Biörn Tjällén

Christian I: Monarch and Penitent in Fifteenth Century Scandinavia

The sabbatical project concludes and gives tangible historical-biographical shape to the applicant’s long term research on the interrelation between the moral theology of the late medieval pastoral care and the changing politics of the time. Warfare, taxation, jurisdiction and other central aspects of government involved moral decision making, and thus also considered pertinent to the spiritual welfare of rulers and their subjects. As such, sometimes rather technical issues about government were treated in the moral-theological literature and practiced in the pastoral care of rulers and subjects. As king of Denmark, Sweden and Norway in the fifteenth century, Christian I faced the same dilemmas as other rulers. He faced stark opposition, not least in Sweden, and both from the texts that appeared within this burgeoning public sphere and from materials relevant to his private pastoral care one finds critique of his political morals that overlap different genres. A monograph about this 'politics of conscience' during Christian's reign – which is what this sabbatical project proposes – will make the general moral theological issues of the fifteenth century politics more tangible and advance our understanding of what it meant in practice. In addition, a biographically conceived study of this kind will shed light on a monarch who has remained strangely anonymous considering his importance, and contribute to making Scandinavian medieval studied more internationally accessible.
Grant administrator
Mid Sweden University Campus Sundsvall
Reference number
SEK 1,062,000.00
RJ Sabbatical