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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2023/24 Prof. Dr. Niels Christian Hvidt

Prof. Dr. Niels Christian Hvidt

University of Southern Denmark
Theology, Health Sciences
External Senior Fellow
October 2012 - March 2014


Niels Christian Hvidt, born 1969, 1997 Master’s degree at the Divinity School of the University of Copenhagen; 1998 Advanced Expository Writing, Harvard Summer School; 1999 Proficiency exam, Cambridge University; 2001 Doctoral dissertation (ThD – Roman equivalent to the PhD-grade) at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on the thesis “Christian Prophecy - Its Preconditions, Function, and Status in the Church”, awarded with the Gold Medal of the University of Copenhagen dissertation prize. 2000-2002 Editor, Scandinavian section of Vatican Radio; 2000-2004 Visiting professor, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; 2002-2006 Post-doc research on Theological perspectives on religion and coping, financed by H. Lundbeck A/S; 2001 Visiting professor, Angelicum University, Rome; 2004 Visiting fellow at the Divintiy School at m University as well as the Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health; 2004-05 Visiting fellow at Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society; 2005-06 Visiting fellow at the Theological Faculty of the University of Notre Dame, IN, USA. Since 2006 Associate professor, Research Unit of Health, Man, and Society, Institute of Public Health, The Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark.
Selected memberships: Member of the scientific board of the museum project “Marie de Nazareth” since 2002; Reviewer for Oxford University Press and the Medical Journal of Australia since 2007; Co-founder of International Society for Research in Spirituality, Religion and Health, Bern, Switzerland (in process of realization) since 2010; Coordinator for Interdisciplinary Nordic Network for Research in Faith and Health since 2011.
Selected research projects: Risk for cancer, myocardial infarction and psychiatric disease among members of religious societies – a Danish cohort study. Epidemiological study, collaboration with med Dr. med., PhD Christoffer Johansen, the Danish Cancer Society, et. al. since 2004; Conceptual Issues in Research on Meaning Making Coping and Religious Coping in Secular Societies: Existential Issues, Spirituality, and Religiosity, with PhD Peter La Cour since 2007; Religious and spiritual issues in a sample of Danish Twins, with Prof. Kaare Christensen, SDU, since 2007; Religion, Coping, God, and Evil, research project on God images in prayer during illness, with Associate Prof., PhD Kevin Ladd, Indiana University, South Bend, since 2009; Physician characteristics in Denmark, Germany and Congo – A comparative study of the impact of values of physicians on motivation, communication, and ethics in diverse cultures, with Professor Eckhard Frick, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, since 2010.

Selected Publications

Selected Journal Articles

  • Hvidtjørn, Dorte, Kaare Christensen, and Niels Christian Hvidt, “Religiousness and religious coping in secular society: The gender perspective”, Journal of Religion and Health (submitted).
  • Thygesen, Lau Caspar, Susanne Oksbjerg Dalton, Christoffer Johansen, Lone Ross, Lars Vedel Kessing, and Niels Christian Hvidt. "Psychiatric Disease Incidence among Danish Seventh-Day Adventists and Baptists." Archives of General Psychiatry (submitted 2012).
  • Schmidt, Annette Wittrup, Nanna Schneekloth Christiansen, Christoffer Johansen, Lone Ross, Niels Christian Hvidt, and Lau Caspar Thygesen. "The Risk for Cardiovascular Diseases among Seventh-Day Adventists and Baptists in Denmark, 1977-2009" (submitted 2012).
  • Thygesen, Lau Caspar, Niels Christian Hvidt, Helle Ploug Hansen, Andreas Hoff, Lone Ross, and Christoffer Johansen. "Cancer Incidence among Danish Seventh-Day Adventists and Baptists." Cancer Epidemiology (submitted 2012).
  • Thygesen, Lau Caspar Thygesen, Niels Christian Hvidt, K. Juel, A. Hoff, L.Ross, C Johansen (2011). Cohort profile: The Danish Religious Societies Health Study. International Journal of Epidemiology (15. June 2011).
  • la Cour, Peter & Niels Christian Hvidt. "Research on meaning-making and health in secular society: Secular, spiritual and religious existential orientations." Social Science and Medicine 71. (2010) P: 1292-1299.
  • "Patienters tro på mirakler - en positiv eller negativ ressource?." Tidsskrift for Forskning i Sygdom og Samfund 12. (Århus, April 2010).
  • "Patienters tro på mirakler - en positiv eller en negativ ressource?." Omsorg - Nordisk tidsskrift for palliativ medisin 3, 25. årgang. (Bergen, 2008) P: 41-46.
  • Hoff, Andreas, Johannessen-Henry, Christine Tind, Niels Christian Hvidt & Christoffer Johansen. "Religion and reduced cancer risk: what is the explanation? A review." European Journal of Cancer 44. (2008) P: 17, 2573-9.
  • "Tro og Helbred. Teologiske perspektiver på religiøs ’coping’." Tidsskrift for Forskning i Sygdom og Samfund 6. (Århus, 2007) P: 97-127.
  • "Den Religiøse Copings Teologi." Tidsskrift for Sjelesorg 1, 26. (2007).
  • "Christian Prophecy and Birgitta of Vadstena." Birgittiana 16. (Napoli, 2003) P: 139-159.
  • "Das Problem der christlichen Prophetie – Niels Christian Hvidt im Gespräch mit Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger." Communio. (März-April 1999) P: 177-188.
  • "Prophecy and Revelation. A Theological Survey on the Problem of Christian Prophecy." Scandinavian Journal of Theology (Studia Theologica) 2. (1998) P: 147-161.


  • With Elisabeth Assing Hvidt. Kunstens mirakler - Den klassiske kunsts skildring af Bibelens Mirakler . København, 2007.
  • Christian Prophecy – the Post Biblical Tradition. Oxford / New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Mirakler : möten mellan himmel och jord. Örebro: Cordia, 2003.
  • Mirakler – Møder mellem Himmel og Jord. Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 2001.
  • The Problem of Christian Prophecy. Extract Publication of Doctoral Thesis. Rome: Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2001.

FRIAS Research Project

The research group brings together theology and medicine in a particular, medically relevant context. The aim is to contribute to the understanding of psychosocial and spiritual needs and resources in health care – with particular focus on patients suffering from chronic diseases as well as their relatives and the health professionals that care for them – in order that they may gain the best assistance as they cope with their disease. Through the particular focus on the needs of patients the project seeks to support and value the way patients deal with chronic disease. Moreover, the project will also focus on patients´ relatives and health professionals, and their ways of coping with stress in their various attentions to the needs of patients. In its interdisciplinary work the research group will dedicate itself to basic research, translation into innovative research, evaluation of interventions, and recommendations for the implementation in the health care professions. It will actively work towards the enhancement of research networks in the secular, religiously pluralistic European context, beginning with Denmark and Germany, so that through interdisciplinary dialogue the quality of research in this field, so relevant for the quality of life and the health care system at large, may be advanced and stabilized.