Organisation and staff

Uffe Holmsgaard Eriksen

researcher at Department of Linguistics and Philology

Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsv. 3 H
Postal address:
Box 635
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

MA in Theology and PhD from the Aarhus Univeristy, Denmark

Post doctoral scholar at the Department for Linguistics and Philology, section for Greek and Byzantinology. The project is financed by the Carlsberg Foundation.

Research interests: Byzantine Hymnography and Liturgy, Church History, Nordic Hymnology, Narratology.  

Also available at

My courses


Entering the Sacred Story: Performance and Participation in Early Byzantine liturgical texts

Uffe Holmsgaard Eriksen will carry out a post doc-project funded by the Carlsberg Foundation from 1 February 2016 until 31 January 2017, with a possible extension for one year extra. The project is affiliated with the research group ”Text and Narrative in Byzantium”, directed by professor Ingela Nilsson from the Department of Linguistics and Philology at Uppsala University.

The aim of his project, ”Entering the Sacred Story: Performance and Participation in Early Byzantine liturgical texts”,  is to demonstrate how early Byzantine preachers and poets from 4th-8th centuries used various narrative and rhetorical techniques to allow themselves and their listeners to enter and participate in the biblical stories through liturgical performances. Early Byzantine liturgical texts such as sermons, hymns, and hagiography show striking parallels to post modern literature and popular culture by blurring the lines between fiction and reality and by destabilizing the notions of authorship, text, and audience. As religious narratives embedded in song and speech, the early Byzantine liturgical texts defy the boundaries of conventional or natural story telling. Nevertheless, the story telling in these texts has not yet been studied in detail. This project will carry out such a study using modern narrative theory. As there is at the same time a conspicuous lack in the discipline known as diachronic narratology (studying the historical developments of narrative) in the period from the 4th to 8th centuries, this project will make substantial contributions not only to the subject of Byzantine literature, but also to narrative theory.

Uffe Holmsgaard Eriksen is MA in theology and ph.d. from Aarhus University. His dissertation, Drama in the Kontakia of Romanos the Melodist: A Narratological Analysis of Four Kontakia (unpublished, Aarhus 2013) analyses the dramatic dimension in the kontakia of Romanos the Melodist (ca. 485-560 AD) by use of modern narrative theory and method.


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