Christopher Bruun

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Christopher Bruun

Christopher Arndt Bruun (23 September 1839 – 17 July 1920) was a Norwegian priest and educator.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Christiania as a son of jurist Johan Peter Bruun (1810–1843) and Line Stenersen (1816–1901). After his father died when Christopher was three years old, the family moved to Vang, Hedmark, then to Lillehammer in 1850. He enrolled in theology studies at the Royal Frederick University in 1857, and graduated with the cand.theol. degree in 1862. He was an open Scandinavist, and in 1864 he returned to Norway from a trip in Rome to agitate for Norwegian support of the Danish cause in the Second Schleswig War. Himself, he even participated as a volunteer in the Battle of Dybbøl in April 1864, and after being demobilized from the war in August 1864, he walked back to Rome.[1]

Later, especially around 1866 and 1867, Bruun began supporting the use of the language form Landsmål, and was also inspired by Grundtvigianism and Danish folk high schools. He founded a folk high school in Sel in 1867, together with Christian Horne. It was moved to Fykse in Gausdal in 1871 and Vonheim in Gausdal in 1874.[1] In the same year Karoline and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson moved to Aulestad, which is located nearby.[2] Gausdal became a cultural centre, although Bjørnson later split with this milieu.[1]

Bruun's thoughts on education were chiseled out in the work Folkelige Grundtanker, issued in 1878.[3] He idealized Norwegian history, and wanted to replace Greek and Latin with the Edda in schools. At the same time as hailing the Norwegian farmer, he was clear that the farming populace would need to be educated, especially over the next "century", hence the folk high schools. As a theologian he denounced Pietism, and emphasized the collective (the people) over the individual. He also (unlike Grundtvig) preferred a Free Church over a State Church. Nonetheless, he left Vonheim Folk High School to become curate in Kristiania in 1893. He was promoted to vicar in 1898.[1]

He supported the Liberal Party, later the Moderate Liberal Party, but did not fit in here, neither with Johan Sverdrup's constitutional policies nor the Lars Oftedal and Western Norway-dominated Moderate Liberal Party. From 1884 to 1888, during the most turbulent period in Norwegian political history, Bruun issued the periodical For frisindet Christendom. In 1893 he co-founded the periodical For kirke og kultur, and co-edited it until 1908. In 1905 he chose not to support the radical constitutional policies that led to the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden. His periodical refused to print his views on the union dissolution. A pamphlet was printed in Denmark and smuggled to Norway. This contributed to him being removed from For kirke og kultur in 1908.[1]

Bruun retired as vicar in 1918, and retreated to Østre Gausdal where he died on his farm in July 1920. He was survived by his wife Kari Skar, whom he had married in 1872. She died in May 1924.[1] His daughter Margit (1875–1958) married Klaus Sletten in 1905 and was the mother of Vegard Sletten. She was a deputy leader of Bondeungdomslaget and treasurer of Noregs Ungdomslag.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Aukrust, Knut. "Christopher Bruun". In Helle, Knut. Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Henriksen, Petter, ed. (2007). "Aulestad". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Flottorp, Haakon (2007). "Christopher Arnt Bruun". In Henriksen, Petter. Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Bore, Thor Bjarne. "Klaus Sletten". In Helle, Knut. Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 14 March 2010.