Thorvald Hansen


Grundtvig, Controversial, Lutheran


Frederik Lange Grundtvig was the third son of Nikolai

Frederik Severin Grundtvig. He came to America in 1881 at

the age of 27, spent less that 19 of his 49 years here, served in

only one pastorate and yet became one of the most controversial

figures among the Danish immigrants. Grundtvig

came to America a budding young scientist; he left as an

accomplished clergyman. He wrote numerous articles,

pamphlets and books, all which are buried in the Danish

language, but none of which have real significance for this

day. Beyond the Danish community his name is little known

today, yet he left behind a legacy of both controversy and

appreciation. The controversy eventually issued in a hopelessly

divided Danish Lutheran Church among the immigrants.

The appreciation lives on in a songbook, still in use in

some quarters.