Religion and Nature conference

Nordic Society for Philosophy of Religion conference June 5 – June 7, Oslo.

With the latest reports from UN Panels on loss of nature and biodiversity (2022) and human impact on climate change (IPCC 2021-22), the question of religion and nature is again highly topical in philosophy, theology and religious studies. Christian, indigenous and other religious responses to ontology, ethics and cosmology have received new attention and encourages scholars to reconsider their understanding of philosophy and religion in the broad sense.

The conference topic, Religion and Nature, is deliberately kept wide in order to include as many contributions as possible. It is also timely, given the present and precarious situation of the planet. We aim at accomodating as many presentations as possible, including senior scholars, PhD Students and other researchers on Postdoc and even MA level.

Call for paper: Please submit an abstract (250 words) by 15th of April to Atle O Søvik

Confirmed keynote speakers include Kevin Schilbrack (USA), Jan-Olav Henriksen (NO), Elena Kamlykova (SE), Sigridur Gudmarsdottir (IS) and Marius T. Mjaaland (NO).

There will be lectures, short papers and presentations from ongoing work. We welcome analytic as well as pragmatic and phenomenological (and possibly other) approaches. We will emphasize joint meals, good atmosphere, and possibly a discussion of how we may strengthen the field of Philosophy of Religion in the future, cooperate on PhD courses or even write an application for NordForsk or ERC.

The University of Oslo, Faculty of Theology, and MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society are hosting the conference with support from ReNEW.

Deadline for submission of proposals for paper: April 15, 2023.
Abstracts up to 250 words. Reading length 20 minutes
Program (premiminary) (pdf)
Information on accommodation possibilities will follow.
We hope to avoid a conference fee.
Preliminary Program

Monday, June 5th
Venue: Professorboligen, Central Campus, University of Oslo

1500: Registration and Welcome.
1600: Opening: Mjaaland and Henriksen
1615: Keynote I: Professor Kevin Schilbrack, Appalachian State University, US
1715: Response and plenary discussion
1830: Reception
Tuesday, June 6th.
Venue: Tøyen Hovedgård (easily accessible by the tube).

0900: Keynote II: Professor Jan-Olav Henriksen, MF: On the need to eliminate two prevailing concepts in the religious discourse on nature
0945: Response and plenary discussion
1030: Coffee break
1100: Paper session I
1230: Lunch
1330: Keynote III: Dr. Elena Kalmykova, Uppsala University: Worship of nature, worship of God: stemming from the same root and rational
1415: Response and plenary discussion
1500: Coffe break
1630: Paper Session II
1730: Group discussion on selected topics
1900: Transfer to conference dinner
1930: Conference dinner
Wednesday June 7th.
Venue: Tøyen Hovedgård

0900: Keynote IV: Prof. Sigridur Gudmarsdottir, University of Iceland: Driftwood Jesus: Theorizing Arctic Religion and Nature
0945: Response and plenary discussion
1030: Coffee break
1100: Paper session III
1230: Lunch
1330: Keynote V: Professor Marius T. Mjaaland, University of Oslo
1415: Response and plenary discussion
1500: Closing discussion: Information about ongoing research and activities. Future work and cooperation.
1600: Closing of the conference.
Jan-Olav Henriksen, Marius T. Mjaaland, Atle O. Søvik

Categorized as Events

At the End of the World

The research program At the End of the World: A Transdisciplinary Approach to the Apocalyptic Imaginary in the Past and Present has now begun. Funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and led by Jayne Svenungsson, Professor of Systematic Theology at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, the program’s 22-person research team bridges historical and contemporary studies of apocalyptic ideas and images. You can find the newly launched website for the program at where you can see a list of recent publications or subscribe to the program’s newsletter. If you have any questions about At the End of the World, you can write to the program secretary Aaron James Goldman at

Categorized as Other

The Realisation of I-we

Article by Andreas Masvie in The Heythrop Journal.


Ever since Plato, a tragic conception of the human self has been the point de depart of moral and political philosophy: the I and the we belong to one another yet oppose each other. Ancients such as Aristotle contended that the we is ontologically prior and moderns such as Hobbes that the I is ontologically prior. I make the case that Jesus Christ realised an ontology which collapses this dichotomy: the human self is neither I nor we, but fundamentally I-we. I demonstrate that this is an ontology of gift-dynamics, made explicit in the mythical complex of the cult centring on Jesus Christ, and engraved unto this cult’s heart through ritual.

Religious pluralism and the challenge of relativism

Article by Catherine Cornille in Studia Theologica

This article deals with the various challenges of relativism when engaging with the reality of religious diversity in teaching and research. The richness of the teachings and practices of various religious traditions, combined with an acute awareness of the contingency of one’s own religious identity have made it more than ever difficult to argue for the importance or relevance of commitment to a particular religious tradition. I argue that an open and honest engagement with other religious traditions from a confessional perspective offers the most promising alternative to either a classical theological engagement with the resources of only one religious tradition on the one hand, or a neutral comparison of religions on the other. The field of comparative theology offers such middle ground which allows for a genuine openness toward other religious traditions while remaining grounded in the normative teachings of a particular religion. This field offers new approaches to both teaching and research in the area of religious diversity.

They are humans and our fellow citizens!

Article by Merethe Roos in Studia Theologica.

They are humans and our fellow citizens! Protestant theology and Jews in the Danish Enlightenment: examples from Balthasar Münter’s sermons

This article thematizes how Jews are portrayed in the Danish theologian Balthasar Münter’s sermons. Münter served as a preacher in German St. Petri congregation in Copenhagen between 1765 and 1793, and left a great number of texts to posterity. Previous scholarship has argued that in one of his sermons, Münter seems to take a more positive view of the Jews than what was common in his day. This sermon was used to defend the rights of Jews in the Jewish Literary Feud in 1813. However, in this article I will argue that Münter’s positive attitude is shaped by his theological views and can be seen as a consequence of certain characteristics of enlightenment theology, rather than a genuine expression of tolerance towards religious minorities. In the article, I will argue that Münter demonstrated the same antisemitic attitudes that characterize the texts of his contemporaries, such as the well-known court preacher Christian Bastholm. Bastholm, who wrote a three-volume work on the Jews and who mentioned the Jews and Judaism in a number of contexts, refers to the Jews as an evil people who killed their prophets and stoned their sages. Nevertheless, Münter’s openness points to fundamental characteristics of protestant theology.

Christian theology as comparative theology: Towards a radical change of “Method”

Editorial article by Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen.


This essay makes a recommendation for an expansion in the approach and “method” of Christian theology: it proposes Christian theology as comparative theology. In the religiously pluralistic world, it is not sufficient merely to engage other faith traditions as an “auxiliary task.” Rather, the comparative task should belong to the “normal” way of doing “basic” Christian theological work. While Christian theology is not subsumed under comparative theology, as it were, the essay argues that without the comparative task, Christian theology may fail its calling in the third millennium.

Kristendom og politikk i Skandinavia på 1800-talet

Article by Morten Øveraas in Teologisk tidsskrift

Kristendom og politikk i Skandinavia på 1800-talet – nokre historiografiske utfordringar, tendensar og politisk-teologiske refleksjonar

Christianity and politics in Scandinavia in the nineteenth century – some historiographical challenges, tendencies, and political-theological reflections

The article presents and discusses some historiographical challenges, tendencies, and political-theological reflections on the relationship between Christianity and politics in Scandinavia in the nineteenth century. How should rational science understand and describe actors with beliefs in metaphysical phenomena? The article reviews the state of the art in considering this problem and the following matters: 1) How Lutheran Christianity influenced the political cultures in Scandinavia; 2) The impact of priests, the Bible, and religious minorities. I suggest that persistent and indistinct intersections between politics and theology must be included and analysed as a potential explanatory factor in historiographical and social research. Political-theological actions should be understood on their own terms but be examined on rational-scientific grounds to formulate empirically grounded theories.

Religiøs erfaring eller erfaring ved hjelp av religion?

Article by Jan-Olav Henriksen in Teologisk tidsskrift.

Religiøs erfaring eller erfaring ved hjelp av religion? Refleksjoner med utgangspunkt i Schleiermacher og Hegel

Religious experience or Experiences with/by religion?
Reflections on Scheleiermacher and Hegel

The question of how to understand religious experience and its conditions are discussed via an analysis of basic elements in the positions of Schleiermacher and Hegel. Moving from an initial presentation of basic elements in abductive reasoning, it is argued that such reasoning is inherent in both Schleiermacher and Hegelʼs positions. From some supplementary perspectives in Ann Tavesʼs recent work on the topic, the argument moves to the conclusion that the abductive mode makes it problematic to argue for an understanding of religion sui generis, and suggests a way to nuance how to understand diverse experiences of religion.

Ole Hallesby og fascismen

Article by Hans Bringeland in Teologisk tidsskrift.

The first part discusses Professor Ole Hallesbyʼs view of society and his political stance in the interwar period. The second part is an inquiry into his relations with the German Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and with the SS officer Wilhelm Wagner during the war. In particular, the article will test Arvid Nærøʼs assertions that in the 1930s Hallesby presents himself as a pro-fascist ideologue with racist and antisemitic views and that during the occupation he establishes a secret mutual understanding with Wagner/SD under which the Church should ignore the persecution of the Jews in exchange for its own freedom.

Doctoral position at the CTR in Lund

Doctoral student at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, within the project Scripture and Secularism

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 46 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

The doctoral student will be part of the project Scripture and Secularism: Mapping the Impact of the Bible on the Conceptualizations of Europe, funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The project Scripture and Secularism is a reception history inquiry into the ways the Bible has been seen as supportive of, and even foundational for, ideas and ideologies of Secular Europe since 1945.

The doctoral project should address questions relating to how the Bible and the Qur’an are perceived and used in a diversity of arenas, from political debates, thinktanks, and legal cases, to print and digital media, educational material, and by public intellectuals. By undertaking comparative work on the reception of the Qur’an and the Bible in public discourses in Europe, the doctoral research will contribute to the overall aim of the Scripture and Secularism project, namely to demonstrate the mechanisms whereby Christianity comes to be seen as ‘natural’ to Europe, while Islam is construed as ‘other’.

The doctoral position will be interdisciplinary, working in both biblical reception history and Islamic studies. 

The doctoral student will be admitted to one of the following subjects:

– Old Testament Exegesis

– Global Christianity and Interreligious Relations

– Jewish Studies

– Church History

– New Testament Exegesis

– Practical Theology

– Philosophy of Religion and Ethics

– History of Religion

– History of Religion specialising in Islamology

– Systematic Theology

Information about the different subjects can be found at

Information about doctoral studies at the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology can be found at

Work assignments

Doctoral education. Departmental work, such as teaching and administrative tasks, can be assigned.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements for doctoral studies in each subject are specified in the relevant general syllabus, available at

Assessment criteria

The selection process will primarily take into account the applicants’ ability to benefit from third cycle studies. This is assessed against the criteria quality, quantity, progression and relevance.

The application must include:

– CV/list of qualifications including relevant administrative and educational qualifications

– cover letter

– records of first- and second-cycle studies (attested copies of official transcripts of records)

– documentation of language skills of relevance for the research studies

– first- and second-cycle theses/degree projects

– any scholarly publications

– project proposal (1500 words max. excluding references)

Instructions for applying for a doctoral student position can be found here:

Type of employment

Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

About The Joint Faculties of the Humanities and Theology
The Joint Faculties of the Humanities and Theology have eight departments and carries out large and varied work within research and education with the purpose to understand people as cultural and social beings. The faculties have around 700 employees and around 4000 students. 

The Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (CTR) has existed under various names in Lund ever since the University became operational in 1668. CTR conducts teaching in the specialisations of history of religions and religious behavioural science, biblical studies, church and mission studies and studies in faith and world views. Research is carried out within all the disciplines of religious studies and theology. 

We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

Type of employmentTemporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment1 september 2023
SalaryMonthly salary
Number of positions1
Full-time equivalent100 %
CountySkåne län
Reference numberPA2023/41
ContactKristina Arnrup Thorsbro, Faculty Secretary, Strømmen, Director of Project,ženka Scheuer, Dep. Head of Department,
Union representativeSACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,örbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
Last application date15.Feb.2023 11:59 PM CET
Categorized as Other