Thorkild Grosbøll (born February 27, 1948) is a former parish priest in the Church of Denmark. In the early 2000s he received a lot of media attention in Denmark for publicly stating disbelief in an interventionist creator God.
A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, and who operates from a parish church. Historically, a parish often covered the same geographical area as a manor. Its association with the parish church remains paramount.
A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark or National Church, sometimes called Church of Denmark, is the established, state-supported church in Denmark. The reigning monarch is the supreme secular authority in the church. As of 1 January 2019, 74.7% of the population of Denmark are members, though membership is voluntary.
After various other services, Grosbøll became parish priest in Taarbæk June 1991.
In the spring of 2003, Thorkild Grosbøll published the book En Sten i Skoen (A Stone in the Shoe), resulting in very limited reactions, though he wrote in it that he does not believe in God. On May 23, 2003, the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen published an interview with Grosbøll, in which he repeated statements from his book, in particular that he does not believe in a creating or upholding God.
In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, and principal object of faith. The conceptions of God, as described by theologians, commonly include the attributes of omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful), omnipresence (all-present), and as having an eternal and necessary existence. Depending on one's kind of theism, these attributes are used either in way of analogy, or in a literal sense as distinct properties. God is most often held to be incorporeal (immaterial). Incorporeality and corporeality of God are related to conceptions of transcendence and immanence of God, with positions of synthesis such as the "immanent transcendence". Psychoanalyst Carl Jung equated religious ideas of God with transcendental aspects of consciousness in his interpretation.
Weekendavisen is a Danish weekly broadsheet newspaper published on Fridays in Denmark. Its circulation is approximately 60,000 copies, about ten per cent of which cover subscriptions outside Denmark. According to opinion polls, however, the actual number of readers is much higher. Perceived to be a continuation of the original Berlingske Tidende, Weekendavisen regards itself as the world's oldest newspaper.
After a public outcry, the bishop in Elsinore, Lise-Lotte Rebel, started talks with the priest on June 3, 2003 about his faith. Simultaneously, she relieved him of his duties as parish priest in Taarbæk as she believed Grosbøll had failed in four accounts:
Lise-Lotte Rebel is a bishop of the Church of Denmark. Since April 2, 1995 she has served as the bishop of the Diocese of Helsingør in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark. She was the first woman to become a bishop in the Church of Denmark.
A creed is a statement of the shared beliefs of a religious community in the form of a fixed formula summarizing core tenets.
On July 23, 2003, Thorkild Grosbøll was allowed to continue his service as a parish priest in Taarbæk, subject to special supervision by the bishop.
On June 3, 2004, Grosbøll was instructed to resign no later than June 4, or he would be suspended. On June 7, 2004, the chairman of the elected parish council in Taarbæk, Lars Heilesen, informed the parish about the situation in the church in Taarbæk. On June 10, 2004, Rebel again relieved Thorkild Grosbøll of his duties.
During all these events, the parish community in Taarbæk stood by Thorkild Grosbøll. There was an animated public debate, occasionally fuelled by statements from Grosbøll like: "God belongs in the past. He is actually so old fashioned that I am baffled by modern people believing in his existence. I am thoroughly fed up with empty words about miracles and eternal life." At the same time he maintained that the bishop and the press misunderstood him, taking quotes from his sermons out of context.
A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. Such an event may be attributed to a supernatural being, magic, a miracle worker, a saint, or a religious leader.
Eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, as outlined in Christian eschatology. The Apostles' Creed testifies: "I believe... the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting." In this view, eternal life commences after the second coming of Jesus and the resurrection of the dead, although in the New Testament's Johannine literature there are references to eternal life commencing in the earthly life of the believer, possibly indicating an inaugurated eschatology.
A sermon is an oration or lecture by a preacher. Sermons address a scriptural, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law, or behavior within both past and present contexts. Elements of the sermon often include exposition, exhortation, and practical application. The act of delivering a sermon is known as preaching.
On July 12, 2004 the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs transferred the case to an ecclesiastical court. The first stage of this process, a hearing of the involved parties, was concluded February 2005. On May 11, 2005, the ministry relieved bishop Rebel from her supervision of Thorkild Grosbøll, and transferred the supervision to the bishop in Roskilde, Jan Lindhardt. Thereby the ministry put the ecclesiastical court case on hold.On May 20, 2006 Grosbøll confirmed his priestly vows before Lindhardt in the presence of witnesses and by his signature, and was allowed to serve again as parish priest, but was instructed not to talk to the press.
Thus the case was put to rest till autumn 2007, where it was decided that the supervision was to be transferred to the bishop in Århus, Kjeld Holm, by May 1, 2008, when Lindhart would retire. As announced shortly after this decision, Grosbøll retired early when he turned 60 in February 2008.
The Church of the Faroe Islands is one of the smallest of the world's state churches. Prior to its becoming independent on 29 July 2007, it had been a diocese of the Church of Denmark, a Lutheran church. As of 2017, 80.2% of the Faroe Islanders belonged to the state church.
Jesper Marquard Langballe was a Danish Lutheran priest, author and politician who represented the right-wing populist Danish People's Party in the Danish parliament, Folketinget, from 2001 to 2011. Langballe, who was convicted of libel and incitement to hatred towards Muslims, was elected in the Viborg constituency. His son Christian Langballe was elected to the Folketinget in 2011.
Jan Lindhardt was a Danish theologian and writer. He was the son of professor Dr Poul Georg Lindhardt and Gerda Winding, and the elder brother of the Rev Mogens Lindhardt. His nephew is actor Thure Lindhardt. He was married to Tine Lindhardt, Bishop of Funen from 2012 until his death. He graduated with a doctorate in theology from Copenhagen University in 1962, and served as Bishop of Roskilde Diocese from 1997–2008.
Holger Lissner, is a Danish priest and hymn writer.
Taarbæk is a Copenhagen suburb. The village covers approximately 0.5 km2, located between Jægersborg Dyrehave and Øresund in the Lyngby-Taarbæk Municipality. The population is estimated to 1700 residents. Traditionally, Taarbæk was a fishing village but, nowadays, the village is inhabited by people from the middle or upper class. Taarbæk is named after a former village called Torsbæk, which was located just north of where Taarbæk is today. Despite its small size, Taarbæk has its own school, church, port, tennis club, water skiing club and football club. The water skiing club is among the best in Denmark. The football club Taarbæk IF, is one of the oldest football clubs in Denmark, founded on August 23, 1908.
Mikael Rothstein is a Jewish associate professor of religious history at the University of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Johan Christoffer Schwarz-Nielsen was a vicar in Bistrup Parish, Bistrup Sogn, North of Copenhagen from the creation of the parish in 1963 until his death in 1987.
Dragør Church is a Lutheran church in Dragør, Denmark. It belongs to the Church of Denmark.
In Denmark, a parish is a local ecclesiastical unit in the Church of Denmark. Each parish is assigned to a physical church, and the church's administration (sognekontor) handles the area's civic registration of births, marriages and deaths. Each Danish municipality is composed of one or more parishes.
Niels Henrik Arendt was a Church of Denmark prelate and the bishop of Haderslev from 1999 to 2013. Before he became bishop, he was the parish priest in Naur Pastorat from 1975 to 1992 and the dean in Haderslev Cathedral from 1992 to 1999. He died at the Arendt vicar of Madum, in the Jutland peninsula.
Elisabeth Dons Christensen is a Danish Lutheran theologian who served as bishop for the Diocese of Ribe from 2003 until her retirement in 2014 at the age of 70.
Tine Lindhardt, a Danish theologist, is the Lutheran bishop of the Diocese of Funen from 4 November 2012.
Marianne Christiansen is a Lutheran bishop in the Church of Denmark.
Peter Fischer-Møller is a Danish prelate who currently serves as the Bishop of Roskilde.
Elof Westergaard is a Danish theologian who since 2014 has been a Bishop of Ribe.
Kristian Mørch was a Greenlandic Inuit prelate who became Greenland's first bishop in 1993 after the restoration of the Diocese of Greenland. He is also considered as the mastermind behind the formation of the Church of Greenland, distinct from the Church of Denmark.
Marianne Gaarden is a Danish prelate who is the 21st and current Bishop of Lolland-Falster.
Lyngby Church is the oldest church in Lyngby-Taarbæk Municipality in the northern suburbs of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is perched on a hill above Lyngby Hovedgade.
Edith Marie Brenneche Petersen (1896–1973) was a Danish Lutheran priest, one of the first three women to be ordained into the Church of Denmark. As a result of legislation introduced by the Church Minister Carl Hermansen in 1947, the following year, together with Johanne Andersen and Ruth Vermehren, she was ordained by Bishop Hans Øllgaard in Odense Cathedral. Denmark thus became the first country in the world to have women priests. In 1948, she was appointed assistant priest in Nørre Åby-Indslev parish on the island of Funan where she quickly gained popularity. In 1951 she moved to Fredens Kirke in Odense.