Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig, born in Denmark in 1783, is probably one of the most important scandinavians in respect to his impact on contemporary culture and world history. He stands alongside such giants as Kierkegaard, Ibsen and Strindberg. A priest by education and an author by hard work, Grundtvig was a part of the Danish cultural and literary community for 70 years. During the 1830s he founded a people's movement, Grundtvigianism, which followed his core ideals of life.
The strengthening of religion lead to the need for a renewal of the Danish psalm book, and of church life in general. Grundtvig tied this renewal into a renewal of popular nationalism, publishing a new interpretation of nordic mythology containing a revolutionary new look at the education of the people. He angered a great many people in his time, and lay close to the borders of mental illness, but he had a prophetic strength in his sermons and an unstoppable will. He died in 1872.
Though it might seem to some people, especially christians, that Grundtvig would make a good saint, modern-day Denmark still has a bone to pick with his legacies. Author Peter Hoeg, in his book De måske egnede, speaks very critically of Grundtvig and especially of the way his works have lead to the categorizing and stereotyping of people at early ages.