Discipline and Democracy

Today most people in Denmark think of democracy as an absolute, universal right. Democracy has become crucial to how society and politics are understood. All adults should have the right to decide, because everyone has the same value as a political individual. At first glance, society at the time of the Reformation, with its many and marked differences between social ranks ranging from king to peasant, was very different. Those at the top of society were to serve the common good with the help of God, so there was no place for the individual’s deviant, religious or political views. It is, however, possible to see aspects of Reformation society that point towards democratic views in Denmark, like the idea of people being equal before God. Lutheranism embraces thinking that could co-exist with both authoritarian and democratic social norms.