Johan Storm Munch

Johan Storm Munch ( born August 31, 1778 in Lom, Oppland, † January 26, 1832 in Kristiansand ) was a Norwegian Lutheran bishop and writer.

He belonged to the last generation of the clergy of the Enlightenment movement in Norway and was with his open sympathy for Sweden after 1814 the favorite of this government.


He was initially taught by his father, then attended the University of Copenhagen and was there the exams glossy, but not as expected put the theological state exam. 1800-1805 he was a tutor in the family Løvenskiold on the estate Løvenborg on Sjælland. So he came along with the highest social classes in the then Danish-Norwegian kingdom. In 1805 he was a chaplain in the Resident Skjeberg and lived with Marcus Rosenkrantz on whose manor Hafslund. There, he met the governor of Prince Christian August know. This appointed him in 1808 to the chaplain in the campaign 1808/1809, but when he took the field again in 1810, Munch was without a position. On March 9, 1810, he married Else Petronelle Hofgaard (* July 15, 1790, † June 10, 1879 ), daughter of the pastor and later farmer Andreas Hofgaard ( 1756-1826 ) and his wife Mette Abigael Petersen ( 1770-1853 ). Then he was given the task to teach at the Foundation " Prinds Christian Augusts Minde " for one year. After that, he was a tutor and writer in Christiania. Count Herman Wedel Jarlsberg gave him the pastorate in 1813 and in 1817 he became pastor sands in Aker and Akershus Castle clergyman in. Without the consent of the government in 1823, he received the episcopal office in Kristiansand. He fought once certain created by the Enlightenment movement grievances. The clergy of this movement had many liberties taken in liturgy, official costume and administration. He also was very active against alcohol abuse. He was also a dedicated opponent of the mission and lay movement. Non- ordained about traveling preachers were prosecuted and clerics who were sympathetic to the example with the Moravians had to be justified to the public. Were known in this context its manifold conflicts with Father Gabriel Kielland Finnøy on.

Literary activity

Munch has left no theological writings. In 1804 he published a translation of Virgil's Aeneid. In 1810 he wrote several Lobschriften for Christian August. Later, other translations have been added, for example, Don Carlos of Schiller. These translations were highly appreciated by his contemporaries. He also tried his hand as Eigentändiger poet, inspired by Goethe, Schiller, and not least by Adam Oehlenschläger. He was the first literary significant figure in Norway, was thrilled for Danish and German Romanticism. In 1813 he published his anthology Feldblomster and 1825 the nationallyrische spectacle Præsten i Hallingdal. In his works, he proved himself as a Norwegian patriot who praised Norway's nature and history. 1816-1820 he published the magazine Saga. Here he translated and other pieces from the saga literature. He sought to show the relationship between the Old Norse and the contemporary Norwegian dialects. This is reflected in these translations, in which he uses words that are inspired by Norse and the dialects. This generated a lot of debate, and Munch was accused of wanting to make the Norwegian peasant language to Norwegian written language.


Johan Storm Munch was from 1823 Member of " Det Norske Kongelige Videnskabers Selskab ". He received the 1821 Borgerdådsmedaille in gold, in 1819 spiritual member of the Swedish Nordstjärneordens and received two days after his death, his Commander's Cross.

Works (selection)

  • Forsøg til en metrisk Oversættelse af Virgil's Aeneid. Copenhagen 1804
  • Norges Farewell til Hans Royal. Højhed Prinds Christian August Svearigets Kronprinds. 1810
  • Mindetale over Christian August. 1810
  • Translation of Don Carlos, Infant af Spain. Af Friedrich Schiller. 1812
  • Fjeldblomster. 1813
  • Saga. Fifteen - year writing 1-3, 1816-1820
  • Farewell til Aggershuus slots og Aggers Menigheder. 1823
  • Presten i Hallingdal eller: Hævnen. Kristiansand 1825
  • Nogle betimelige Ord om Nødvendigheden af at Indskrænke Brændevinets Misbrug, Kristiansand 1827