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Omvändelsens skillnad: En diasporateologisk granskning av frikyrklig ungdomskultur i folkkyrka och folkhem
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1274-8775
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Difference of Conversion examines theologically the possibilities for a religious minority group to maintain its own corporate identity while contributing as a member of the greater society. The research centers on the Swedish Baptist denomination, Örebromissionen, and focuses on its youth ministry. The research material is the weekly newspaper Missionsbaneret. This examination is twofold: part one is a historical analysis, and the second, a Diaspora-theological analysis that results in the development of a Diaspora ecclesiology.

The historical analysis is influenced by a discursive approach and emphasize two areas of focus; what makes something visible, or problematic, and which steering techniques that are used. The study covers three different periods – 1930s, 1950s and 1980s. The research shows that it has been a great challenge for Örebromissionen to maintain a corporate identity in Sweden, both during the Folk Church period as well as in the Folkhemmet period. The examination suggests that this depends on two coexisting processes; first, the understanding of personal conversion primarily as an emotional, datable, and complete experience within the denomination and secondly the strong emphasis of a shared identity in society.

The theological analysis begins with a description of the late Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder’s Diaspora theology. Using Diaspora-theological analysis shows that the strong emphasis of a shared identity in Swedish society has changed the theology concerning personal conversion in relationship to moral values; where once conversion preceded moral change to later when moral development preceded conversion. This shift in understanding was brought about by new practices introduced in Youth Ministry. In conclusion it is suggested that a Diaspora ecclesiology that both wants to maintain a corporate identity as well as to contribute to a good society must emphasize a multi-cultural society, accentuate the individual as a part of a specific religious social body, and understand the religious corporate identity borders as porous, and therefore constantly re-negotiated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. , 260 p.
Uppsala Studies in Systematic Theology and Worldviews, 4
Keyword [en]
Religious identity, Free Church, youth culture, Örebromissionen, conversion, John Howard Yoder, Diaspora, constantinism, social body, political theology
National Category
Humanities Religious Studies
Research subject
Studies In Faiths and Ideologies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-261170ISBN: 978-91-554-9317-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-261170DiVA: diva2:849841
Public defence
2015-10-16, Gustavianum Auditorium minus, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-09-25 Created: 2015-08-31 Last updated: 2015-10-01

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Wenell, Fredrik
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