sciences. Uppsala
University was one of the three main centers of positivism at the end
of the 19th century, and its influence was evident and long-lasting
also in Denmark. By the end of the 1970s, debates and reflections on
methods and theories slowly began to have a greater impact, and from
the mid-80s and especially mid-90s, also due to conscious efforts not
least in Aarhus, methodological issues gained in importance. A turn
towards contemporary religion also became evident. Today it may be
claimed that a kind of balance has been achieved whereby historical
and empirical studies of religions go hand in hand with theoretical
and methodological reflections, and where a balance between, on the
one hand, more classical comparative history of religions materials
and approaches, and, on the other hand, new and different areas of
research, and new and different approaches and theories are of equal
importance. With regard to individual research, research programs,
and study programs, the history of the history of religions in Denmark
cannot be described in detail here. This article presents the broad picture
of important developments within and across the three Danish
universities that have study of religion departments. Although the
early histories are briefly touched upon, the focus will be on the past
50 years, from about 1960 until 2014, thus roughly the same period
that Temenos has been in existence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTemenos
Volume50
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)79-113
ISSN0497-1817
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Cite this

@article{7963313eb9cf4372b9044d0e946df86b,
title = "From the History of Religions to the Study of Religion in Denmark: An Essay on the Subject, Organizational History and Research Themes",
abstract = "The history of the academic study of religion in Denmark resemblesdevelopments in other Nordic and European countries as it has movedfrom a primarily historical-philological and comparative ‘history ofreligions’ towards a broader ‘study of religion(s)’ that includes historyof religions together with theories and methods from a widevariety of the human, social and today also natural sciences. UppsalaUniversity was one of the three main centers of positivism at the endof the 19th century, and its influence was evident and long-lastingalso in Denmark. By the end of the 1970s, debates and reflections onmethods and theories slowly began to have a greater impact, and fromthe mid-80s and especially mid-90s, also due to conscious efforts notleast in Aarhus, methodological issues gained in importance. A turntowards contemporary religion also became evident. Today it may beclaimed that a kind of balance has been achieved whereby historicaland empirical studies of religions go hand in hand with theoreticaland methodological reflections, and where a balance between, on theone hand, more classical comparative history of religions materialsand approaches, and, on the other hand, new and different areas ofresearch, and new and different approaches and theories are of equalimportance. With regard to individual research, research programs,and study programs, the history of the history of religions in Denmarkcannot be described in detail here. This article presents the broad pictureof important developments within and across the three Danishuniversities that have study of religion departments. Although theearly histories are briefly touched upon, the focus will be on the past50 years, from about 1960 until 2014, thus roughly the same periodthat Temenos has been in existence.",
author = "Tim Jensen and Geertz, {Armin W.}",
year = "2014",
month = "7",
language = "English",
volume = "50",
pages = "79--113",
journal = "Temenos",
issn = "0497-1817",
publisher = "Finnish Society for the Study of Religion",
number = "1",

}

From the History of Religions to the Study of Religion in Denmark : An Essay on the Subject, Organizational History and Research Themes. / Jensen, Tim; Geertz, Armin W. .

In: Temenos, Vol. 50, No. 1, 07.2014, p. 79-113.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - From the History of Religions to the Study of Religion in Denmark

T2 - An Essay on the Subject, Organizational History and Research Themes

AU - Jensen, Tim

AU - Geertz, Armin W.

PY - 2014/7

Y1 - 2014/7

N2 - The history of the academic study of religion in Denmark resemblesdevelopments in other Nordic and European countries as it has movedfrom a primarily historical-philological and comparative ‘history ofreligions’ towards a broader ‘study of religion(s)’ that includes historyof religions together with theories and methods from a widevariety of the human, social and today also natural sciences. UppsalaUniversity was one of the three main centers of positivism at the endof the 19th century, and its influence was evident and long-lastingalso in Denmark. By the end of the 1970s, debates and reflections onmethods and theories slowly began to have a greater impact, and fromthe mid-80s and especially mid-90s, also due to conscious efforts notleast in Aarhus, methodological issues gained in importance. A turntowards contemporary religion also became evident. Today it may beclaimed that a kind of balance has been achieved whereby historicaland empirical studies of religions go hand in hand with theoreticaland methodological reflections, and where a balance between, on theone hand, more classical comparative history of religions materialsand approaches, and, on the other hand, new and different areas ofresearch, and new and different approaches and theories are of equalimportance. With regard to individual research, research programs,and study programs, the history of the history of religions in Denmarkcannot be described in detail here. This article presents the broad pictureof important developments within and across the three Danishuniversities that have study of religion departments. Although theearly histories are briefly touched upon, the focus will be on the past50 years, from about 1960 until 2014, thus roughly the same periodthat Temenos has been in existence.

AB - The history of the academic study of religion in Denmark resemblesdevelopments in other Nordic and European countries as it has movedfrom a primarily historical-philological and comparative ‘history ofreligions’ towards a broader ‘study of religion(s)’ that includes historyof religions together with theories and methods from a widevariety of the human, social and today also natural sciences. UppsalaUniversity was one of the three main centers of positivism at the endof the 19th century, and its influence was evident and long-lastingalso in Denmark. By the end of the 1970s, debates and reflections onmethods and theories slowly began to have a greater impact, and fromthe mid-80s and especially mid-90s, also due to conscious efforts notleast in Aarhus, methodological issues gained in importance. A turntowards contemporary religion also became evident. Today it may beclaimed that a kind of balance has been achieved whereby historicaland empirical studies of religions go hand in hand with theoreticaland methodological reflections, and where a balance between, on theone hand, more classical comparative history of religions materialsand approaches, and, on the other hand, new and different areas ofresearch, and new and different approaches and theories are of equalimportance. With regard to individual research, research programs,and study programs, the history of the history of religions in Denmarkcannot be described in detail here. This article presents the broad pictureof important developments within and across the three Danishuniversities that have study of religion departments. Although theearly histories are briefly touched upon, the focus will be on the past50 years, from about 1960 until 2014, thus roughly the same periodthat Temenos has been in existence.

M3 - Journal article

VL - 50

SP - 79

EP - 113

JO - Temenos

JF - Temenos

SN - 0497-1817

IS - 1

ER -