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Kyrka och stat i 1860 års svenska religionslagstiftning
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Church and State in the 1860 Swedish Legislation on Religion (English)
Abstract [en]

The 1860 Swedish legislation on religion finally brought an end to the hitherto prevailing unified view on the church and the state in Sweden. The church and the state were from now on marked out as separate units. This took place primarily through the abolition of defection from the Evangelical-Lutheran faith as a criminal offence. This faith had been prescribed in the 1686 Swedish Canon Law and in the 1734 general legislation. Anyone who abandoned the Lutheran confession should now no longer be exiled and disinherited. At the same time, the Church of Sweden lost its privileged position as the only permitted church in the country. With the permission of the King, other Christian churches would be allowed some limited scope for working in Sweden, but they were forbidden to engage in mission. Members of the Church of Sweden were accorded the right to associate and to form dissenter congregations with a confession other than that of the Church of Sweden. They were also accorded the right to transfer to another church within the country, permitted by the King. These rights only applied to those who had previously been subject to extensive warning procedures before the vicar and the diocesan chapter. Anyone who had not been admitted to another permitted church in accordance with the rules laid down continued to be considered as a member of the Church of Sweden. This also applied to those who had abandoned the Lutheran confession. The effect of all this was that the character of the Church of Sweden, as in principle a strictly confessional church, changed and the Church of Sweden thus embarked on its path towards becoming a “folk church” instead. With the 1860 legislation, the ground was prepared for the municipality reform in 1862 and for the representational reform in 1865.The ecclesiology behind the new legislation would play a significant role in later developments within the Church of Sweden and its various concepts of being a “folk-church” – a church open and available for everyone.


This study traces the way in which the 1860 Swedish legislation came into being 1856-1860 and analyses its meaning and implications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Skellefteå: Artos & Norma Bokförlag , 2009. , 458 p.
, Bibliotheca Theologiae Practicae, ISSN 0519-9859 ; 87
Keyword [sv]
E. G. Bring, Swedish Canon Law, church and state relations, Church of Sweden, church legislation, church membership, ecclesiology, legal theology, liberals, Lund High Church School, Luthern confession.
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Church Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108345ISBN: 978-91-7580-441-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-108345DiVA: diva2:235474
Public defence
2009-10-15, Ihresalen, Campus Engelska parken, hus 21, (ing. Thunbergsvägen 3H), Uppsala, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-09-22 Created: 2009-09-16 Last updated: 2010-01-12Bibliographically approved

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