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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.

One of LUMENs collaborators is The Reformation Research Consortium (RefoRC)


LUMEN regularly publishes new blog entries on theoretical, methodical, and empirical elements of its ongoing research.

2021.02.23 | Research

New book about the Church observed pays tribute to Carsten Bach-Nielsen (Den sete kirke. Festskrift til Carsten Bach-Nielsen, Aarhus University Press 2021).

In 2020, Carsten Bach-Nielsen retired from his position as an associate professor of church history at Aarhus University. Carsten Bach-Nielsen has been a great support of LUMEN over the years,…

I have made a few masks featuring Luther roses like the ones in the picture. In many ways, this is a contradiction in terms. In other ways, they might be necessary

2020.10.27 | Research

Cultural resistance to wearing masks?

Covid19 has once again led to new restrictions in Denmark and elsewhere – and to new discussions of these restrictions. There seems to be a special resistance to the demand to wear masks in all…

Niels Hemmingsen, titelblad 1566, Det kongelige Biblioteks billedarkiv

2020.09.28 | Research

Putting the Expert in Context: Niels Hemmingsen and the Ordering of Sixteenth-Century Denmark

Niels Hemmingsen (1513–1600) was an early modern Danish theologian. In my recent book, Envisioning the Christian Society (Mohr Siebeck, 2020), I study Hemmingsen as an expert in his theological and…


Sun 30 May
09:00-16:00 | Aarhus University
LUMEN Conference: Reformation and Everyday Life
”Reformation and Everyday Life”. May 30 – June 2, 2021. We will accept papers that have already been accepted for the 10th Annual RefoRC-conference, scheduled in Aarhus 2020, and open for new papers as well. Follow link below for further information.

Head of Center

Bo Kristian Holm

Professor with Special Responsibilities

Student Secretary for LUMEN

Bjarke Hellemann Weiss

Student Worker School of Culture and Society - History, subject