Gateway to Heaven? The Jerusalem Code in Scandinavia, ca 1000-1948

International conference, 4—6 December, 2018


04.12.2018 - 09:00 to 06.12.2018 - 16:00

Organizers: MF Centre for the Advanced Study of Religion, Oslo in cooperation with The Study of Religion, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo

Throughout the entirety of Christian history, the idea of Jerusalem, earthly and celestial, has been formative to the Christian Church and to European culture. Conceptions of the Holy City, the Promised Land and the Chosen People may be conceived of as a storyworld that shaped the Christian west. Is this storyworld still a living reality, is it forgotten, or is it reconfigured?

Since 2015, the RCN-funded research project Tracing the Jerusalem Code: Christian Cultures in Scandinavia has explored the impact of ideas of Jerusalem and the Holy Land on Scandinavian cultures – from the Christian conversion in the 10th-11th centuries to the rise of the modern social democracies. Tracing the Jerusalem code through a millennium in Scandinavian cultures has taken us from Christianization to secularization, from Jerusalem as the navel of the world and the goal of salvation history to the vision of the Scandinavian welfare state as a realized utopia.

Today, the master narrative of the Christian Jerusalem code is in the process of being deconstructed – in secularized Scandinavia as elsewhere in Western culture. The storyworld of Christianity is scattered, and competing storyworlds that also gravitate around Jerusalem are available in our neighborhoods, and in social media. Is the Jerusalem code about to be a forgotten cultural code, increasingly hidden and inaccessible? If so, this is happening in a world in which the actual city of Jerusalem continues to represent a pivotal point – of tension and conflict.

This three-day conference gathers international scholars from multiple disciplines, ranging from distinguished keynote speakers to young PhD students. Together, they will shed light on a millennium of deconstructed and reconfigured interpretations of Jerusalem – in Scandinavia and elsewhere in the Western world.

Program for the conference

Mary Carruthers’ key note lecture is open to all.

Registration is required to attend the entire program: