Jenny Ehnberg, researcher

Jenny is researcher at the Church of Sweden Research Department. Her research field is theological ethics with a focus on questions relating to political ethics, democracy, human rights, global ethics and justice.

About me, Jenny

In my research I work with questions that concern theological contributions to politics and democracy. I take special interest in the relation between morality/ethics and politics, and inquire about potential theological contributions to conceptions of politics and democracy. I have also worked with questions regarding the impact of globalization on ethical reflection, especially in my doctoral thesis where I conducted a critical analysis of four different models for global ethics, two from political philosophy and two based in Christian ethics. A further field of interest is questions in relation to the theory and practice of human rights, for instance the question of what universality might mean in relation to human rights.

Key words

Ethics, global ethics, global justice, ethical theory, political ethics, theology and politics, humans rights, rights for persons with disabilities.


  • Researcher at the Church of Sweden Research Department (2017-)
  • Assistant professor in Human rights, department of theology, Uppsala University, (2015- 2017) 
  • Executive editor for the scholarly journal De Ethica (2017-)
  • Member of the board for Societas Ethica which is an European scientific society for ethicists and theologians (2017-)
  • Member of the board for Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre, CRS (2017-)
  • Phd in Theological Ethics at Uppsala University 2015
  • Ordained as minister for the Church of Sweden 2009

My current research

A Critical Study of Democracy and Political Contributions from Theology

In an ongoing research project I aim to investigate what possible contributions theology might make to models of democracy. More specifically this project deals with the question of what would constitute a tenable model of democracy and how the religious traditions can engage in the political sphere. The idea of the return of religion has received much scholarly attention in the last decades. Several researchers have suggested that religious traditions can play a central role in work to strengthen citizen’s democratic engagements. The religious traditions offer various visions of the common life of society which can be scrutinized for possible contributions to democratic practices. Based on these considerations this project seeks to investigate what possible contributions theology can offer to a model of democracy. As part of this endeavor the project will also conduct a critical analysis of democracy from a theological perspective.

“What is Societal Theology?”

In an ongoing project the research department is working on an anthology on “Societal Theology”. In this anthology we try to articulate what it is that we aim to capture with the notion of Societal Theology, which is the name of our research profile. Therefor all the researchers at the department make contributions to the reflection by reasoning on how it is that they, from their different research fields, understand the idea of societal theology. Together with Cecilia Nahnfeldt I serve as editor and contribute, in addition to my own chapter, to the introductory chapter as well as to the closing reflections in the last chapter. The anthology is meant to be of help to persons who are reflecting on the relation between church and society and who take an interest in the discussion of what role theological research might play in public discussions.

My publications 

“Capabilities and Human Dignity: On Martha Nussbaum’s Understanding of Justice and Human Rights” in an anthology on Martha Nussbaum (forthcoming spring 2019) 

“From the Editors: De Ethica. A Journal of Philosophical, Theological and Applied Ethics” in De Ethica, 5:1 (2018)

”Universella mänskliga rättigheter? Utmaningar och möjligheter.” in Mänskliga rättigheter i det offentliga Sverige, Anna-Sara Lind & Elena Namli (eds.) [”Universal Human Rights? Possibilities and Challenges” in Human Rights in the Public Sector] Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2017.

Globalization, Communication, and Justice: A Critical Study of Global Ethics. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015