Helge Årsheim

Guest Researcher
Image of Helge Årsheim
Norwegian version of this page
Mobile phone +4741472911
Visiting address Universitetet i Oslo Boks 1072 Blindern 0316 Oslo


I am currently guest researcher at the Faculty of Theology and Associate Professor of religion, worldviews and ethics at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. In 2019, I was appointed to serve on the Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics South-East.

I hold a Master's degree in Religious Studies from the University of Bergen (2007) and a PhD from the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo (2015). I have previously worked for the United Nations Association of Norway, the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board and The Scandinavian University Press. I was employed at the Faculty of Theology from January 2010 to January 2019.

I created and edited the now-defunct Plurel Blog (2011-2014), an academic platform for the dissemination and discussion of scholarly works on religion in the public sphere. I am one of the editors of the collaborative scholarly blog Religion: Going Public (2016->), and the editor for Norway at EUREL, a database of socio-legal data on religion in Europe, and LEGIREL, a database of legislation on religious activities and religious bodies. I am also an occasional contributor to The Immanent Frame, a website run by the US Social Science Research Council, and the creator and editor of the websites of GOBA and ProNoLa (see more below). I tweet irregularly, and not always on religion-related matters. Some of my unpublished and published work is available at my academia.edu profile and my SSRN profile.

Fields of Interest

My main area of interest is the interrelationship between law and religion, which was the subject of both my Master's thesis at the University of Bergen and my PhD dissertation at the University of Oslo. I was recently engaged in two research projects that dealt with different aspects of this relationship: Under the Good Protestant, Bad Religion project (GOBA, funded by the Research Council of Norway, 2014-2018), I examine how Norwegian and Canadian authorities deal with the religious conversion claims of asylum seekers, and the ways in which indigenous peoples frame their religious identities.

Under the Protestant Legacies in Nordic Law project (ProNoLa, funded by Humanities in the European Research Area, 2016-2019), I examined the role of Protestant theology in the creation of legal rules on religious minorities in the Nordic region in the 20th century (click here to download an abstract of this project). I am also affiliated with the research project Value Politics: The role of religion in international relations, where I have contributed with research on the role of religion at the United Nations, and with the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, where I have worked with the politicisation of the freedom of religion or belief internationally. I am a member of the International Consortium of Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) and the Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN).

Teaching and Supervision

Lecturer and Course Manager REDI 4000 Interreligious Relations: Defining Moments, Current Encounters (2020)
Lecturer and Course Manager RESA 3101 Religion and Politics in Europe (2018)
Lecturer TEOL1911V/4513 Religion, lovgivning og menneskerettigheter (2017, 2019, 2021)
Lecturer at the interdisciplinary research schools Authoritative Texts and their Reception (ATTR) and Religion, Values and Society (RVS).

Tags: History of Religions, Secularism and Secularity, Religious Studies, Religion and Society


Recent Blog Posts

Indigenous Religious Freedom: Between Individual and Communal Human RightsBerkley Forum, October 23, 2020
Jack of All Trades? Introducing Law and Non-Religion. Religion: Going Public, March 22, 2018
Being Boring: How Bureaucrats determine Religious FreedomReligion: Going Public, October 17, 2017.

Recent Publications

2020. (with Lene Kühle). "Governing Religion and Gender in Anti-Discrimination Laws in Norway and Denmark". In Oslo Law Review 7: 2, 105-122.
2020. "Norway: Religion in the Prison System". In Julia Martínez Ariño and Anne-Laure Zwilling (eds.): Religion and Prison: An Overview of Contemporary Europe. Dordrecht: Springer, 285-298.
2019. "Legalities unbound? Assessing the role of religion and legal pluralism at four UN human rights committees"Journal of Law, Religion and State 7: 1, 57-88
2019. (with Mona Abdel-Fadil). "Introduction: Media and Religious Controversy"Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture 8: 1, 1-10.
2018. "Including and Excluding Religion through Law"Numen 65: 5-6, 531-561.
2018. "Protestantisering og protestantisme"Kirke og Kultur 122: 1, 16-33.
2017 (with Pamela Slotte). The Juridification of Religion?. Brill Research Perspectives in Law and Religion 1(2): 1-89.
2017. "Giving Up the Ghost: The Decline and Fall of Norwegian Anti-Blasphemy Legislation. In Jeroen Temperman og András Koltay (ed.): Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression: Comparative, Theoretical and Historical Reflections after the Charlie Hebdo MassacreCambridge: Cambridge University Press, 553-575.

  • Årsheim, Helge (2021). In Search of Normcore? Religion at Home and Abroad in Norway. In Shakman Hurd, Elizabeth & Fallers Sullivan, Winnifred (Ed.), At Home and Abroad. The Politics of American Religion. Columbia University Press. ISSN 9780231198998. doi: 10.7312/hurd19898-016.
  • Kühle, Lene & Årsheim, Helge (2020). Governing Religion and Gender in Anti-Discrimination Laws in Norway and Denmark. Oslo Law Review. ISSN 2387-3299. 7(2), p. 105–122. doi: 10.18261/ISSN.2387-3299-2020-02-03. Full text in Research Archive
  • Årsheim, Helge (2019). Implicit Beliefs, Explicit Practices? How International Human Rights Law Manages Religion . Implicit Religion. ISSN 1463-9955. 21(3), p. 282–297. doi: 10.1558/imre.37955. Full text in Research Archive
  • Årsheim, Helge (2019). Sincere and reflected? Localizing the model convert in religion-based asylum claims in Norway and Canada . In Juul Petersen, Marie & Bo Jensen, Steffen (Ed.), Faith in the system? Religion in the (Danish) asylum system . Aalborg Universitetsforlag. ISSN 978-87-7210-271-9. p. 83–97.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2019). Legalities unbound? Assessing the role of religion and legal pluralism at four UN human rights committees. Journal of Law, Religion and State (JLRS). ISSN 2212-6465. 7(1), p. 57–88. doi: 10.1163/22124810-00701004. Full text in Research Archive
  • Årsheim, Helge & Abdel-Fadil, Mona (2019). Introduction: Media and Religious Controversy. Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture (RMDC). ISSN 2588-8099. 8(1), p. 1–10. doi: 10.1163/21659214-00801001. Full text in Research Archive
  • Årsheim, Helge (2018). Protestantisering og protestantisme : kilden til demokratisering, økonomisk utvikling og rettslig orden? . Kirke og kultur. ISSN 0023-186X. 123(1), p. 16–33. doi: 10.18261/issn.1504-3002-2018-01-03. Full text in Research Archive
  • Årsheim, Helge (2018). Including and Excluding Indigenous Religion through Law. Numen. ISSN 0029-5973. 65(5-6), p. 531–561. doi: 10.1163/15685276-12341511. Full text in Research Archive
  • Årsheim, Helge (2017). Giving Up the Ghost: On the Decline and Fall of Norwegian Anti-Blasphemy Legislation. In Temperman, Jeroen & Koltay, András (Ed.), Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression Comparative, Theoretical and Historical Reflections after the Charlie Hebdo Massacre. Cambridge University Press. ISSN 9781108242189. p. 553–575. doi: 10.1017/9781108242189.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2016). Secularist suspicion and legal pluralism at the United Nations. Religion & Human Rights. ISSN 1871-031X. 11(2), p. 166–188. doi: 10.1163/18710328-12341303.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2016). Religion. In Katz Cogan, Jacob; Hurd, Ian & Johnstone, Ian (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations. Oxford University Press. ISSN 9780199672202. p. 490–507.
  • Årsheim, Helge & Slotte, Pamela (2015). The Ministerial Exception — Comparative Perspectives. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion (OJLR). ISSN 2047-0770. 4(2), p. 171–198. doi: 10.1093/ojlr/rwv008.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2015). Om nokre religiøse unntaksreglar i norsk rett :. Kirke og kultur. ISSN 0023-186X. 120(3), p. 284–298.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2014). Legal Secularism? - Differing Notions of Religion in International and Norwegian Law. In Wyller, Trygve E; Van Den Breemer, Rosemarie & Casanova, Jose (Ed.), Secular and Sacred? The Scandinavian Case of Religion in Human Rights, Law and Public Space. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISSN 978-3-525-60449-6. p. 123–151. doi: 10.13109/9783666604492.123.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2014). Hvilken religion, hva slags vitenskap? – En undersøkelse av religionskategorien i universitetsstudier i religionsvitenskap og teologi. Teologisk Tidsskrift. ISSN 1893-0263. 3(1), p. 50–72.

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  • Årsheim, Helge (2020). Norway: Religion in the Prison System. Springer Nature. ISBN 9783030368340. 13 p. Full text in Research Archive
  • Årsheim, Helge (2018). Making Religion and Human Rights at the United Nations . Walter de Gruyter (De Gruyter). ISBN 978-3-11-047806-8. 316 p.
  • Årsheim, Helge & Slotte, Pamela (2017). The Juridification of Religion? Brill|Nijhoff. ISBN 9789004349629. 89 p.

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  • Frydenlund, Iselin & Årsheim, Helge (2018). Trosfrihet redder ikke rohingyaene. Morgenbladet. ISSN 0805-3847.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2017). Internal affairs? Assessing NGO engagement for religious freedom. In Stensvold, Anne (Eds.), Religion, State and the United Nations: Value Politics. Routledge. ISSN 9781317382584. p. 79–94.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2016). Whose Religion, What Freedom? Discursive Constructions of Religion in the Work of UN Special Rapporteurs on the Freedom of Religion or Belief. In Von Stuckrad, Kocku & Wijsen, Frans (Ed.), Making Religion. Theory and Practice in the Discursive Study of Religion. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 978-90-04-30916-6. p. 287–316.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2014). Critique of the Modern Concept of Religion. Contributions to the History of Concepts. ISSN 1807-9326. 9(2), p. 90–92.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2013). R. A. Orsi (red.).: The Cambridge Companion to Religious Studies. Teologisk Tidsskrift. ISSN 1893-0263. 2(1), p. 87–89.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2012). Timothy Samuel Shah, Alfred Stepan and Monica Duffy Toft (eds.) 2012. Rethinking Religion and World Affairs. Nordic Journal of Religion and Society. ISSN 0809-7291. 25(2), p. 199–201.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2010). Religion and the Constitution 1 og 2, av Kent Greenawalt. Chaos - Skandinavisk tidsskrift for religionshistoriske studier. ISSN 0108-4453. p. 171–173.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2010). Law and Religion in Theoretical and Historical Context, edited by Peter Cane, Carolyn Evans og Zöe Robinson. Nordisk tidsskrift for menneskerettigheter. ISSN 1503-6480. 28, p. 441–443.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2009). Law and religion, av Gad Barzilai. Nordisk tidsskrift for menneskerettigheter. ISSN 1503-6480. 27(3), p. 374–376.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2009). Human Rights at The UN, av Roger Normand og Sarah Zaidi. Nordisk tidsskrift for menneskerettigheter. ISSN 1503-6480. 26(3), p. 274–277.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2008). Representing Religion – Essays in History, Theory and Crisis, av Tim Murphy. Chaos - Skandinavisk tidsskrift for religionshistoriske studier. ISSN 0108-4453. p. 215–216.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2007). Tro og fylkesmenn. Vårt land. ISSN 0805-5424. p. 24–24.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2013). Religion i norsk akademisk praksis - en PluRel-kartlegging. PluRel,. ISSN 978-82-999246-0-3.
  • Årsheim, Helge (2007). "...når de religiøse aspektene synes å dominere." En systemteoretisk analyse av religionsbegreper i norsk rett. Bergen Open Research Archive.

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Published Apr. 23, 2019 11:15 AM - Last modified Sep. 2, 2021 2:23 PM