Lunden was born in Naustdal. He originally studied agronomy at the Norwegian College of Agriculture, graduating in 1957. He then worked six years as a civil servant in the Norwegian Ministry of Church Affairs and Education, before taking up history studies. There he graduated as cand.philol. in 1965. He was appointed by the King-in-Council as Professor of History at the University of Oslo in 1976.
- Norge under Sverrætten, volume 3 of Cappelens Norgeshistorie, 1976
- Biletet av fortida: innhogg i historisk fagteori, 1991
- Norsk grålysing, 1992
- Den vakre snikkarkona: frå Geoffrey Chaucers Canterbury-forteljingar og andre mellomaldervers (ed.), 1992
- Nasjon eller union? Refleksjonar og røynsler, 1993
- Dialog med fortida. Historie om .., 1995
- Norges Landbrukshistorie, volume 2, 2002
- "Kåre Lunden – Norsk biografisk leksikon". Nbl.snl.no. 1933-08-22. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "Gruppe 1: Historie" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Retrieved 26 October 2009.
- Johansen, Tore (1 August 2009). "Norge / Norway 1954 – Menn / Men" (PDF). Norwegian Athletics. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
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