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Aesthetics of Protestantism in Scandinavia from the 19th to the 21st Century

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 Summary

This project aims to analyze the significance of Protestantism for Nordic cultures. Its hypothesis is that the Reformation not only informed the political, social, and ecclesiastical history of Scandinavia, but that it also, in establishing Protestantism as the State religion, has had a deep and lasting impact on cultural life in all its forms – in literature, the visual arts, music, high and popular culture, cultural practices and performances. Its presence can be sensed beyond the aesthetic production found within religious contexts or that which addresses questions of faith. This has not been sufficiently researched: literary and cultural studies have been “religion-blind” (I. Hammar). We will explore how the following prominent characteristics of Scandinavian aesthetics relate to Protestantism:

1. simplicity;

2. logocentrism;

3. a tension between collectivism and a pronounced individualism;

4. a specific relatedness to the world;

5. a commitment to a Protestant ethic. 

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