The project "ECODISTURB: The Ambivalence of Nordic Nature: Gift. Guilt. Grace" studies how the Nordic Societies encounter the challenges raised by the global climate crisis and the ongoing destruction and denial of nature.

We have identified a striking ambivalence in Nordic Nature, defined by destruction and exploitation on the one hand – and nature as place of recreation, origin, and authentic self-realization on the other.

The urgency of the problem is apparent when young people demonstrate with Greta Thunberg on #fridaysforfuture, but also in discussions about flight shame and the value of simple living.

The project will analyze this ambivalence from a multi-disciplinary perspective, including literary and religious narratives of guilt and grace, philosophical reasons, biological dynamics of the tipping point and psychological effects, in particular among the youth.


Nordic Nature will inquire into the following research questions:

(i) How do the Nordic societies and their citizens approach the modern ambivalence of nature – between destruction and appreciation, between gift and guilt – its historical roots, paradoxical forms, and future consequences?

(ii) How do they relate and respond to the current ecological crisis in a global context?

(iii) Which sources of interdisciplinary analysis may redefine and improve our human, social, religious, scientific, and political responses to the ongoing destruction of nature?


1. Nordic Narratives of Gift and Guilt.
Elisabeth Oxfeldt, Ole Jacob Madsen and Marius Timmann Mjaaland.

2. Nordic Nature in the Anthropocene: Shame, Guilt and New Responses.
Dag O. Hessen, Ole Jacob Madsen, Arne Johan Vetlesen.

3. Ecopsychology and Ecophilosophy.
Ole Jacob Madsen, Arne Johan Vetlesen and Marius Timmann Mjaaland.

4. Crisis and Creativity: Cosmology and Anthropology Reconsidered.
Marius Timmann Mjaaland, Elisabeth Oxfeldt and Dag Olav Hessen.



NOK 13 million, almost 2/3 from UiO:Norden and the rest from the Faculty of Theology, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the Department of Psychology and the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies



Published Dec. 9, 2021 2:22 PM - Last modified Dec. 9, 2021 2:22 PM