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Head of Center

Bo Kristian Holm is associate professor in systematic theology at Aarhus University. His main research include the theologies of Luther and Melanchthon, the relation between theology and social anthropology with a special focus on the economy of the gift, and the 20th century Germen Lutherrenaisance. Currently he is leading a research project on the relation between sacrament and socality in societies formed by Lutheranism. 



Steering committee



Gom Harste, dr.scient. pol. and associate professor at Department of Political Science and Government, Aarhus University. Harste examines those conflicts that emerges about formation of states and power after the Reformation. Confessional cultures emerged in opposition to each other and clashed throughout the establishment of the Westphalian system in the long transitional era from 1555 to 1748.  In his research project Harste examines if the Danish perspective on state power is an extreme consequence of European power development.



Nina Javette Koefoed is associate professor in history with a special obligation on the 18th and 19th century at Aarhus University and PI for the research project: Lutheranism and societal development in Denmark. Her research focuses on the influence from the reformation on the understanding of social identity and socio-emotional obligations within the household especially in early modern Denmark. She has previously worked on the regulation of sexuality and marriage after the reformation, but also with questions concerning poor relief, social responsibility and citizenship from the reformation until the early 20. Century.



Mette Svart Kristiansen is associate professor in Medieval and Renaissance Archaeology at Aarhus University. Her research focuses among other things on rural building and housing culture in Medieval Denmark seen in an archaeological perspective. Based upon this, Svart Kristiansen’s future projects will explore continuity and change in everyday material culture in rural and urban milieus with a particular interest for everyday spaces in the 1500-1600th century. A key issue here will be how material culture is used, reflects and affects residents and visitors, and to what extent the Reformation and Luther's ideas about family can be identified herein. 


Svend Andersen is a professor at the Department of Systematic Theology, Institute for Culture and Society, Aarhus University. He has worked broadly with the Reformation and especially with Lutheran ethics, as well as the political and legal relations, that relates to the Lutheran teaching.   



Charlotte Appel, D.Phil. and associate professor in Danish/Scandinavian cultural history 1500-1800, Department of History and Classical Studies, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. CA has written extensively on book markets and book culture as well as schools and education in 16th, 17th, and 18th century Denmark. She investigates the manifold effects of the reformation on these areas, including the key role played by Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. This gave rise to a particular Lutheran reading culture, which profoundly shaped the development of a Lutheran confessional culture. 



Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir is Associate professor in European and Danish medieval history at the Department of History, Aarhus University. She has written the dissertation "Property and Virginity. The Christianization of Marriage in Medieval Island 1200-1600", published by Aarhus University Press in 2010, and has previously worked on the religious culture of the Late Middle Ages and medieval memory and donation culture. She has published books on women and gender history and her current research relating to the reformation focuses on wills and donation culture in the 15th and 16th century as well as on marriage and motherhood.



Dr. Rainer Atzbach, is associate Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Archaeology at Aarhus University. Atzbach was curator of the exhibition "Elisabeth in Marburg. Service for the Poor" and "Castles and Power" in Berlin before coming to Denmark. He scrutinizes stove tiles and other furnishing as a source for identity and belief during Renaissance. Moreover, he is interested in the internation network of nobility and its buildings, which are in the focus of his research project "Topography of Power". 



Mary Hilson is a Professor in History at Aarhus University. Her research includes modern Nordic history and she is also interested in the North as a region and the Nordic model in the 20th century.



Per Ingesman, dr.phil. and Professor of Church History at Aarhus University, Denmark. His main area of research is Danish and European ecclesiastical history in the late medieval and early modern period. At present he is doing research on changes in ecclesiastical discipline at the Reformation and on the confessionalisation of Danish society in the wake of the Reformation. 



Ulrik Nissen is associate professor and Departmental Leader at the Department of Systematic Theology, Institute for Culture and Society, Aarhus University. He currently works with theological ethics in relation to the nature and the human body. 



Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen is associate professor in Systematic Theology at Aarhus University. Her research includes spirituality and mystic in the middle ages, with special view to its expression in everyday theology, as well as, the continuity and dis-continuity between the theology of Bernhard of Clairvaux and Luther. Her current research interests is the Reformation and gender, where she investigates, what role the Lutheran theology has had for women in theology, church and society. 



Maria Nørby Pedersen is a ph.d. stipendiat at the History Faculty of Aarhus University and a part of the Lumen-project Lutheranism and Societal Development. Maria is working with the treatment of poor people and beggars in the early modern Denmark. Here she investigates, whether the Reformation played a role in the legislative and institutional framework for the treatment of the poorest in society, as well as the criminalisation of begging. 

Anders Moe Rasmussen is associate professor in Philosophy at Aarhus University and his research area involves German idealism with a special view towards Fichte, Schelling and Kierkegaard. He has during recent years directed the FKK funded research network Protestantismenetværket. 



Leonora Lottrup Rasmussen is a ph.d. student in History, at Aarhus University. In her project she investigates how social citizenship was created and negotiated in the 19th century. Her project includes the relationship between formal rights and everyday practice, as well as, how the Lutheran understanding of the household had an impact on how social rights were given and enacted.  


Jette Bendixen Rønkilde is currently postdoc at the School of Culture and Society at Aarhus University. She earned her Ph.D. in 2014 with a dissertation entitled: Heaven in ordinary -  a re-reading of the view on worship in the works of N.F.S. Grundtvig", presenting a thesis that Grundtvig's writings can be said to outline an aesthetic, trinitarian view on worship. In her present research, Jette examines Luther's and Lutheran Eucharistic liturgies emphasizing the relationship between liturgy and sociality. The examination sheds light on how and if Lutheran Eucharistic liturgies from the Reformation onwards to present time can be seen as expressions of a particular sociality.



Laura Katrine Skinnebach is postdoc at Department of Art History, Aesthetics & Culture and Museology at Aarhus University. My main research areas are devotional practice and perception in the Reformation period in Denmark. I focus in particular on the gradual integration and appropriation of lutheran thought into devotional life and material culture, as expressed and illuminated in Prayer Books, images and a variety of religious objects. 



Sasja Emilie Mathiasen Stopa is a postdoctoral researcher at the LUMEN Centre for Lutheran theology and Confessional Society and investigates the influence of Lutheran notions of universal sin and unconditional trust on the high level of social trust characterising contemporary Danish society. As essential components of Martin Luther’s anthropology, the duality of sin and trust informs the Lutheran comprehension of authority, social responsibility, and duty, which have shaped Danish welfare mentality. Sasja received her PhD degree in 2017 for a dissertation in systematic theology entitled “Soli Deo honor et gloria – A Study of Honour and Glory in the Theology of Martin Luther.”  



Gert Tinggaard Svendsen is professor, PhD., Department of Political Science, Aarhus University. Relevant main research areas are trust and absence of corruption. Denmark, followed by the other Nordic countries, holds most trust and least corruption in the world today. One possible explanation on this special nordic feature could be the lutheran reformation and here the interdisciplinary LUMEN network is crucial. Furthermore, a comprehensive research network concerning trust and corruption is reflected in the  Handbook of Social Capital (2009) as edited by Svendsen. One relevant example of interdisciplinary research is the book ”Trust” (2014) in the Reflections series from Aarhus University Press (e.g. positively reviewed by Forbes Magazine) and translated to Chinese (信任) in 2016.  



Jonas Thorup Thomsen is a PhD fellow in History at Aarhus University. Jonas’ project has the title “Clerical Reading – The Book Collections and Practices of Danish Pastors 1660-1810”. In this project, Jonas examines which books pastors and clergymen in early modern Denmark read and how they disseminated the ideas found in these books to their parishioners.



Christian Houth Vrangbæk is a ph.d. student at the Department of Systematic Theology at Aarhus University. His research includes the renaissance view of humans with a starting point in Erasmus of Rotterdam and Cyprian.



Uffe Østergård Professor emeritus in European and Danish History, Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, honorary professor in modern history, University of Aarhus. Formerly director of the Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Jean Monnet professor in European Civilization and Integration, University of Aarhus.

Associated former members

Rasmus Skovgaard Jakobsen is PhD in history and curator at the Museums in Vejle. In 2019 he defended his doctoral thesis Nobility between God and People After the Reformation: The Ideology of the Danish Nobility Under the Reign of the Aristocracy as seen through the Published Noble Death Sermons. The thesis was a research collaboration between LUMEN and the Danish Research Centre for Manorial Studies. His research fields includes the Danish peerage in the 16th and 17th century, especially focusing on how the reformation shaped the noble perception of power, authority and gender in the published noble death sermons from the period. Additionally he also studies the role of the nobility in connection to the church, schools and the poor relief system.

Anette Larner, Phd. Currently employed as a post.doc at Aalborg University on the project Enslaved by the State. As part of that project, she is further developing new understandings from her Phd dissertation, The Good Household Gone Bad, tracing the early modern Good Household through crime and incarceration, about the use, social and religious implementations and political reasons for establishing a Danish prison-workhouse model in light of a renewed focus on the centrality of religious practices in society across all social and political levels. She has been an active member of the LUMEN centre because of the focus on religion as an explanatory model for the development of the Danish workhouse system, and she remains associated with the centre.

Eva Krause Jørgensen holds a PhD in the History of Ideas from Aarhus University, where she also did a post doc at Theology. Her primary interests are religious, social and political ideas in the Nordics from the 16th to the 18th century. In LUMEN she was part of the project "An economy of reception? The relation between sacrament and sociality in Lutheran Protestant societies" where she worked with Protestant theses and sacramentality.