html5-img
1 / 32

Religion in Norway : Contemporary Norwegian society

Religion in Norway : Contemporary Norwegian society. Lars Laird Eriksen Sociology – Norwegian School of Theology. From one religion…. … towards many religions?. … or no religion?. An overview of this lecture. Part one: - A quick history

saffron
Download Presentation

Religion in Norway : Contemporary Norwegian society

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author. Content is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. Download presentation by click this link. While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server. During download, if you can't get a presentation, the file might be deleted by the publisher.

E N D

Presentation Transcript


  1. Religion in Norway:Contemporary Norwegian society Lars Laird Eriksen Sociology – Norwegian School ofTheology

  2. From one religion… …towardsmany religions? … or no religion?

  3. An overview of this lecture • Part one: • - A quickhistory • - The legal situation: changingtheconstitution • Part two: • - Religion amongstyoungNorwegianstoday • A story from my fieldworkonreligiouseducation in Norwegianschool. • Secular? • Cool? • Identity?

  4. A quick history Pre-Christian Sami religion – BC 8000 Pre-Christian Norse religion AD 500 - 1000 • Shamanist • Animist • ”Noaider” • Part ofwidergermanicreligious system • MostlyknownthroughlaterChristian sources • Odin, Thor, Freya, Balder, Loke Even thisearly, therewas plenty ofculturalcommunicationsbetween Sami and germaniccultures.

  5. Christianity enters the scene: • Scandinavianotisolated – a culturallycomplex time! • Christianityslowlyspreadsfrom about 950. • Traditionallyconnectedto King Olav Haraldsson(St. Olav) - • Politicalconsolidation or religiouschange?

  6. Reformation In 1537 Christian the 3rd was King ofDenmark and Norway. Church of Norway: 1000 yearsof Christian Tradition? Half of it Catholic! He becameconvinced by Martin Luther, and leftthe Catholic Church. The bible in Danish Sermons in Norwegian/Danish A politicalmove as well as religious. A state church is established! The institutionsneeded to connect Norwegianness and religion established!

  7. State pietism 1736: compulsoryconfirmation 1737: BishopPontoppidan’s Q&A book 1739: School for all! A mix ofcontrol and goodintentions. Religion a tool for shaping thepopulation Providing sharedexperiences Pietism – enforced by the state

  8. Pietism – Challenges the state • Hans Nielsen Hauge • Preacher and writer(1771 - 1824). • Anti-Clergy • Illegal religiousmeetings • Industry and socialwork • Imprisoned • Religion a tool forexpressingdiscontentagaint foreign rule

  9. Modes ofreligious life in the 20thC Religious”counter-culture” withprayer houses • Rural • Hard-working ”protestant capitalistethic” • South and west coast • Emphasis on personal faith • Politicallyconservative

  10. Modes ofreligious life in the 20th Century • The «folkekirke» – or thepeople’schurch • Life rites: Christening, Confirmation, Weddings, Funeral • CofN Church buildingsoftenlocalhub • Open for all • More liberal ethics • Eastern, middle and Northern Norway

  11. Modes of non-religious life in the 20th century:secularisation • Norway part ofbroader European trend – enlightenmentphilosophy • Religion and labourmovement : From hostile to ambivalent relationship • Strongsecular humanist movement • Norway is low on religiousparticipation, slightlyhigher on self-identification

  12. Sami Religion today • Læstadianism • Swedish pastor Lars Levi Læstadius engagedwiththe Sami populations in Norway, Sweden and Finland • A pietist, anti-authoritymovement – establishing an indigenous Sami Christianity. • Counteringcolonialistmissionaryactivity • Still an influence – an asceticcounter-culture

  13. Pre-Christian religions today • Sami traditional religion: revived? • Pockets ofrevivalof pre-christian Noaide-mythology • Not seen as continuoustradition – part of neo-pagan movement • Åsatro • Severalattempts to revive a nordic pagan tradition • Some turn to nature • Some have a clear right-wingnationalist agenda

  14. Immigration and pluralisation • From about 1960, labourmigration to Norway. • Islam • Hinduism • Buddhism • Christian denominations (Catholic and pentacostal) • Changes in school • Changes in State-Church relations • Place of Islam in public life a huge issue

  15. The constitution: State & Church • Established Church. • Part ofadministration, not legal entity • Government appoints bishops • 50% ofthegovernment must be membersofCofN. • King the head of Church • Financedthroughgovtbudgets – otherfaithorganisationscompensatedwithequivalent sum. • This willchange in 2012.

  16. Article 2: • All inhabitantsoftheRealmshall have the right to freeexerciseoftheir religion. • The Evangelical-Lutheran religion shallremaintheofficial religion ofthe State. The inhabitants professing it arebound to bring up theirchildren in the same

  17. Changes in Article 2 • 4 major changes - a fifth coming up • 1851: RemovingtheexclusionofJews. • 1897: Removingtheexclusionofmonasticorders • 1956: RemovingtheexclusionofJesuits • 1964: Includingthespecific right to religiousfreedom

  18. A new article 2: • The foundational values remainour Christian and Humanist heritage. This constitutionshallsecuredemocracy, ruleoflaw and human rights. • Whatdoes ”foundational values” mean? Are heritages and values the same? Are ”christian” and ”humanist” heritagescompatible or at odds?

  19. What do thenewchangesadd up to? • Greater liberty for the Church of Norway - ending Governmentinfluence on Church matters (especiallyappointingBishops) • Ending the formal connectionsbetweenthe Church of Norway and structuresofgovernance • Retaining (evenstrengthening) thesymbolicimportanceof a Christian heritage for a Norwegian identity • Retaining a priviligedposition for the Church of Norway

  20. PART TWO - Religion today • Join me in meeting the ninth grade in south-east Oslo • I met over 400 kids • 3 self-identified as Christian • Surprisingly few considering • Norwegian history • public debate • statistics of membership in religious organisations

  21. Christians in the closet? • Whydid so few kids callthemselves Christian? • A sociological (not a moral!) inquiry. • Four tentative explanations: • Secularisation? • Pluralism - Christianity not PC? • Not cool? • Identity - Religion and Norwegianness

  22. Secularization • ”Religion 1991 - 2008” Part of an international survey. • Stronglybelieves: • 1991: 20% • 2008: 15% • Does not believe • 1991: 10% • 2008: 18% • 2008:

  23. Monthly or more 1991: 11% 2008: 7% Never 1991: 35 2008: 43 Secularization: Participation in religious services 2008:

  24. Strongly religious 1991: 10% 2008: 7% Strongly non-religious 1991: 13% 2008: 22% Secularization: Self-identification

  25. Secularization • YUPP! Check! • But not enough to explain my finding! • Secularization theory has been countered worldwide, but seems to hold for Norway.

  26. Pluralisation - Membership

  27. Pluralisation - which organisations?

  28. Pluralism • YES - Norway has become more plural • More peopleactive in a more organisations • Theseorganisationsare cover a widerscopeofreligiousdifference. • Greateracceptanceof religion? • Greatercontroversyaround religion?

  29. Religiousdiscrimination • Marie von der Lippe: • Therearetwo things going on in terms of Islam: • Tolerance in everydayinteraction • Criticism and debate – sometimesdiscriminatoryattacks – in public sphere • Issuesconcerning religion • Education • Religiouscovering

  30. Not cool to be a believer? • A ”majoritymisunderstanding”? • Norwegian protestantismhighemphasis on personal faith - a barrier for self-identification? • Shame? • Privatisationof religion? • ”Proud muslims make it easier for everyone to be openabouttheirfaith” - saysteacher. I didn’t see it. • ”Christian values” oftenmentioned in public debate

  31. Identity • I mentionedthethreewhocalledthemselves Christian? • All connected to a ”pseudo-ethnicity” • Maybethis is the case with non-christian religions? • Maybe kids easilyclaim a religiousidentitywhen it is framed as group belonging, not personal statement?

  32. The ”whiteness” theory: • Majoritybackground Norwegians walk ”unmarked” in society. • They have theprivilegeof controlling whentheirreligiousidentity is relevant. • Religion as FAITH privatised • Religion as IDENTITY public • The ”religionizationofidentity”

More Related