J.N.L. Dalsgaard (1825-1904)

Grundtvigian clergyman, MA theology, reverend and farmer in Ringive 1872-79 and in Ødum 1879-1900 in Jutland. 

In 1879, Dalsgaard published his apologetic work ‘Stenene råbe’. Et Indlæg mod Nutidens Vantro Naturbetragtning [The Stones Cry Out: A Critique of Current Infidel Views on Nature] (Copenhagen: Karl Schønbergs Forlag, 1879). Dalsgaard attempted to reconcile Scripture and uniformitarian geology by endorsing the so-called day-age theory, which suggested that the six days of creation should be interpreted as geological periods. Dalsgaard’s work was critically reviewed in the Askov journal Nordisk Maanedsskrift [Nordic Monthly] by the Grundtvigian physicist Poul la Cour, who argued that the laws of nature were only introduced by God after He had put the rainbow on the sky as a sign of the covenant with Noah after the Flood. The review sparked off a discussion in the journal during 1880 and 1881 between Dalsgaard, la Cour and the theologian Frederik Jungersen, who attacked both Dalsgaard and la Cour for trying to reconcile science and faith. Drawing on the philosophy of Rasmus Nielsen, Jungersen warned against this kind of apologetics and argued that science and faith had to be understood as two radically separated principles in life.

Hans Henrik Hjermitslev

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