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Is the Swedish state secular when religious service functions are integrated in public institutions?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, The Centre for the Study of Religion and Society. (The Impact of Religion)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4067-4603
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Church and state formally separated in Sweden 1st January 2000. However, their relationships are complex and ambiguous, illustrated by the presence of the Church of Sweden and its activities within several public institutions. State institutions are officially religiously neutral, although in praxis many have special links and organised cooperation with the former state church. There are even signs of increasing demand of the Church’s special competence in certain areas and the state is financially supporting activities of less financially strong minority faith communities within public institutions. 

The aim of this paper is to highlight the ambiguous relationships between state institutions and Swedish faith communities. Examples will be included from the following public institutions will be included; the parliament, military institutions, prisons, courts, public hospitals, public schools, universities and some other authorities. Results show persisting presence of religious agents dominated by Church of Sweden. The question is raised whether the Church and religion as such is really separated from the state, or if it is more relevant to describe the relationships as new forms of cooperation after the year 2000?


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Religion, state, public institutions, secular
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Sociology of Religion
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-241270OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-241270DiVA: diva2:778117
The EUREL Conference, 23-24 October 2014, Lublin Poland.
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-01-09 Created: 2015-01-09 Last updated: 2015-01-09

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