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Jan Jensen (2018)

Jan Jensen (2018)

Research Title: Clear Message: Christian dialogics of morality in the Faroe Islands

Supervisor: Dr Stasch


Biography:

My doctoral research project focuses on media and moral discourse in the Faroe Islands. City Church, an Evangelical free church in Tórshavn, the capital of the nation, has over the last few years moved towards a new kind of religious practice in which concepts such as openness and authenticity have come to be seen as central. The move towards this new form of practice is seen in relation to other churches in the Faroe Islands. While City Church acknowledges attempts made by different churches at reaching the broader public, they see older ways of doing so as being less than optimal, rather attempting to “modernize” the church to be more in line with what people know from other, non-religious settings. One specific way in which the church has made changes is in their use of media, in its broadest sense. Ever since 2014, the church has focused on a “clean” aesthetic in the church building itself as well as on the church’s social media accounts, believing that a clear message requires a minimalistic material setting in order for the most optimal dissemination of said message. I explore this “clear message” as one instance of moral discourse in the Faroe Islands among many. In order to pursue this aim, I look at media as the infrastructureon which moral discourse is played out. From summer 2019 to autumn 2020, I will be conducting long-term fieldwork in the Faroe Islands, focusing on how the church attributes particular moral qualities to different forms of media, and how these media function in the interplay with other instances of moral discourse.

 Before coming to the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, I completed both a BA (2015) and a MSc (2017) in Anthropology at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. During my time as a student there, I also worked as a teaching assistant in the teaching of the history of anthropology for undergraduate students.

Research Interests

My research interests are the anthropology of Christianity, morality and ethics, religious experience, and anthropological theory, as well as the anthropology of Europe, especially Northern Europe.