Petra Carlsson – new professor at EHS


On 6th December the Board of University College Stockholm decided to promote Petra Carlsson to the position of professor of systematic theology.

Petra Carlsson has taught at EHS since 2013 and has also been active in the graduate school in systematic theology, where Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson, professor of ethics, is the research leader. The doctoral students in the graduate school in systematic theology study contemporary theological issues related to, among other things, climate, ecology, integration and culture.

“I do not think I am alone in feeling that what lies ahead will be challenging, both existentially and in practical terms,” says Carlsson. “By this I don’t mean primarily the responsibility of holding a professorship, although of course that has its challenges, but rather to the societal changes and life adjustments that confront us because of the climate crisis. Here, theology has an important role to play as the conduit of inherited wisdom, and by offering an insight into the cultural and spiritual dimensions of this crisis which is sometimes overlooked when we focus predominantly on technical solutions to life’s challenges. I recognize an increased desire for theological understanding at the moment and I am happy to work at a university where we can meet that longing.”

Petra Carlsson grew up in a parish that today is part of the United Church of Sweden and she is now ordained in the Church of Sweden. She says that working at EHS has been like coming home, in an environment where the different church traditions which have shaped her sit side by side: “Working here as a researcher is both a dynamic and creative experience thanks to all the fantastic students and colleagues who every day inspire us with their unending theological curiosity.”

Carlsson is active as a lecturer, writer and author and in collaboration with a colleague from the USA, she produces a podcast and videos on her own Youtube channel. As a researcher she is well known internationally through her English-language articles and books and as an editorial board member and leader of various international research projects and seminars. She is currently working on the book Avantgarde Art and Radical Material Theology: A Manifesto (Routledge, 2021)

EHS President Pekka Mellergård points out that this is the third professorial appointment at EHS in a short time, and is impressed with the development at a university he and CEO Anita Hansbo have recently been given responsibility for leading: “Petra’s interest in art and theology is particularly close to my heart. Her work is also a clear illustration of the way in which EHS has become an institution whose significance reaches far beyond Sweden’s borders.”

Petra Carlsson