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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.

Altar piece in Højst Church, Diocese of Ribe, Southern Denmark. Photo from www.hostrup-hoejst.dk
The right-side panel of the predella with the inscription on the salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. Private photography by the author, 2020. 
The left-side panel of the predella with the inscription on the salvation through the body of Jesus Christ. Private photography by the author, 2020.

2021.06.05 | Research

How churches bear witness to the ordinary practice of taking communion

This blog post focuses on an altarpiece from the late 15th century in a small village in southern Denmark, and in particular on the post-Reformation inscriptions on the predella. These inscriptions…

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…