12. juni 2024

Søren Frank Jensen receives the prestigious Carlsberg Internationalization Fellowship


Our Postdoctoral Researcher, Søren Frank Jensen, will start his project MINES, OCEANS, COMETS. NATURAL HAZARDS BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL AGENCY AND COMMUNAL RESPONSIBILITY IN RELIGIOUS TEXTS (1550–1650) in November 2024 at Universität Hamburg.

Søren Frank Jensen

About the project:

The project examines religious interpretations of nature in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Northern Europe. During this period, temperatures dropped across the northern hemisphere in what is now known as the Little Ice Age. The project focuses on three cases where communities experienced dangerous exposure to the natural world: 1) Mining, 2) Seafaring, and 3) Comet Observations.

The planetary crisis makes it necessary to expand our understanding of individual agency and communal responsibility towards the natural world. Church historical research helps us see how value systems influence societal discourses on nature. In this case, it uncovers a plurality of religious responses to natural hazards and reveals the fluid thresholds between ‘nature’ and ‘man-made’.

The project integrates church history with the environmental turn in the humanities. The investigation centres on a diverse and understudied corpus of religious publications from 1560–1650, which includes collections of sermons for miners, religious manuals for the daily life of sailors, and prayer books responding to comet appearances.