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Hans Nielsen Hauge and the Prophetic Imagination

Stibbe, A.H.; (2007) Hans Nielsen Hauge and the Prophetic Imagination. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The Norwegian lay preacher Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824) has been described as a prophet who brought religious, social, economic and political change to nineteenth-century Norway. This thesis examines Hauge’s first four texts as prophecy using the paradigm ‘prophetic imagination’ as an analytical model to provide a comprehensive explanation as to how his speech acted to ‘evoke consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture’ by means of the cooperative action of ‘prophetic criticism’ and ‘prophetic energising’ (Brueggemann 2001:13). A formal analysis of Hauge’s texts identified idiosyncratic ‘framing devices’ which act to indicate the presence of prophetic speech at both the general and the specific level. These devices, particularly the prophetic call narratives, were also found to act to legitimate Hauge’s prophetic speech. Formal elements of prophetic speech were identified in Hauge’s specific prophetic utterances, enabling these to be classified as forms of two major prophetic genres: announcements of judgement (criticising) or announcements of salvation (energising). Apocalyptic, the third major prophetic genre, was identified as playing a greater role in Hauge’s early texts than has been previously acknowledged. An analysis of Hauge’s apocalyptic thought indicated that his prophetic task was motivated by basic beliefs rooted in this idiosyncratic worldview. The supplementation of Brueggemann’s paradigm with Wright’s worldview schema permitted the scrutiny of Hauge’s use of prophetic narrative against this apocalyptic backdrop (Wright 2001). This subsequently permitted the identification of the symbols which were dismantled by Hauge’s prophetic criticism - the personnel, practice and place of institutional religion, and the symbols which were transformed or generated by his prophetic energising - ‘true shepherds’, ‘priests and kings’, and membership of ‘a prophethood of all believers’. The adoption of these symbols explains the self-confidence expressed by Hauge’s followers and their subsequent involvement in all areas of public life.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Hans Nielsen Hauge and the Prophetic Imagination
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of EU Langs, Culture and Society > Scandinavian Studies

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