The LUMEN Centre

The LUMEN Centre aims to develop an ambitious and innovative interdisciplinary platform for the study of confessional and cultural characteristics in the Lutheran Reformation and its influence on theology, mentality, culture and society – particularly in the Nordic countries. Based on this point of departure, the centre will contribute to the theoretical discussion about the importance of Protestantism for the individual and society.

The need for knowledge about the positive and negative influence of religions on social development has become urgent both in the field of research and in discussions about society in general. One of the goals of the centre is to contribute methodically and theoretically to the international discussion of religion as a driving force in historical development, and to the discussion of how to study the influence of religion on social development and social institutions. And the Nordic countries, which in many ways represent a special case in an international perspective, are indeed characterised by a long-term Lutheran influence. The LUMEN Centre bases its work on the thesis that current theories about Protestantism, which are founded in particular on research into the Calvinist tradition, do not fully comprehend the relevant aspects of the relationship between religion and state, society and individual in countries that are influenced by Lutheranism.

The members of the LUMEN Centre come from the fields of medieval and renaissance archaeology, philosophy, history, the history of ideas, church history, art history, practical theology, systematic theology and political science.


From 2015 until end of 2017 LUMEN had a blog with a new entry every week. The blog was in Danish and aimed at a broader public. It communicated new research from our interdisciplinary research on Lutheran theology, confessional culture, and its impact on society. It was great fun to write the blog entries – and very valuable for our research – so we don’t want to let the blog die just because the reformation anniversary is over. Therefore, we have decided to relaunch the blog, now presented in English on a monthly basis. We will continue to present the LUMEN Centre’s latest work, but reflect to a greater extent on theoretical, methodical, and empirical elements of the research.

The Ten Commandments. Lucas Cranach d. Ältere (1516)

2018.04.16 | Research

Why Early Modern historians should know their catechism

The first blog-entry is written by historian Nina Javette Koefoed. She reflects on the value of a more specific knowledge of theology, in this case the catechism, to her research on household, authority and socio-emotional relations.


Thu 03 May
09:00-10:00 | Nobelparken, 1461-516
Breakfast Meeting
Mon 14 May
13:00-17:00 | Aarhus University - Building 1461, room 516
Seminar with PhD course: Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde: ”From God and Neighbour to State and Citizen – Grass root level law and religion 1640-1800”
Wed 23 May
09:00-10:00 | Nobelparken, 1453-415
Breakfast Meeting
Thu 07 Jun
13:00-17:00 | Nobelparken 1461-516
Seminar with Lee Palmer Wandel ”The matter of liturgy”
Fri 08 Jun
10:00-14:00 | Aarhus University - Building 1481, room 224
PhD course with Lee Palmer Wandel: ”The matter of liturgy”
Sun 10 Jun
00:00-00:01 |
Conference Uppsala: Doing House: Social, Cultural and Political Practices in Early Modern Europe
10-12 June 2018.

Head of Center:

Bo Kristian Holm

Associate professor