Resonans hosts seminars every term, featuring academics from the Nordic context.

If you have an idea for a seminar, or want to co-host a seminar with the network, please get in touch.

Autumn seminar 2022

Theology, or Disciplined God Talk in the Contemporary University

The seminar will take place via zoom 12 October 4pm (CEST/Oslo) and will be chaired by Pamela Slotte (Åbo/Helsinki)

Christine Helmer (Northwestern) will present a paper, and Mattias Martinson (Uppsala), will respond.


One challenge for theology is its place in the contemporary university. Institutions in Europe and North America have been reconstituting theology departments in relation to religious studies or under wider umbrella terms, such as “Culture,” that connect theology with such disparate disciplines as anthropology and literary studies. Shifting institutional arrangements—also under economic pressures—are resulting in an increasing precarity for theology (as for the humanities in general). I address in this talk the implications of these developments for theology as a discipline, navigating between what the extremes of hostility to Christianity and theology in the “secular” academy and scome current philosophical discussions insisting on Christian God-talk of a distinctive analytic sort. The constructive question concerns how to configure theology as a discipline that reminds academic colleagues of responsible God-talk, its contributions to academic methodologies, and the necessity of disciplining God-talk. In short—how can one talk responsibly about God in the university today in the face of two pressing problems threatening human life and thought, namely climate change and authoritarianisms?

Christine Helmer is the Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she is also Professor of German and Religious Studies. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Helsinki’s theology department and earned her Ph.D. in religious studies at Yale University. Her research focuses on the philosophy and theology of both Martin Luther and Friedrich Schleiermacher as well as on the nature of theology in the university. She founded the Lutheran Scholars Network, which meets annually, and includes a subgroup on “Logic and Luther,” and she is on the executive board of the Schleiermacher Gesellschaft. Her most recent monograph is on the early twentieth century German construction of Luther that is also related to German political interests during and after World War I and the origins of the modern study of religion (How Luther Became the Reformer, Westminster John Knox 2019). She is completing a book (with co-author Amy Carr), Justification and Justice: A Theology of Ordinary Faith, as well as a work on constructive theology.  

Previous seminars

Folk Church Ecclesiology and Plurality

The seminar took place 7 June 2022 and was chaired by Ragnar M. Bergem (MF).

Gyrid K. Gunnes (VID) presented a paper with the following abstract:

This paper critiques practices of representation in Scandinavian creation theology: Whose experiences and which voices are taken as representative of the «universal» in this theology, and whose experiences are deemed «contextual»? The paper compares Scandinavian creation theology with James Cone’s liberation theology and explores the differences in what «the people» means in these ecclesiologies. 

Bengt Kristensson Uggla (Åbo Akademi) gave a response.

God Hidden and Revealed: Political Theology and Metaphysics in Luther and Protestantism

The seminar took place 7 December 2021 and was chaired by Jeppe Bach Nikolajsen (MF).

The paper was presented by Marius Timmann Mjaaland, Professor of Philosophy of Religion, Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo.

Knut Alfsvåg (VID) gave a response.

I Will Shake All Nations’: Theological Perspectives on Nationalism and Universalism

The seminar took place 7 September 2021 and was chaired by Jayne Svenungsson. Mårten Björk (CTR, Lund University) and Ragnar Misje Bergem (MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society) presented papers on theology, nationalism and universalism.

The seminar was a cooperation with the Christianity and nationalism project at CTR, Lund University.

Antropocen: Den ensamma människans tidsalder

The seminar took place 11 May, 2021. Petra Carlsson (Enskilda högskolan Stockholm) presented a paper on ecotheology and the antropocene. Simone Kotva (Det teologiske fakultet, Oslo) gave a short response.