The research project In-visibilis (completed)


The collaborative research project In-visibilis. Visibility and Transcendence in Religion, Art and Ethics is sponsored by the Danish Council for Independent Research and the Carlsberg Foundation. The project runs from September 1, 2010 - August 31, 2013 and is located at the Faculty of Theology in Copenhagen. The staff is recruited from the Department for Church History, University of Copenhagen, the Departments for Systematic Theology at the University of Copenhagen and University of Aarhus, and the Department for Systematic Theology, University of Rostock. The leader of the project is Associate Professor PhD Anna Vind together with a steering group consisting of Associate Professor PhD Sven Rune Havsteen, Professor, Dr.Theol. Kirsten Busch Nielsen and Professor MSO, Dr. Theol. Claudia Welz.

The overall aim of the project is to reconsider the relations between visibility and transcendence and the role of images and visualization. The focus will be on contributions from the theological tradition in Europe between the 16th and 21st century. The project proposes a new approach to studies in Reformation history and adjacent fields of Protestant theology, embracing a plurality of methods and entering into an interdisciplinary discussion with the humanities, first and foremost with phenomenology, philosophy of language and emotion, hermeneutics and semiotics, cultural studies, history and theory of art, media theory, and sociology of religion. Synchronic as well as diachronic structures and textual as well as material sources will be investigated. Four main sub-themes will be explored: (1) Human existence and dialectics of in-visibility, (2) language as mediation between the visible and the invisible, (3) the religious implementation of the arts in images, music, liturgical inventory, and architecture, and (4) the visible representation of the invisible as related to religious communities and churches.

The individual projects pertaining to sub-theme (1) are "Invisibility and faith" (Associate Prof. Anna Vind, University of Copenhagen), "Imago Dei and human dignity" (Associate Prof. Claudia Welz, University of Copenhagen), "Death and the limits of visualization" (Prof. Philipp Stoeller, University of Rostock, Institute for Iconicity). Sub-theme (2) embraces the projects "Metaphors and parables: Kierkegaard and Nietzsche" (Associate Prof. Iben Damgaard, University of Aarhus) and "Cognition and poetry: Grundtvig and Ricoeur" (PhD student Therese Solten, University of Copenhagen). Sub-theme (3) is represented by the projects "Mediality and aesthetics" (Associate Prof. Sven Havsteen, University of Copenhagen) and "Tangible church and sacred space" (Postdoc Martin Jürgensen, University of Copenhagen). The following two projects specialize on sub-theme (4): "Church and the kingdom of God" (Prof. Kirsten Busch Nielsen, University of Copenhagen) and "Relationality and vicarious representation " (PhD student Karina Kande, University of Copenhagen).