"Privacy" in a church historical perspective

Inaugural Lecture by professor Mette Birkedal Bruun.

The eighth article of the European Convention on Human Rights (1950) states that "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence" and that "There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right", unless this happens "in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others." Privacy is, on the one hand, perceived as a right and, on the other hand, something that, if enforced unconditionally, could endanger both security, safety and health.

The notion of "privacy" goes back to Antiquity. The idea of the private as a quality that is essential to human life but which simultaneously provides potential for different types of undermining business is also not new. The lecture will discuss how the notion of privacy can be used within church history and show how church history sheds light on the notion of privacy.

The lecture will be presented in Danish