Becoming what you are: faith and freedom in a Danish Lutheran movement – Københavns Universitet

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28. februar 2018

Becoming what you are: faith and freedom in a Danish Lutheran movement

Professor Morten Axel Pedersen has authored the article 'Becoming what you are: faith and freedom in a Danish Lutheran movement' where he goes in dept with what it means to try to live one’s life according to a neo-orthodox Lutheran and explicitly Kierkegaard-inspired theology, whose overarching existential, social and political ideal is always to be true to oneself.  The article has been published in the journal 'Social Anthropology' as a part of the special edition 'Anthropology and Character'.

Departing from the seemingly paradoxical notion that the essence of living a genuinely Christian life is 'to become what you are', as a Tidehverv priest put it, Morten Axel Pedersen seeks to pin down the distinct concept of character, and wider concepts of personhood and temporality, upon which this 'fundamentalist existentialist' theology and ethics rest. This will involve discussing in some detail a number of core Kierkegaardian concepts such as 'the moment' (øjeblikket), the 'decision' (afgørelsen) and 'the leap' (springet), and making a preliminary attempt to contextualise Tidehverv’s existentialist project within the wider political, religious and cultural history of the modern Danish nation state. In doing so, the article offers an exploration of the relationships between Lutheran concepts of character and political expression, and between the concept of Christian individual character and Danish national character. 

Morten Axel Pedersen, Becoming what you are: faith and freedom in a Danish Lutheran movement in Social Anthropology, 2018.