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Christ, Grace and Community
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Studies in Faith and Ideologies, Systematic Theology and Studies in World Views.
2018 (English)In: Matters of Faith and Love: Nordic Perspectives on Transforming Social and Theological Challenges / [ed] Ville Paivänsalo & Pamela Slotte, Helsingfors: Luther-Agricola Society , 2018Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The disestablishment of the Church of Sweden in the year 2000 has been a catalyst for an intensified debate on the identity of the Church of Sweden and the ecclesiological heritage from one of its most important theologians of the 20th century, Einar Billing (1871–1939). This paper discusses the contemporary critique of Billing’s folk church ecclesiology. Critics tend to focus on Billing’s understanding of the church as an institution for the distribution of grace and point out that his thinking lacks a theological understanding of the church as a social reality. In a secular welfare society, describing the church as an institution might reduce the church to an actor of the welfare market. In this paper it is argued that while an ecclesiology that understands the church as a service provider is problematic, the best alternative is not to forward an ecclesiology focussing on the community of believers as a social body, since it makes the authenticity of the church dependent on the qualities of a social community. From a Lutheran point of view, both perspectives do not take the idea of the church as the creatura verbi seriously enough. The major problem with contemporary folk church ecclesiology is rather to be found in the inherent hegemonic claims of the concept folk church.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsingfors: Luther-Agricola Society , 2018.
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Systematic Theology and Studies in Worldviews
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-377145ISBN: 978-952-7259-09-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-377145DiVA, id: diva2:1288791
Available from: 2019-02-14 Created: 2019-02-14 Last updated: 2019-09-11Bibliographically approved

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Ekstrand, Thomas

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