Helge Asbjørn Staxrud

Hunting for Witches


I am part of the project “The ambiguous memory of Nordic Protestantism (MEMORY)”. Making use of memory theory and theories of intersectionality I will analyze sermons from late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. I am interested in the relations between theological motives and the rhetoric aimed at social and political issues. More specifically – the rhetoric aimed at practitioners of magic and sorcery. My approach will be comparative – comparing sermons by key theologians from the two kingdoms of Sweden and Denmark-Norway.

In the theoretical and methodological landscape of cultural memory and discourse analysis I identify the sermon of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as part of the archive. That is, in the sixteenth century the sermon was canon – it was part of the active formation and remembering of the specific culture of which it was part. And then, over the years, it gradually became part of the culture´s passive storage, and even forgotten – neglected and discarded. I believe that by bringing sermons out of the archives of oblivion, I will be able to shed some light on the ambiguous memory of Nordic Protestantism.


Professor Tarald Rasmussen, Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo.


Doctoral Research Fellow at the Faculty of Theology.

Published Feb. 2, 2016 11:34 AM - Last modified Mar. 11, 2016 11:48 AM