Educating for ecclesia – educating for the nation. Theological perspectives in Nils Egede Hertzberg’s (1827–1911) understanding of schools
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionRoos, M. (2020). Educating for ecclesia–educating for the nation: Theological perspectives in Nils Egede Hertzberg’s (1827–1911) understanding of schools. Studia Theologica - Nordic Journal of Theology, 74(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/0039338X.2020.1744722
This article sheds light upon the Norwegian theologian, educator, and politician Nils Egede Hertzberg’s (1827–1911) understanding of school, and traces the theological background of this understanding. Hertzberg played an important role in public debates on schools and education in the 1870s and 1880s in Norway, and he is commonly regarded to have been a conservative counter-voice, who strove to uphold the confessional character of schools. During his student days at the University of Christiania, Hertzberg studied under the prominent theological educator Gisle Johnson. This article provides an in-depth analysis of how Hertzberg’s confessional background is reflected in his writings on school and education, and discusses how Hertzberg’s understanding of school relies upon Johnson’s ecclesiology, as well as Johnson’s understanding of the nation. This understanding of school includes a definition of public-mindedness which is in opposition to Hertzberg’s Grundtvigian adversaries; the “people” are limited to those who have received the Christian revelation. Belonging to “the people” is thus not a question of being educated, but it is a question of having received the grace of God, as humans born with original sin.