Hans Egedes «mageløse udholdenhed»

Den modne Hans Egedes missionssyn og historiebrug


  • Kurt E. Larsen


In the 300th anniversary of Hans Egede’s arrival in Greenland as a missionary, his work is described from a new angle, as two of his important writings from 1737 are analyzed in order to demonstrate his understanding of mission in his mature years. After his return from Greenland in 1736, the missionary work was still on his mind, and his account of the history of the first years in Greenland reflected his understanding of the situation and his wishes for the future in 1737: Greenland was described as a country with good economic opportunities, and it was an old Norwegian country where the king ought to do mission work, so that Greenland could become a Christian part of the kingdom with a nationwide Lutheran church that provided teaching and sacraments to everybody. The Greenlanders were described in a positive way as receptive to the Christian message, and the mission work had to take place in their own language, so Greenlanders was to be trained to be able to serve in the church. Other incidents in his years in Greenland were overlooked in Egede’s historiography as they did not seem to promote the future of his mission work: there was no criticism of the competing Moravians, no criticism of other Christian denominations, and no particular criticism of the role of the king and the trading companies.