Teaches (T) and/or researches (R) in:
2. History of the Jewish People: R
13: Early Modern: R
14: Modern: R
15: Regional and National (i.e. in North Africa, Greece, Eastern Europe, Germany, Middle East, Spain, India, South America, United States, etc): R
16: Local (e.g. the Jews of Canterbury, the Jews of Kovno, etc): R
9. Contemporary Studies: R
69: Anti-Semitism: R
71: Interfaith studies (including Jewish-Christian relations, Jewish-Muslim relations): R
Two fields of research:
1)The European and the Danish Lutheran Reformation, their political and religious impact on the society.
2)The project entitled Church and Synagogue, which focuses on how the Church´s clergy and the University´s professors of theology viewed Judaism and the Jews in Denmark in the period from the Catholic Middle Ages to recent times, and what consequences this had om the Jewish community. It shows how the clergy in the State church were entrenched for centuries in the anti-judaic attitudes and prejudices of ancient times: Judaism with its Law of Moses and its interpretations of its rabbis was rejected as blasphemy. Jews were rejected by God because they would not recognize Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. This religious accusation had major social consequences. The Jews obtained a certain form of religious freedom (1684), but they should preferably be made as invisible as possible. They were burdened with special actions and duties, just as the priests constantly condemned Judaism in their sermons. The ecclesiastical leaders and the professors of theology were the leading opinion-makers whose ideas had a decisive influence on the attitudes of the changing governments. But over time they became more tolerant than the theologians, and the efforts of the Enlightenment government, some theologians and men from the Jewish Enlightenment movement (Haskalah) led to Jews receiving equal rights with other Danish citizens (1814), but by the end of the 1800s, leading theologians returned to the anti-judaic arguments and prejudices. The project has also shed lights on the Copenhagen Jewish community, which were previously unknown, on its theology and liturgy and intern tensions. In the three volumes the Jewish proselytes are also treated.
The source material consists of wall-paintings and printed matters from the Middle ages and concerning early modern end recent times of unprinted documents from The Danish National Archives, The Archives from the Mosaic religious community, the Copenhagen City Archives, the Zealand Episcopal Seat Archiv and from German archives. Furthermore there is printed material from both Christian and Jewish sides.
The results are presented in my: Kirke og synagoge. Holdninger i den danske kirke til jødedom og jøder 1100-1700,( Church and Synagogue. Attitudes of the Danish Church towards Judaism and Jews in the period 1100-1799),1992, 2nd ed. 2002, 536 p.; De fromme og jøderne. Pietismens tid 1700-1760 (The pious and the Jews, The age of Pietism 1700-1760), id. 2000, 667 p; Oplysning i kirke og synagoge. Oplysningstiden 1760-1814 (The Age of Enlightenment in Church and Synagogue 1760-1814); All three works are published in Danish with a summary in German by Academic Press, Copenhagen.
A fourth volume, which follows developments up to the present, is in preparation.