Book Series Aesthetics of Protestantism in Northern Europe, vol. 1

Aesthetics of Protestantism in Northern Europe

Exploring the Field

Joachim Grage , Thomas Mohnike , Lena Rohrbach (eds)

  • Pages: 260 p.
  • Size:178 x 254 mm
  • Illustrations:23 b/w, 11 col., 2 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2022

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60160-1
  • Hardback
  • Forthcoming (Dec/22)


The history and cultures of the Nordic countries are strongly influenced by Protestantism, which has been the dominant religion in Scandinavia since the Reformation. But how is this influence reflected aesthetically? What effects has Protestantism had, from its inception until the present day, on the production and reception of literature and art?


Joachim Grage is professor of Scandinavian Studies at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg.

Thomas Mohnike is professor of Scandinavian Studies at the Université de Strasbourg.

Lena Rohrbach is professor of Scandinavian Studies at the Universities of Basel and Zurich.


This book explores the aesthetic consequences of Protestantism in Scandinavia. Fourteen case studies from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century discuss five abstract and trans-historical principles that characterize Scandinavian aesthetics and that arguably derive from Protestant thinking and practice, namely: simplicity, logocentrism, tension between pronounced individualism and collectivism, relatedness to the world, and ethics. The contributions address the peculiar aesthetics of Scandinavian print, literature, architecture, film, and opera and reflect on the influence of Protestant traditions on the establishment of genres and writing practices.

This volume is the first in a new series that will focus on the aesthetics of Protestantism in Scandinavia, both theoretically and through exemplary individual analyses.


1. Joachim Grage, Thomas Mohnike, Lena Rohrbach: Aesthetics of Protestantism in Northern Europe. Introductory Investigations
2. Jürg Glauser (Basel/Zürich): The Aesthetics of Protestant Rhetoric: Early Reformation Polemic in Denmark
3. Margét Eggertsdóttir (Reykjavik): The Value and Importance of Poetry in the Vernacular
4. Ueli Zahnd (Geneva): Which Protestants? Calvinism, Crypto-Calvinism, and the Scandinavian Reformation
5. Lena Rohrbach (Basel/Zürich): Access to the Word of God. Language, Literacy, and Religious Understanding in Protestant Faroese Tradition
6. Arne Bugge Amundsen (Oslo): Church Architecture in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Scandinavia
7. Bernd Roling (Berlin): Rugia Gothorum’: Ludwig Gotthard Kosegarten and the Tradition of Gothicism
8. Anna Bohlin (Stockholm): Anti-Catholicism in Bremer and Topelius: Addressing the Historicity of Trans-historical Principles
9. Joachim Grage (Freiburg): Kierkegaard’s Journals as a Protestant Practice of Writing
10. Claudia Lindén (Stockholm): Ursus sacer. The Bear as Man’s Neighbour in Swedisch Nineteenth-century Fiction
11. Søren Blak Hjortshøj (Strasbourg): Henrik Pontoppidan’s Lykke-Per and Protestant Aesthetics: The Design and Building of Jakobe Salomon’s Asylum  as a Prototype of the Nordic Welfare State
12. Sophie Wennerscheid (Copenhagen): Sin and Seduction: Antichrist in Danish Literature, Opera, and Film
13. Thomas Mohnike (Strasbourg): Aesthetization of Faith and the Nordic Revival Movements in Scandinavian Post-World War II Literature
14. Giuliano D’Amico (Oslo): “Rather Than Buddha’s Calm, I Choose the Crucifixion” – Håkan Sandell’s Christian Palimpsests
15. Joachim Schiedermair (München): Absence - Remnants of a Protestant Past: Greeley/Vattimo/Ask