Project core group (Oslo)

Prof. Kristin B. Aavitsland, project manager 
Kristin B. Aavitsland is professor in medieval culture and church history, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society. Trained as an art historian and specialized in Mediterranean and Scandinavian medieval art and religious culture, she has coordinated several research projects on medieval and early modern topics. She conducts the first subproject, ‘Jerusalem in medieval Scandinavia’, and ensures the diachronic and interdisciplinary perspective of the project as a whole . 

Dr. Eivor Andersen Oftestad, project researcher
Eivor Andersen Oftestad is a church historian and full-time RCN researcher at the project. Her previous research (University of Oslo) includes i.a. Jerusalem translations and the impact of the first crusade in Western Europe, as well as studies on the confessional culture of early modern Denmark-Norway. In 2014, she was employed by MF to develop the research project together with Kristin B. Aavitsland. Oftestad is responsible for the second subproject 'Jerusalem in the Lutheran Kingdoms of Denmark-Norway and Sweden'. She also conducts the project’s current seminars and the popular dissemination of the project.

Dr. Joar Haga, postdoctoral research fellow
Joar Haga is a theologian, trained in church history. He holds the position as post-doctoral fellow in the project. His PhD "Was there a Lutheran Metaphysics?" traced some aspects of the Lutheran doctrine of Christology from Luther to the early 17th Century. Other research areas include 19th Century doctrine of sin and interpretation of evil and the relationship between the (modern) state and the church. Haga’s main contribution to the project concerns the interpretation of "the new Jerusalem" in the book of Revelation in early 18th Century Denmark and its influence on politics, institutions, and architecture.

PhD. stud. Line M. Bonde, research fellow
Line M. Bonde is the project’s research fellow, enrolled on the doctoral program in church history/theology, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society. She holds a MA in Art History from University of Copenhagen. Her dissertation project belongs under subproject 1. The overall scope of her research is to investigate how conceptions of Jerusalem were materialized in the Scandinavian church interiors from the 12th and 13th centuries. Furthermore, she explores how these representations of the Holy City can be understood as an expression of a mind-set peculiar to the Scandinavians in the Middle Ages.

Ass. Prof. Ragnhild J. Zorgati 
Ragnhild J. Zorgati is associate professor in the history of religions at the University of Oslo. Her research explores different aspects of cultural encounters between Christian and Islamic civilizations. She is currently working on the theme of women as religious and political actors in Scandinavia and North-Africa in the late nineteenth century. Zorgati is responsible for the gender perspective of the overall project and conducts the third subproject, 'Jerusalem in the eyes of Scandinavian revivalists and travellers (ca 1800-1920)'. She contributes with studies on travel narratives.

Prof. Arne Bugge Amundsen
Arne Bugge Amundsen is professor in cultural studies and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo. Since 1981 he has conducted, coordinated and participated in several national and international projects, producing comprehensive research on the cultural history of northern Europe from 1500-1900, with special emphasis on popular religiosity, religious landscapes, Pietism and the Enlightenment and religious revivals. As national coordinator for NORVECK (Research on Nordic Revivalism), he carries the responsibility for the investigation on revivalism and the religious utopian movements in the third subproject.  

Prof. Otfried Czaika
Otfried Czaika is professor in Reformation history at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society. In his previous positions as head of the Research Department and head of the Manuscript Department at the National Library of Sweden, he has conducted several larger projects and extensive studies on cultural contacts between central Europe, the Baltic area and Scandinavia. Together with Eivor Andersen Oftestad, he is responsible for the second subproject.

Prof. Victor Plahte Tschudi 
Victor Plahte Tschudi is professor of architectural history and theory, AHO, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, and head of the advanced research center Oslo Center for Critical Architectural Studies (OCCAS). His special focus is on Jerusalem and its temple as powerful models and arguments of genealogy in Western architectural history and theory, not least during the Catholic Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries. His contributions to the project provide an important theoretical and comparative perspective on the interpretations of Jerusalem in Scandinavian early modern cultures.

International advisory board

Prof. Bianca Kühnel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Through the last 30 years, Kühnel has been a leading international scholar on representations of heavenly and earthly Jerusalem in Christian and Jewish art, as well as on monumental translations of the Holy Land in medieval and early modern Europe. As the leader of the international project Projections of Jerusalem in Europe: A Monumental Network (2010-2015), she represents a most valuable context for the new Scandinavian contributions to this research field.

Prof. Mary Carruthers, New York University. The theoretical approach of the project is inspired by Carruthers’ expansive scholarship on medieval rhetoric and the translation of culture, which she has developed out from her innovative work The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric and the Making of Images. 400-1200 (1998). Carruthers has also been involved in Kühnel’s project, Projections of Jerusalem in Europe.

Prof. Brad Gregory, Notre Dame University, Indiana, is an expert on Christianity in the Reformation era, a theme which he approaches comparatively and cross-confessionally. With his intellectually brave and thought-provoking publications – Salvation at Stake (1999) and The Unintended Reformation (2011) – Gregory has set the agenda of scholarly debates and contributed to formulating new questions and perspectives on how to study the past and the historiography of Christianity.

Prof. Mette Birkedal Bruun, University of Copenhagen, is leader of the ERC-founded project Solitudes: Withdrawal and Engagement, which investigates how early modern believers understood their being in the world and the ways in which this understanding comes to expression in texts, images, architecture, music and artefacts. Bruun represents a network of relevant Danish and international researchers and has been involved in the development of the Jerusalem code project.

Prof. Mats Malm, University of Gothenburg, is an expert in comparative literature and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.

Prof.Dominique Iogna-Prat, a director of research at the French National Research Centre (CNRS), has provided new comprehensions of Christian history through his monumental and influential books on medieval church history (1998; 2006).

Prof. John Tolan, Université de Nantes, leader of the ERC project RELMIN: Le statut legal des minorités religieuses dans l’espace Euro-Méditerranéen 500-1500. Tolan has specialized in the history of religious and cultural relations between the Arab and Latin worlds in the Middle Ages.

Affiliated researchers

Greg Reichberg, Peace Research Institute, Oslo 
Damien Kemp, University of Liverpool 
Kurt Villads Jensen, Stockholm University
Vidar L. Haanes, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society
Maria Husabø Oen, Stockholm University/ University of Oslo  
Anna Bohlin, Stockholm University​
Sivert Angel, University of Oslo​
Martin Wangsgaard Jürgensen, National Museum of Denmark​
Øystein Ekroll, NDR restorations, Trondheim