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Ulrik Nissen


Associate Professor, PhD, DrTheol

Primary affiliation

Ulrik Nissen CV

Areas of expertise

  • Ethics
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Systematic Theology

Contact information

Telephone number
Email address


I am theologian with a primary interest in Christian and theological ethics with an emphasis in my research on German, protestant theology in continuous conversation with significant contemporary theologians primarily from an Anglo-American context. I have been formed and have matured as a theologian, academic, and researcher in the tradition of the Aarhus Theology. I acknowledge my ties to this tradition, just as I have a wish to go beyond it. This implies a rootedness in a Scandinavian and German philosophical and theological tradition with thinkers such as Martin Luther, Immanuel Kant, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and K. E. Løgstrup. More recently, my research is also including French and German phenomenology (particularly Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Bernhard Waldenfels, and Michel Henry). Consequently, my research profile is characterized by drawing on significant continental thinkers primarily from a philosophical, protestant tradition. At the same time, my approach to theological ethics is characterized by a continuous inspiration from contemporary Anglo-American theology and philosophy. 


My current research is centred on completing a monograph on the responsive body with a special focus on theological anthropology and specific bioethical issues. I am on research leave in spring 2024 for this purpose.

My other recent (Danish) books are: 

Kærlighedens ansvar [The Responsibility of Love] (Forlaget Eksistensen) (2022). The book unfolds Christian ethics and explains how Christian love should characterise the Christian person's response in relation to both the foundations of ethics and specific areas (especially bioethics, economic issues, migration and natural ethics).

Offentlighedsteologi. En introduktion [Public Theology. An introduction] (2022) introduces the concept of public theology in a Danish context. The book is co-edited with Jonas Jørgensen and Birgitte Stoklund Larsen. A number of prominent contributors have written the various chapters.

De ti bud [The Ten Commandments] (Bibelselskabets forlag) (2022). A theological and ethical reading of the Ten Commandments, in which I use fiction, philosophy, works of art and other biblical texts to explain the current significance of the Ten Commandments for both the general ethical debate and as guidance for a Christian way of life. 

I welcome invitations for lectures or collaborative research in these areas.

Teaching activities

I have had the responsibility of research-based teaching, supervision and examination at both BA (+20 courses), MA (+20 courses), and PhD levels (6 courses) in 4 different faculties and several degree programmes, even if my primary experience is from theology. At theology and diaconia I have supervised +40 BA or MA theses. Just as my research, my teaching profile is also both international and -disciplinary. This profile has developed from my early teaching position in the US (PLU, Tacoma, WA), where I taught BA courses to my broad experience at Aarhus University, where I as an Associate Professor have taught both at the Faculty of Health, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Theology and Faculty of Arts. January 2022-December 2023 I taught several BA and Masters courses as Professor II at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society (Oslo). I have been PhD supervisor for four projects ranging from robotheology, pastoral care in health care, the challenges for the church in a pluralist society, to food ethics.

Job responsibilities

My areas of work are research, teaching and supervising in ethics, philosophy of religion and systematic theology. I also give numerous public lectures in these areas.

My research is expressed through publication of research texts, research management, collaboration with other researchers and applying for grants for collaborative research projects. It is a very important priority for me to support and promote young researchers' opportunities for either PhD scholarships or postdoctoral positions.

All enquiries about collaboration, requests for supervision or lectures in these areas are welcome.

Selected publications

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