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Historiske og teoretiske baggrunde for COVID-19-pandemiens påvirkning af den danske befolkning

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In this article, we present the historical and theoretical context informing the investigation into how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced religiosity in Denmark. We have chosen four foci, each of which contributes to the formation of a historical and theoretical context. First, we embed representations of death within a broad horizon informed by history of religion and cultural history. Beginning with early Christianity's ascent in a cult of the dead and, later, a cult of saints, to the change from burials inside the church to graveyards, we track the coinciding weakening of representations of the afterlife in the modern era. This naturally leads to a discussion of two prior cases in which an epidemic has elicited reactions from Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark: The Cholera epidemic of 1853 and the Spanish Flu in 1918-20. Then we expand our line of inquiry to a more general discussion of how major theories in the Study of Religion have modelled the relation between religion, death and suffering. Following a short introduction to how the human consciousness of death has been conceived as a major causal factor in both the emergence and maintenance of religious beliefs and institutions by major theoreticians of religion, we discuss a number of more recent psychological and sociological theories, that have informed the theoretical foundation of our investigation. In order to capture the praxis dimension of religion, we shortly discuss the particular role of ritual, before, finally presenting the 16 research questions that informed the construction of our survey.

Original languageDanish
JournalReligionsvidenskabeligt Tidsskrift
Pages (from-to)42-67
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2021

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