Lund University, The Faculties of Humanities and Theology,

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

About the research field: Scripture and Secularism

The postdoctoral position will be part of the research project ‘Scripture and Secularism: Mapping the Impact of the Bible on Conceptualizations of Europe’, funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. This project is a reception history inquiry into the way the Bible has been interpreted as foundational for secular Europe, particularly after 1945. The idea that the Bible supports secularism stems from a history of interpretation of particular biblical texts, such as the famous “Render unto Caesar” passage. It is also the result of scripture being used as a source for the construction of European values in ways that do not rely on confessional allegiance. The ‘Scripture and Secularism’ project examines these trends and their implications, shedding light on the mechanisms whereby Christianity comes to be seen as natural to Europe, while Islam is excluded as other.

Candidates are expected to apply to the postdoctoral position with a research proposal that contributes to the overall project. Proposals pertaining to Bible-use in the contemporary European political sphere are welcome. The political sphere is broadly construed to include anything from contemporary political thinkers and theories, party politics, policy proposals, and parliamentary debates, to manifestos, books, blogs and social media posts by elected politicians as well as popular political movements. In particular, projects are encouraged that situate their research in contexts that assume secularism as the norm. The postdoctoral project ideally sheds light on the way biblical references, or invocations of “the Bible” as a whole, are overlooked but operative in societies that are deemed to be secular. The project could be comparative, including also references to the Qur’an in the political sphere.

Work duties and areas of responsibility

The person appointed will participate in work contributing to the overall project ‘Scripture and Secularism’, led by Dr Hannah Strømmen. In addition, the person appointed will undertake his/her proposed research project, including the fulfilment of set objectives. Moreover, the work duties might include teaching and administrative duties related to the ‘Scripture and Secularism’ project.

The employee is expected to contribute to the research environment through active participation in research seminars and other research-related activities at the Centre for Theology and Religious studies (CTR) in general and in the research project Scripture and Secularism in particular (by, for example, organising workshops and seminars and taking part in research funding applications). The position is placed within the subject of Biblical Studies at CTR and related to the aforementioned research program at the department. The duties require regular attendance at the workplace.

Teaching, supervision and other administrative duties comprise a maximum of 20 % of the position.


Required qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in biblical reception, biblical studies, theology or religious studies, Islamic studies, or an international degree deemed equivalent. The position is a career development post and its purpose is to act as an initial step on a career path. Therefore, the candidate most likely to come into question is one who has completed a doctoral degree no more than three years prior to the last date for applications. If special grounds exist, the degree can have been completed earlier. Special grounds include leave of absence because of illness, parental leave, positions as elected representative in trade union organisations, military service or service/assignments relevant to the subject area. In such cases, certification concerning this is to be submitted in connection with the application.
  • Advanced proficiency in written and spoken English and sufficient proficiency in languages relevant to the proposed research project.

Assessment criteria

The grounds for assessment are a good ability to develop and conduct high-quality research, and teaching skills. The main criterion for a postdoctoral fellowship is research expertise. As documentation for the assessment of qualifications, applicants are to submit a project plan of the research they intend to carry out during their appointment. Only applicants whose research plan and previous work could strengthen the research team and the project as a whole will be considered for the position of postdoc.

Specific qualifications of additional merit

  • documented own research of relevance to the research project ‘Scripture and Secularism’
  • demonstrate the ability to conclude the proposed research project within the limits of the employment as postdoc,
  • documented experience of the ability to work as part of a research team,
  • ability to participate in interdisciplinary and international research collaborations,
  • documented experience of public engagement,
  • documented experience of research communication, for example via social media and webpages,
  • documented experience of organizing academic conferences and workshops.


The appointment is limited to two years and refers to full-time employment in accordance with the central collective agreement on fixed-term employment as a postdoctoral fellow between the Swedish Agency for Government Employers and OFR/S, Saco-S, 19 November 2021.

Lund University is a public authority which means that you receive specific benefits, generous annual leave and an advantageous occupational pension. Read more on the University website about being an employee at Lund University Work at Lund University.

How to apply

The application must include:

  • A CV and copy of the Ph.D. degree.
  • A list of publications (including DOI, ISBN or ISSN numbers).
  • A signed plan of no more than 1500 words (not including list of references) of the research project the candidate intends to pursue during the fellowship

The research plan is to demonstrate in what way the proposed project is relevant for the research project ‘Scripture and Secularism’ and contain a description of:

  • Aim and research question.
  • Theory and method.
  • Relation to the international research front including the most important international work in the field of research.
  • Schedule and expected results.
  • The applicant’s qualifications and competence to conduct the project.

The applicant is responsible for making sure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions above and for submitting it to the University by the application deadline through the recruitment portal.

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2023-10-01 or by agreement.
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/1688
  • Alexander Maurits,
  • Hannah Strømmen ,
  • Sofia Kvarnbo,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-2229364
Published 14.Jun.2023
Last application date 17.Aug.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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