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How the nineteenth-century evangelical revival strengthened faith and undermined Christendom: a Swedish case
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1873-9666
2023 (English)In: Temenos, ISSN 0497-1817, E-ISSN 2342-7256, Vol. 59, no 2, p. 157-180Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article deals with the paradoxical relationship between thenineteenth-century Evangelical Revival and secularization. It is arguedhere that the revival and its worldview played a role in increasingpluralism and choice in the nineteenth century – a process often relatedto secularization. The Evangelical movement both attempted to op-pose modernity and rationalism and emphasized religious freedom,voluntarism, and individualism. It therefore induced and popularizedself-reflection, doubt, and deconversion. It also favoured religiousdemocracy in opposition to a state-imposed religious monopoly (atleast in northern Europe). Furthermore, by dividing people into be-lievers and nonbelievers, it emphasized religious polarization. Thiscontributed to an undermining of established religious structures,fragmenting and pluralizing the religious landscape and giving peoplethe option to abstain completely from religious commitment. TheSwedish confessional (inner mission) revivalist denomination Evan-geliska Fosterlands-Stiftelsen (EFS – approx. the Swedish Evangeli-cal Mission Society), founded in 1856, is used as a case. The popularliterature they published and distributed manifested an evangelicalworldview. In this article four themes, based on the popular literature,are used to study empirically the changing role of religion in relationto nineteenth-century revivalism: ‘the dualistic worldview’; ‘conver-sion’; ‘activism’; and ‘self-reflection’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Finnish Society for the Study of Religion , 2023. Vol. 59, no 2, p. 157-180
Keywords [en]
secularisation, modernity, revivalism, evangelicalism, church history
National Category
Religious Studies History of Religions
Research subject
sociology of religion; church history; studies of churches and denominations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-218274DOI: 10.33356/temenos.112471Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85182657059OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-218274DiVA, id: diva2:1820934
Available from: 2023-12-19 Created: 2023-12-19 Last updated: 2024-02-13Bibliographically approved

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Gelfgren, Stefan

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Citation style
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Output format
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