My name is Henrik Lindberg Hansen. I have been working with dialogue and ecumenism most of my professional life, and with this page I offer to share my experience and hopefully push for more understanding between religious and societal divides.
1996 I started studying theology with a focus on philosophy and ethics. Studying ethics did, however, quickly push me to work for more equality in the world. I coordinated the volunteers for the Fair Trade organisation, Max Havelaar, but started and coordinated soon Aarhus NGO Forum with a number of volunteers to improve the efforts in Aarhus. Our biggest event was the Hungermarch, a protest of the cuts in the Danish national budget for poverty relief in Third World countries. We produced 24 statues of starving children with the artist, Jens Galschiøt, and toured 25 cities in Denmark to create awareness of the need for poverty relief.
2004 Danmission hired me and sent me to Egypt to work with dialogue. I started two dialogue groups in different parts of Cairo, participated in other dialogue initiatives, advised on various projects, for example implementing dialogue in the school system, learned Egyptian Arabic and studied Islam, the Middle East and society and politics in Egypt.
2010 I was accepted for my doctoral studies at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where I studied sociology and social psychology to analyse the societal impact of religious dialogue in Egypt. The focus was on how dialogue is used as a tool by different societal groups with very different aims: political positioning and negotiation, political protest and opposition, social legitimacy and positioning in the local areas, and the need of youth to struggle for a more inclusive existence.
2012 I moved back to Denmark and updated my doctoral thesis with the events following the Arab Spring in Egypt in 2011. The book is published in June, 2015.