Area:16,633 sq. mi. Language Danish. Religion: mostly Luth. Christianity apparently first came to Den. in the 6th and 7th cents. through contacts incidental partly to commerce, partly to raids on Ireland. Willibrord* entered Den. ca. 700, but his work seems to have had little lasting success. Ebo* and Halitgar (bp. Cambrai ca. 817; d. ca. 830) entered Den. ca. 822. Ebo returned to Den. several times in the following yrs. for further miss. work with some success. Harald Klak, prince of Jutand, expelled from his country 826, took refuge with Emp. Louis I and was baptized, with his household and retinue. When he returned to Den., be was accompanied by Ansgar,* who est. missions in Schleswig and Ribe. The 1st Christian ch. in Den. was built at Haddeby (Hedeby), near Schleswig, ca. 847. Ansgar's death was followed by a period of transition that ended with the decisive adoption of Christianity, usually dated ca. 950 at the baptism of King Harold Bluetooth (d. ca. 986).
King Sweyn II (Sweyn Estrithson) organized the Dan. Ch. into 9 bishoprics ca. 1060. A metropolitan see for Scand. was est. at Lund ca. 1104. The king was the most powerful figure in the ch. till the 12th c., when the prelates of the ch., under leadership of the abp. of Lund, gained freedom and power for the higher clergy. Power struggles resulted bet. kings and prelates in the 13th and 14th cents.
The ch. of the later Middle Ages was characterized by moral decay, formalized piety, pessimism, and futile attempts at reform.
See also Thirty Years' War.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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