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New PhD Fellow at the Department of Theology

Laurel Joy Lied is a new PhD fellow at the School of Culture and Society with a project entitled “Origen reception in Danish and German Pietistic devotional literature: Examining the roots of the theological anthropology and spirituality present within 18th Century Danish Hymnody”

03.08.2016 | Arts Kommunikation

Laurel Joy Lied

My name is Laurel Joy Lied, and I am a theologian and historian originally from the US. In Spring 2016 I completed an M.Phil in Medieval Studies at the University of Oslo, examining trends and tendencies behind the creation and development of Christian vocabulary within Old Norse during the medieval period. Now I am returning to my first academic passion of theology and church history. I had previously completed a MAR in Theology at Yale Divinity School in 2014.

My PhD project, part of a larger project on Origin’s impact on Western thought, will explore the influence and accessibility of earlier (primarily German) pietistic thought on a lay Danish audience, especially through hymnody. I will investigate and trace what types of anthropological models were present in the devotional literature published, or widely available, in Denmark in the late 17th and 18th centuries. I will argue that any anthropological understanding is dependent upon and revealed through the normative forms of spiritual life, practices, and development described in this literature.

This research project operates across several different academic fields, including theology, intellectual history, and church history. I hope to explore more deeply the process of the reception history of both actual texts and theological ideas as they travel across geographic, linguistic, and socio-economic borders. More importantly, I hope to bring to light the spiritual disciplines and practices of 18th century Denmark as a resource for investigating the history of pastoral care and the role of spirituality as a shaper of culture, a vital theme for the modern world.

The PhD project falls under the project “The history of human freedom and dignity in western civilization” under the supervision of Professor Anders-Christian Jacobsen.