Background and activities
Sigurd Bergmann's previous studies have investigated the relationship between the image of God and the view of nature in late antiquity, the methodology of contextual theology, visual arts in the indigenous Arctic and Australia, as well as visual arts, architecture and religion, and religion in climate change.
Born in Hannover, trained in Göttingen, Germany, and Uppsala and Lund, Sweden, Bergmann works as professor in Religious Studies (Theology, Ethics and Philosophy of Religion with Theory of Science) at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim since 1999 (where he has supervised nine PhD theses and four post-doctoral projects since 1999). Before this, he has hold a fellowship of the Swedish Research Council at the Department of Art History at Tromsø University, and taught systematic theology in Sweden at Göteborg University and Lund University where he also has taught at the Department of Human Ecology. In December-February 2011/12 he worked as a visiting research fellow at the ‘Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society' founded by the Ludwig-Maximilian Universät München and Deutsches Museum. In autumn 2018 he worked as visiting fellow at the Ludwig-Maximilian University München’s Center for Advanced Studies.
Bergmann has conducted field and site studies in the Sámi Arctic, Peruvian Andeans, Aboriginal Australia, Mayan Yucatan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan and Tanzania, and he has published more than 250 titles after 1985, including a number of Nordic anthologies on the themes of diaconia, power, autonomy, ordinary life culture and pluralism. He is a member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Letters and Sciences (and leader of its section for philosophy, history of ideas & religion since 2009), as well as of several editorial boards (such as Norsk Teologisk Tidskrift (Journal of Norwegian Theology), Oslo; Junge Kirche, Uelzen; Blackwell Compass Religion/Christianity, Oxford; Ecotheology: The Journal of Religion, Nature and the Environment, London; Orizonturi Teologice, University of Oradea, Romania; Philosophy Activism Nature (PAN), Melbourne, Australia; Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture and Ecology,Los Angeles.
He has co-managed the interdisciplinary research group on Technical spaces of mobility (2003-07) and initiated and chaired the executive committee for the European Forum on the Study of Religion and Environment since 2005, when he convened the European Science Foundation's (ESF) workshop on Religion and the Environment in Europe. In the 1990s, he worked as a secretary for the Nordic Forum of Contextual Theology, and initiated and founded the Institute of Contextual Theology in Lund, and between 2002 and 2005 he participated in the Norwegian national research programme on Religion in the Age of Globalization.
He edits the Series Studies in Religion and the Environment/Studien zur Religion und Umwelt (SiRE) at LIT Verlag, Berlin-Münster-Wien-Zürich-London. Bergmann has been invited contributor and keynote speaker at a large number of national, Nordic and international conferences and events (on all continents) in the fields of religion, theology, environment, arts, architecture and culture, and has served as a referee for a wide range of evaluations for the international foundations, national research councils in Europe, universities, scientific journals and international publishers in Europe, Canada, the USA and Australia. Furthermore he serves as member of the Board of Advisors for the ‘International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture', University of Florida (2005- ), as member of the steering committee for the international network ‘Christian Faith and the Earth', headed by E. Conradie, University of Western Cape, S Africa, and as cooperating partner in the ‘Nordic Network for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies' (NIES) and member of the advisory board for its series Studies in Environmental Humanities at Rodopi Publ., Amsterdam.
His works have been widely acknowledged and reviewed in many journals such as Church History, Chicago; Revista Latinoamericana de Teologia, San Salvador; Revista Eclesiastica Brasiliana; Modern Believing, London; Tijdschrift voor Theologie, Nijmegen; Junge Kirche, Bremen; Theologie und Philosophie; Svensk Teologisk Kvartalskrift, Lund; Kirke og Kultur, Oslo; Ecotheology, Liverpool; The Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Florida; Norsk Teologisk Tidskrift, Oslo; Finsk Teologisk Tidskrift, Helsinki; Religion & the Arts, Boston; Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies; International Society for Environmental Ethics; Journal of Early Christian Studies; Religious Studies; Cultural Encounters; ASA (American Scientific Affiliation: A Fellowship of Christians in Science); CHOICE Magazine; Environment & Planning B; Billedkunst, Oslo; Practical Theology, London; Norsk antropologisk tidsskrift, Oslo; Contemporary Aesthetics, Rhode Island School of Design; Transpositions, University of St Andrews; Journal of Media and Religion; Reviews in Religion & Theology; Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events; Journal of Transport Geography; Midwest Book Review, Oregon; Wisconsin Bookwatch.
Ongoing projects focus on the amalgamation of ‘space and religion', which he explores in a broad range of sites and fields such as Asian geomancy, Mayan sacred geography, urban spirituality, theology in built environments, and the ‘aesth/ethics of space', and on the interactions of religion and dangerous environmental-and-climatic change.
His main publications are Geist, der Natur befreit: Die trinitarische Kosmologie Gregors von Nazianz im Horizont einer ökologischen Theologie der Befreiung (Mainz: Grünewald 1995, Russian edition Arkhangelsk: University Press 1999, revised English edition Creation Set Free: The Spirit as Liberator of Nature (Sacra Doctrina: Christian Theology for a Postmodern Age, 4), (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 2005, with a preface by Jürgen Moltmann), Geist, der lebendig macht: Lavierungen zur ökologischen Befreiungstheologie, (Frankfurt/M.: Verlag für interkulturelle Kommunikation 1997), God in Context: A Survey on Contextual Theology, (Aldershot: Ashgate 2003, with a preface by Mary C. Grey), Architecture, Aesth/Ethics and Religion (ed.) (Frankfurt/M. and London: Verlag für interkulturelle Kommunikation 2005), Spaces of Mobility: The Planning, Ethics, Engineering and Religion of Human Motion, (ed. with T. Hoff and T. Sager, London: Equinox 2008), The Ethics of Mobilities: Rethinking Place, Exclusion, Freedom and Environment, (ed. with T. Sager, Farnham and Burlington VT: Ashgate 2008), In the Beginning Is the Icon: A Liberative Theology of Images, Visual Arts and Culture, (London: Equinox 2009, with a preface by Nicholas Wolterstorff), Så främmande det lika:Samisk konst i ljuset av religion och globalisering ("So Strange so Similar: Sami Arts, Religion & Globalization", Trondheim: Tapir 2009), Theology in Built Environments – Exploring Religion, Architecture, and Design, (ed., New Brunswick and London: Transaction 2009), Religion, Ecology & Gender:East-West Perspectives,(ed. with Kim, Y.-B., Berlin-Münster-Wien-Zürich-London: LIT 2009), Nature, Space and the Sacred: Transdisciplinary Perspectives, (ed. with P. Scott et al., Farnham and VT: Ashgate 2009), Raum und Geist: Zur Erdung und Beheimatung der Religion – Eine theologische Ästh/Ethik des Raums, (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2010), Religion and Dangerous Environmental Change: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on the Ethics of Climate and Sustainability, (ed. with D. Gerten, Berlin-Münster-Wien-Zürich-London: LIT 2010), Religion som rörelse: Exkursioner i rum, tro och mobilitet, ("Religion as Movement", Trondheim: Tapir 2010), Ecological Awareness: Exploring Religion, Ethics and Aesthetics, (ed. with H. Eaton, Berlin-Münster-Wien-Zürich-London: LIT 2010), Religion in Global Environmental and Climate Change: Sufferings, Values, Lifestyles,(ed. with D. Gerten, New York and London: Continuum 2011), Religion, Space & the Environment, (New Brunswick NJ: Transaction Publishers 2014), Christian Faith and the Earth: Current Paths and Emerging Horizons in Ecotheology, (ed. with E. Conradie, C. Deane-Drummond and D. Edwards, New York and London: Bloomsbury 2014), Technofutures: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Nature and the Sacred, (ed. with C. Deane-Drummond and B. Szerszynski, Farnham: Ashgate 2015), Spaces in-between: Cultural and Political Perspectives on Environmental Discourse, (ed. with M. Luccarelli, (Studies in Environmental Humanities 2), Leiden: Brill Rodopi 2015), [Guest editor of] Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, Ecology, Special Issue “Spatial Turns,” Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, Ecology 20, 3, 2016, Religion in the Anthropocene, (ed. with C. Deane-Drummond and M. Vogt, Eugene: Wipf & Stock 2017), Arts, Religion and the Environment: Exploring Nature’s Texture (ed. with Forrest Clingerman, (Studies in Environmental Humanities 6), Leiden: Brill Rodopi 2018), (ed.) Eschatology as Imagining the End: Faith between Hope and Despair, (Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies, London/New York: Routledge 2018), Weather, Religion and Climate Change, ((Routledge Environmental Humanities), London and New York: Routledge 2020), Contextual Theology: Skills and Practices of Liberating Faith, (ed. with Mika Vähäkangas, (Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion Theology and Biblical Studies), London and New York: Routledge 2021).
Scientific, academic and artistic work
A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database
- (2020) Fetishized Nature or Life-giving Breath? Religion as Skill in Climate Change. Consensus - A Canadian Journal of Public Theology. vol. 41 (1).
- (2019) WetterLagenWeisheit: Zu Kunst und Religion im Klimawandel. Architektur aktuell. vol. 82 (1).
- (2017) Sacred places as critical places. Faith & Form: The Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art, and Architecture. vol. 50 (3).
- (2017) Religion in the Anthropocene – a comment on Geneviève Pigeon’s review. http://readingreligion.org/books/religion-anthropocene. Reading Religion.
- (2016) Architectures of light – a conference report. Faith & Form: The Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art, and Architecture. vol. 49 (1).
- (2016) Spatial turns in the study of religion and the environment: Impulses for the acceleration of a place-based discourse in the environmental humanities. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology. vol. 20 (3).
- (2016) Introduction: Spatial Turns in the Study of Religion and the Environment: Impulses for the Acceleration of a Place-Based Discourse in the Environmental Humanities. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology. vol. 20 (3).
- (2015) Discerning the 'Sacred Within'. Faith & Form: The Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art, and Architecture. vol. 48 (2).
- (2015) The legacy of Trinitarian cosmology in the Anthropocene. Studia Theologica - Nordic Journal of Theology. vol. 69 (1).
- (2015) The legacy of Trinitarian cosmology in the Anthropocene: Transcontextualising late antiquity theology for late modernity. Studia Theologica - Nordic Journal of Theology. vol. 69 (1).
- (2013) Life-Giving Breath Ecological Pneumatology in the Context of Fetishization. The Ecumenical Review. vol. 65 (1).
- (2012) Anden, som ger liv - motmakt til fetischismen. Kirke og kultur. vol. 3.
- (2012) Fetishism Revisited: In the Animistic Lens of Eco-pneumatology. Journal of Reformed Theology. vol. 6.
- (2010) Im Geist durch den Sohn zum Vater...Vier Überlegungen zum Bewegungsraum des Dreieinigen in einer Schöpfung, die auf ihre „Erlösung harrt“. International Journal of Orthodox Theology.
- (2010) In the Spirit through the Son to the Father ...Four Considerations about the Trinity’s Space and Movement in a Creation to “be liberated from its bondage to decay”. International Journal of Orthodox Theology.
- (2010) Religion im Umweltwandel. Junge Kirche. Unterwegs für Gerechtigkeit , Frieden und Bewahrung der Schöpfung.. vol. 71 (1).
- (2010) Trinitarian Cosmology in God’s Liberating Movement: Exploring some Signature Tunes in the Opera of Ecologic Salvation. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology. vol. 14 (2-3).
- (2009) Climate change changes religion space, spirit, ritual, technology - through a theological lens. Studia Theologica - Nordic Journal of Theology. vol. 63 (2).
- (2009) Gelebte Religion im gefährlichen Umweltwandel. Arnoldshainer Akzente.
- (2009) Teknologi som religion i klimaforandringen. Samtiden.