Public lecture about Religion and State in Denmark


March 30th (Thursday) at 01:40 PM at the VMU Faculty of Social Sciences (Jonavos st. 66-208) VMU students are invited to attend the  public lecture “Religion and State in Denmark – Sociological Perspectives” with Professor Margit Warburg from University of Copenhagen.

With the Lutheran Reformation in 1536, the Danish king established a Protestant state church with himself as supreme head. No other religions, including Roman Catholicism were tolerated; gradually however, royal recognition was given to some minority religious groups, provided they lived in specified cities. The first free constitution of Denmark in 1849 guaranteed religious freedom to all citizens, and the state church was transformed into the present Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Denmark with a preferred constitutional status. Minority religious groups are recognised on an ad hoc basis after application; this recognition gives certain privileges, such as tax reduction and the right of performing legally binding marriages. The recognition process involves a review of the applications by an academic advisory board to the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs. Margit Warburg is a member of this board in her capacity of a sociologist of religion. Also in other ways, the Danish government seek academic advice in matters involving minority religions. For example, Danish politicians discussed a possible ban on wearing a niqab in Denmark, and in that context the government asked us to estimate the number and background of women wearing niqab in Denmark.

Margit Warburg is Professor of Sociology of Religion, University of Copenhagen. Her research interests are the relationship between religion and migration; religion and globalisation; religion and demography; religious minorities; civil religion. Among her publications are New Religions and New Religiosity (Aarhus University Press 1998, edited with Eileen Barker); Religion and Cyberspace (Routledge 2005, edited with Morten T. Højsgaard); Citizens of the World. A History and Sociology of the Baha’is from a Globalisation Perspective (Brill, 2006); Holy Nations and Global Identities. Civil Religion, Nationalism and Globalisation (edited with Annika Hvithamar and Brian Jacobsen), Brill, 2009. A recent article is “Counting niqabs and burqas in Denmark: Methodological Aspects of Quantifying Rare and Elusive Religious Subcultures“, Journal of Contemporary Religion, 2013 (with Birgitte Schepelern Johansen and Kate Østergaard).



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