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Samvetets röst: Om mötet mellan luthersk ortodoxi och konservativ pietism i 1720-talets Sverige
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Historical Studies.
2004 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Voice of Conscience : The Encounter Beetween Lutheran Orthodoxy and Conservative Pietism in Sweden, 1720-30 (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation deals with the encounter between Lutheran orthodoxy and conservative pietism 1720–1730. The aim has been to compare their views on society and man.

In the pietistic conflict, orthodoxy gave rise to attitudes which proved to be key to its view on society and man. It was a deeply rooted traditionalism, patriarchal order of society, demand for confessional uniformity and a corporativistic view on society. The above mentioned contained a specific view on the relationship between the church, state and individual. By using the Organism Metaphor, i.e. society depicted as a body, orthodoxy made visible the church’s collective unity. This body was also identical to the Swedish kingdom. If uniformity in faith and ceremonies was to be dissolved, it implied a disintegration of the social body and breaking of the bonds which held together both church and country. Uniformity was upheld through confessionalism and the partiarchal order of the church. The priests’ monopoly on official functions, and the legal calling created a barrier protecting this relationship to power. Where the views on society and man intersected, one specific theme can be identified – conscience. This spiritual function connected man to law, society’s patriarchal order and God.

I have emphasised five distinct traits of pietism: its polarizing tendencies, strong emotionalism, its reformist attitude towards church and social life, its egalitarianism and religious individualism. All of these traits collided with orthodoxy’s view on society and man. Pietism can be described as a massive christianization project, which included moral and ethic education of the people on an individual and collective level. Where pietism and religious individualism coincided with egalitarianism, a new discourse for conscience was established, where conscience became both an internal court of law – with God acting as judge – and a spiritual authority whose integrity grew in proportion to authority and church.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2004. , 430 p.
Skrifter från institutionen för historiska studier, ISSN 1651-0046 ; 8
Keyword [en]
History, Sweden, 18th century, Pietism, Lutheran orthodoxy, natural law, protestantism, confessionalism, secularization, early modern, christianization, view of man, concept of society, religious rhetoric, theological conflict, freedom of conscience, religious tolerance
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-265ISBN: 91-7305-640-5OAI: diva2:142869
Public defence
2004-06-04, 10:15
Available from: 2004-05-07 Created: 2004-05-07 Last updated: 2012-11-01Bibliographically approved

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