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As part of the 'researcher education' (PhD), I am currently involved in a research project, which is within the part of modern practical theology called diaconal science. Practical Theology is one of the core subjects at the theological bachelor program at Ilisimatusarfik. "Diaconidoscience" is a research area that is created when the researcher operates in the field of tension between both theology and social sciences - and never only theology.

Four years ago, the Greenlandic church was criticized and in the Greenlandic media accused of "turning its back on the social problems in society". But there is no study that shows or maps what the church actually does, and what role both the church and society envisage that the church should play in the postcolonial Greenlandic welfare society.

The purpose of the research project is to investigate and map the role of the Greenlandic church in the Greenlandic welfare society since it became its own diocese in 1993. This is done based on the current research question: "What characterizes the Greenlandic church's role as a social actor in the Greenlandic welfare society, since 1993?"

With the sub-questions:

  • What understandings are found in the church about its role as a social actor? 
  • What practice does the church have? 
  • What possibilities and limitations does it have? 
  • What is the authorities', NGOs' and the population's understanding and expectation of the church as a social actor in the Greenlandic welfare society?
  • How can the Greenlandic context shed light on international research in the field? 

The research project has a Mixed-Method Design where ethnographic studies will be carried out in two different pastoral areas, where one is in the capital of Nuuk, while the other will be on the coast. Waiting for a response from the pastoral areas means that the strategic choice of pastoral areas on the coast has not yet been made.


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