Religious Belief and Practice in the Danish-Norwegian United Monarchy 1500-1814 (completed)

The project focuses on the religious conditions in Denmark-Norway from the Lutheran Reformation to the development of the Protestant Enlightenment.

Man gives woman a piece of food. Painting.

About the project

A common Danish-Norwegian perspective opens new perspectives on this period and these processes: Mobility and change, center and periphery. Protestant religion made considerable variation possible, but it also excluded many religious expressions.

Denmark-Norway was a complex state, but religion was among those phenomena that bound the State together. The education of clergy was centralized to Copenhagen, and priests and other officials had a wide-sectored interaction. A traditional national historiography does not capture this interaction. This project will establish a common Danish-Norwegian perspective on religion, religious norms and religious practice in the Post-Reformation era.

The clergy was united in education and standards of practice. The liturgy and canon law was largely the same. An important question then becomes whether there were significant differences between Denmark and Norway in relation to how the clergy understand their own role and its options of action. Another important question is how the religious rituals and norms were practiced and enforced in the two realms. And not least - the question is what the Reformation, the Lutheran Orthodoxy and the Protestant Enlightenment saw as acceptable and unacceptable with regard to religious belief and practice.


The project aims to analyze the following issues in historical depth and complexity:

  • How did the Danish-Norwegian clergy perceive its own role?
  • Which religious expression shaped Denmark and Norway in this period?
  • In what way were certain religious practices and beliefs excluded or redefined as a result of the Reformation, Orthodoxy and the Enlightenment?


The project was a Danish-Norwegian cooperation project (DaNor).

Published May 3, 2010 11:30 AM - Last modified Apr. 6, 2020 12:08 PM


Arne Bugge Amundsen
+47-22857629, +47-92244774


  • Arne Bugge Amundsen
  • Ane Ohrvik
  • Charlotte Appel
  • Morten Fink-Jensen
  • Henrik von Achen
  • Louise Nyholm Kallestrup
  • John Ødemark
  • Karsten Merrald Sørensen
  • Henning Laugerud
Detailed list of participants