Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

N.F.S. Grundtvig: An Introduction to His Life and Work

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

N.F.S. Grundtvig: An Introduction to His Life and Work

Article excerpt

N. F S. Grundtvig: An Introduction to his Life and Work. By A. M. Allchin. London: Aarhus University Press/Darton, Longman & Todd, 1997. 338 pp. $39.95 (cloth).

The writings of Hans Christian Andersen and Soren Kierkegaard are familiar to English-speaking readers. But the work of their contemporary Nicolai F. S. Grundtvig is little known outside of Denmark. Yet as a travel brochure quoted by Allchin claims, "Grundtvig, the clergyman and poet, has meant more to Danish trade than has Rockefeller to the United States." To correct this situation The Rev'd Canon A. M. Allchin has written an introduction to Grundtvig's life and work.

This book is divided into three sections. The first is biographical, offering selective glimpses of Grundtvig's long life-he died at the age of 99. The second part deals with five major themes in his theology and hymnody: the Church, the historic ministry, the Trinity, the earth made in God's image, and an active life on earth. The third and longest section sets out Grundtvig's understanding of the Christian faith as developed in his hymns (he wrote over 1500) and sermons arranged according to the pattern of the Church year. Hymns took the place of systematic theology for Grundtvi\4g allowing him full expression of the central teachings of the Christian faith.

The union of love with knowledge-we know because we love, we love because we know-which takes place at the level of grace and at the level of nature that Grundtvig discovers in the hymns of the Middle Ages becomes crucial for his own development. He was, as Allchin describes him, "a man with a frightening power of active intelligence and at the same time a frightening power of losing desire. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.