Olav Hammer


At the University of Southern Denmark, religion is one of several disciplines at a multi-disciplinary history department. The number of staff teaching religion is small, and typically for such institutions, all of us teach a much broader spectrum of courses than our research would suggest.

Staff are required to teach either Christianity, Philosophy of religion or History of Religion – the latter is, informally speaking, “everything else”. My own teaching experience thus includes introductory courses on Islam, introduction to Buddhism, indigenous religions, courses on religion and politics, on the history of the discipline of Religious Studies, on comparative religion, on New Age religion, Western esotericism, elision in late antiquity, ‘The supernatural’ as a religious construct, and on Reincarnation in European History of Religions.

The main focus of teaching is to enable those who graduate to teach religion at high school level. Teaching at the university is therefore closely adapted to the Quite specific Danish state regulations regarding religion as a high school subject. For instance, since Islam is a compulsory subject at high school level, considerable time is spent teaching our students the basics of Islam.

I have been granted a sabbatical for the academic year 2015/2016, and will devote most of my time to research.