During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Church of Sweden gradually changed from being the uniform and monolithic church that had been closely bound to the state to instead being seen as merely subject to constitutional state legislation. One effect and sign of this shift was that new paths opened up for religious practice and fellowship. New movements emerged in the social life of groups, and over time most of these were constituted/established as ordinary associations, NGOs. One kind of nonstandard Christian activity that never took the form of a regular organisation was a series of 10 meetings held every few years between 1913 and 1937 at the Spa of Porla, Närke County, in central Sweden. At these meetings, up to 200 people gathered for a number of days at the end of summer. The main core of the participants consisted of well-educated women, mainly in the teaching profession. Some of these served as organisers, leaders, or lecturers at the events; but these duties were mostly performed by men with a background as leading priests and theologians within academia. The primary purpose of the meetings must be interpreted as having been to promote spirituality, which the participants sought to do by listening to lectures, attending services, and spending time together talking, all for the sake of both professional and personal edification. The main records of these meetings are stored at the University Library in Uppsala, and from the study of this material a picture emerges of the meetings in Porla. Not only are the contents and context of the meetings investigated, but also their organisation; and a closer description is provided of the organisers and the participants.
Uppsala: Svenska Kyrkohistoriska Föreningen , 2011. 95-121 p.