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Folkkyrkan, vision och verklighet: Ett folkkyrkligt reformprograms öden 1928-1932 : the fate of Folk Church reform programme 1928-1932
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines how the Church of Sweden interfaced with secular culture andsociety in the transition from the 1920s to the 1930s. The study is founded on three events:the House of Bishops meeting and the General Convention of the church in 1929; the SwedishParliament's meetings in 1930, which led to laws on local parish governance; and the GeneralConvention of the church in 1932, especially concerning issues of church property.

In 1929 the Swedish bishops hoped for greater independence from the state and the rightfor citizens to resign their church membership. The also sought the continuing Christianeducation of Swedish children in schools and an integration of types of folk church reformswithin the institutional structure of the church (e.g. deacon ministries, mission work, andyouth work). Einar Billing formulated the theological basis for this new proposal, whichopposed a transformation of the church into a state institution for cultural, ethical, and vaguelyreligious purposes.

The church's General Convention supported the bishop's program of reform. But in 1930,the Parliament passed new laws on local parish governance, which outlined a different kindof direction for the modernization of the Church of Sweden. The local governmental authoritydimension of the parishes was strengthened. Political parties gained influence on local parishboards, against the will of the General Convention. There was an increased gulf within thechurch between church ministries based on folk church reforms and the legally bindinggovernmental church boards. In 1932 the church's General Convention reacted to this newsituation in a defensive manner. Church opinion succeeded however in preventing asecularization of Christian education in schools.

The House of Bishops entered the struggle as to how modern Sweden was to be shapedand defined. Different expectations developed between, on the one hand, perspectives ofa society unified by a Christian nationalism and, on the other hand, a society unified by areligiously neutral nationalism. In the end this would form a communal understanding ofmodern Sweden. The House of Bishops sought to define a Christian culture. The partialfailure of the church's implementation of reforms (in two of the three cases) would be decisivein how' the Church of Sweden would influence the modern Swedish welfare state.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 292 p.
Keyword [en]
Religion, Modernisation, secularisation, church reform, church independence, legislation, education, church property, folk church, state church, Church of Sweden, Einar Billing, K J Ekman, Arthur Engberg
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-789ISBN: 99-3257343-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-789DiVA: diva2:170276
Public defence
2000-06-06, Regnellsalen, Regnellianum, Slottsgränd 3, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2000-05-16 Created: 2000-05-16Bibliographically approved

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