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Kirstine Helboe Johansen

PhD, Associate Professor, Head of department, Deputy head of school

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae: Kirstine Helboe Johansen

Associate Professor in Practical Theology and head of the department of Theology, Department of Theology, School for Culture and Society, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University


Personal Details

Born April 29 1977. Married. Three children (2004, 2006, 2010). Nationality: Danish

Education and degrees completed

Ph.D. in Theology, Aarhus University (2009)

Master in Theology, Aarhus University (2005)


Academic Appointments

08 2015

Associate Professor in Practicalt Theology, Aarhus University

08 2010 – 06 2015

Assistant Professor in Practical Theology, Department for Culture and Society, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University

08 2009 – 06 2010

Post. Doc. in Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, Aarhus University

09 2005 – 07 2009

Ph.D.-scholarship in Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, Aarhus University


Research Area

My research area is rituals and religious practices – ritual orders, religious or religiously affiliated practices and the understanding of rituals and religious practices – with a distinct focus on Christianity as lived religion within and at the borders of established churches, especially the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark. Methodologically, I work primarily qualitatively with participant observation and interviews. My theoretical point of departure is mainly ritual and practice theories in combination with theories of both sociology of religion and psychology of religion. Recently, I have moved into digital humanities and computational approaches.


Doctoral Supervision


Co-supervisor, phd-student, Mette Berndsen 4+4 (Main supervisor Lisbeth Hastrup, Fagdidaktik, DPU


Main supervisor (co-supervisor Trygve Wyller, UiO) Ph.D.-student Laura Bjørg Petersen, 4+4

Project Title: “Intercultural Ecclesiology” [A study of intercultural encounters in congregations in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark] , Ph.D.-programme: Theology, History of ideas and Philosophy


Main supervisor (co-supervisor Geir Afdal, Lutheran School of Theology in Oslo) Ph.D.-student Anna Døssing Gunnertoft, 5+3 (part time, co-financed with The Diocese of Aalborg),

Project Title: “Pastors’ understanding of religious learning in confirmation classes and the confirmation ritual”, Ph.D.-programme: Theology, History of ideas and Philosophy


Supervisor in University Teaching Post.Doc. Jette Bendixen Rønkilde


Main supervisor (co-supervisor Kristoffer Lai Nielbo, AU; Uffe Schjødt, AU) Ph.D.-student Anne Agersnap, 4+4

Project Title: ”In the cross section between society, church and individual – A quantitative exploration of the content and structure of sermons”, Ph.D.-programme: Anthropology, International Area Studies and the Study of Religion

Management and competence development


Head of Department for Theology, Aarhus University

Head of Study Board for Theology, Aarhus University


Management training: AU leadership


Competence development course: Digital Literacy, Aarhus University


Director of the research unit Practical and Empirical Theology, Aarhus University

Student supervision and teaching

  • Since 2015 primary supervisor of more than 25 master theses
  • Since 2015 primary supervisor of more than 10 bachelor theses
  • Since 2015 teacher and examiner of more than 14 courses at BA and MA level
  • Since 2017 coordinator of internship module, MA
  • Since 2017 coordinator of further education in theology, Aarhus University
  • Since 2018 member of Board of Studies, theology, Aarhus University


Experience of organizing scientific meetings

  • Developing and teaching ph.d.-course in religious studies: Religion and Culture – modern perspectives (March 2020, postponed due to COVID19)
  • Responsible for the Research Unit Practical and Empirical Theology, Theology, Aarhus University (from 2019)
  • Organizing and teaching ph.d.-course in theology: 15. Trinationale Sozietät für Praktische Theologie (May 2019)
  • Developing, teaching and coordinating ph.d.-course in theology: Theology and Empirical Studies: Contributing to Critical and Constructive Theological Discourse? (2018)
  • Developing and organizing the first conference in Nordic Network for Practice and Theology: Praxis and Practices in Theology – current tencencies and challenges (October 2016)
  • Member of the Program Committee for the biannual conference of IAPT in Oslo, April 2017 (2015-2017)
  • Responsible for the Research Unit Church Research, Theology, Aarhus University (2014-2017)


Other key scientific or academic merits

  • Research stay at The Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. Co-operation with Associate Professor Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen (February 2019, March 2020).
  • Head of assessment committee for associate professorship in Diaconia, Theology, Aarhus University (2019)
  • Keynote: “Theologising in the Wild” at Exploring Practices in Theological Research, Nordic Network – Practice and Theology. Lutheran School of Theology, Oslo (December 2018).
  • Participation in Digital Literacy, AU https://digitalarts.au.dk/digital-literacy/ (2018)
  • Participation in Digital Humanities at Oxford Summerschool (July 2018)
  • Invited panelist: The Future of Practical Theology: Emerging Scholars and Themes. Practical Theology Unit, The American Academy of Religion, Denver (November 2018)
  • Member of dissertation committee, Aalborg University, Denmark (2018)
  • Invited respondent. Yearly conference of Leiturgia. Nordic Liturgical Network, Aarhus (November 2017)
  • Member of assessment committee for associate professorship in Liturgy, University of Oslo (2014)
  • Several referee assignments for international journals


Memberships and positions of trust in scientific societies

  • Member of International Society of Empirical Research in Theology (ISERT) (from 2019)
  • Member of the Steering Committee for Arbeitskreis Empirischer Religionsforschung. (from 2018)
  • Member of the International Academy of Practical Theology (IAPT) (from 2017)
  • Member and co-founder of Nordic Network for Practice and Theology (from 2016)
  • Member of the working group Arbeitskreis Empirischer Religionsforschung (from 2013)
  • Member of the Steering Committee of the Danish University Extension in Aarhus (Folkeuniversitetet, Aarhus) (2013-2022)
  • Member of the Program Committee for the Danish University Extension in Aarhus (from 2013)
  • Member of the Editorial Committee for the journal Kritisk Forum for Praktisk Teologi (2005-2016)