N. F. S. Grundtvig

Stephen Backhouse

in Kierkegaard's Critique of Christian Nationalism

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604722
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729324 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

N. F. S. Grundtvig

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The preacher, poet, and politician Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig is the subject of the third chapter. Nationalism is integral to Grundtvig's theology. Through multiple works he sought to awaken the national spirit of the Danish people, locating the unique Scandinavian cultural heritage at the centre of the Divine will as revealed in history. The chapter examines three essential components of Grundtvig's nationalistic theology. First is his ‘matchless discovery’ (Mageløse Opdagelse) that the confession of the Apostles’ Creed in the community's native tongue is the only basis for the authentic Church. Second is Grundtvig's idea ‘First Man and then Christian’ (Menneske Først), with its emphasis on participation in national identity as a necessary pre‐condition for the acceptance of Christianity. Thirdly, Grundtvig's theology finds in world history (Verdens‐Historien) a series of national cultures that have served God's purpose so that the Kingdom of Heaven might be fulfilled.

Keywords: Grundtvig; Kierkegaard; Scandinavian nationalism; Christian nationalism; Mageløse Opdagelse; Menneske Først; Verdens‐Historien; world‐historical; matchless discovery

Chapter.  11442 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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