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Not even Believing in Belonging. Presentation at the ICLARS Conference in Milan Jan 2009 Lisbet Christoffersen . I. Traditional Church-State-Relations. The countries What is a state church State of the art – all 5 countries Historical Background. I.1. The Countries.

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not even believing in belonging

Not even Believing in Belonging

Presentation at the ICLARS Conference in Milan Jan 2009

Lisbet Christoffersen

i traditional church state relations
I. TraditionalChurch-State-Relations
  • The countries
  • What is a state church
  • State of the art – all 5 countries
  • Historical Background

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

i 1 the countries
I.1. The Countries
  • East-Nordic: Sweden; Finland
  • West-Nordic: Denmark; Norway
  • North-Atlantic: Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands
  • The BalticSea and Porvoo

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

the east nordic countries
The East-Nordic Countries

Sweden: A Monarchy in all historical times; 9 mio; 75 % members of Church of Sweden; Defence-neutral; A member of EU since 1995

Finland: A republic; 4,5 mio; 80% members of The Finnish Lutheran Church; 3% members of the Finnish Orthodox Church; A member of EU since 1995

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

the west nordic contries
The West-Nordic Contries
  • Denmark: A Monarchy in all historical times; 5 mioinhabitants; 82 % members of The Danish PeoplesChurch; Member of NATO since the beginning and of the EU since 1973.
  • Norway: A Monarchy; 4,5 mioinhabitants; 85 % members of The NorwegianChurch; 10 % members of the Humanist Association; A member of NATO; Not a member of the EU (but associated).

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

the north atlantic countries
The North-Atlantic Countries
  • Iceland: A republicsince 1874/1944; ½ mioinhabitants; 92 % members of the IcelandicChurch; Not a member of the EU nor NATO, but untilrecentlyprotected by an American Base
  • Greenland: A home-ruling country in relationshipwith Denmark; 45.000 inhabitants; 90 % members of the Church of Greenland; Not a member of the EU; untilrecentlyprotected by the Thule-Base
  • Faroe Islands: A home-rulingcommunityrelated to Denmark; 30.000 inhabitants; 90 % members of the newlyestablishedFaroeIslandicChurch; Not a member of EU

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

the baltic sea and porvoo
The Baltic Sea and Porvoo
  • Russia: Orthodox; post-communist and post-atheist; the nordicfolktune
  • The balticstates – oldnordicinfluence; the baltic human rightscommissioner in the 90’es the first to take up freedom of religion from the danishground; post-atheist, pluralist, human rightsbasedconstitutions
  • Poland 98% Catholic; Germany: Post-Lutheran pluralist
  • Porvoo-declarationamong the bishop-lead protestant national-churches

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

2 1 state churches
2. 1.State-Churches
  • The church as part of the public administrative system
  • The state (or the localchurch-councils in hierarchical relation to stateauthorities) has the right to hire and fire ministers, bishopsetc
  • The public system pays the saliaries
  • Economicallybasedonchurch-taxes from the members (Denmark); on public funding of (all) religions (Norway); of public re-imbursement for the land (Iceland).
  • State authorisation of Hymnbook; prayerbook; book on the form of service, texts and prayers for eachsunday; rituals for baptism; konfirmation; marriage and funeral
  • Whoowns the land around the churches?
  • Churchtakescare of funerals for all (that do not have theirown system)

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

2 2 state church regarding legislative administrative judiciary
2.2. State Churchregarding Legislative; administrative; Judiciary
  • No legal personality (oronly legal personality for the localchurches)
  • Following the law of the land
  • Under scrutiny of ombudsmenetc
  • Using the normal judicial system of the land
  • All statechurches I know do (to a certainextend) have theirown administrative system
  • But it mightbedecidedon basis of legislationor delegation

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

2 3 freedom of religion n the north
2.3. Freedom of Religion ín the North

From post-reformatoricabsolutism to enlightenment-based civil constitutionalismmeaning:

  • IndividualFreedom of Religion
  • CollectiveFreedom of Religion
  • For foreigners – for all – freedom to changeones religion – withnoimpactoncitizenship
  • A wider margin related to ”the law of the land”

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

2 4 church autonomy
2.4. Church Autonomy?
  • Legislative; Judiciary; Administrative
  • The law of the Land
  • The King – The People – not divided
  • The national state and the legal monopoly

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

3 1 status norway
3.1. Status - Norway:
  • The Church of Norway a statechurchwithown administrative bodiesbasedon delegation, financed 100 % by public funding, ministers are civil servants, it is unclearwhoowns the churches and the land around
  • Otherreligiouscommunitiesare private legal institutions, can (since 1967) bepubliclyfundedaccording to theirmembershipcomparedwith the church of norway

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

3 2 current status denmark
3.2. Current status, Denmark

The evangelical-lutheranchurch is the danishpeopleschurch and is as suchsupported by the state. The constitution of the peopleschurch has to bedecided by law.

All inhabitantsareallowed to gather in order to serve God after his conviction, thoughnothingcanbetaughtor done against public moral or public order. Circumstances for religiouscommunitiesbesides the peopleschurch is to bedecided by law.

Religion is not an argument in civil cases and it is not allowed to pay attention to religiousaffiliation in cases outsidereligiousaffairs

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

3 3 current status iceland
3.3. Current status, Iceland
  • The EvangelicalLutheranChurch is the statechurch. Equaltreatmenton basis of amongothers religion. Land related to the icelandicchurch is taken over by the state. As reimbursement the statefinanses the salaries of all churchworkers. A statechurch?
  • Otherreligiouscommunitiesare private lawentities
  • Citizens whoare not members of a religiouscommunity, pay to the University.

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

3 4 current status finland
3.4. Current Status, Finland

According to constitutiontwostatechurches: evangelical-lutheranchurch and orthodoxchurch

Bothwithinternal administrative and institutionalfreedom (Ev.Lu.chsince 1867 synodwasestablishedduring the Zar-regime)

Freedom of religion, relcom legal persons, confessionalteaching of religion in public schools

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

3 5 current status sweden
3.5. Current Status, Sweden

2 sets of legislation: one for alle religiouscommunities (inclChoSw): legal persons, possibility to register and to getchurchtaxestaken in by the state, alsocoveringchurch of sweden.

Anotherlegislationabout the rights and obligations for church of sweden: democratic, national and openminded. Independent function, suigenerisbetween public and private

No State Church

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

4 historical c heck points 4 1 middle ages
4. HistoricalCheck Points 4.1. Middle Ages
  • 600-900 Vikings meeting Christianity at Lindisfarne; Byzans and from the German-Roman empire
  • 800-1100: Ribe; Roskilde and Lund (DK); Uppsala (S); Nidaros/Trondheim (N).
  • Althing 1000
  • 1100-1300: Kings in Norway, Sweden and Denmark formulatesNational-Christianrulings
  • Kalmar-Union 1396

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

4 2 reformation and nordic power games
4.2. Reformation and Nordic Power Games

Reformation meant:

  • Breachwith the loyalty to the pope – changed to the King
  • Re-introduction of onlyonelaw of the land
  • Change of familylawsetc to secularlaw
  • In east-nordiccountries the internalchurch-structurewasupheld – not in west-nordiccountries

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

4 3 westphalia absolutism
4.3. Westphalia; Absolutism

Cujusregio, ejusreligio

Queen Christina

Basedon the grace of the King: invitation to Jews and Reformed Europeans to live in peace-cities as foreigners

All scandinavianswerepurelylutheranthrough 300 years

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

4 4 linn holberg and brorson
4.4. Linné; Holberg and Brorson:
  • Royal Associations of Sciences; Rationalism
  • Globalisation - internationalisation
  • National Legal Studies
  • Konfirmation
  • National Citizenship and State Administration
  • Top downvsbuttom up religiouslife

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

4 5 nordic liberal constitutions nordic liberal theologies
4.5. Nordic Liberal Constitutions, Nordic Liberal Theologies
  • 1814 EidsvollConstitution: upholding of the westphalianprinciple, nofreedom of religion, the king is securingthat all norwegiansare pure christians
  • 1849 Danish constitution: national church (in reality statechurch) and freedom of religion outside the state system
  • 1867 Finnishlutheransynod
  • 1874 Icelandicconstitution: peopleschurch
  • 1848 PreussianConstitution breaks the lutheranprincipleinto a religiously neutral state

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

4 6 nordic legal idealism modernism secularisation world wars
4.6. Nordic Legal Idealism, Modernism; Secularisation; World Wars
  • Legal cooperationregardingfamilylawsetcwithoutreligiousinfluence. Individualisation.
  • Modernlifestyleamong artists (in Rome) and intellectual elite. Equaltreatment.
  • The minister not any more member of the leadership of public schools. Curriculum for teachingchristianity
  • Social Democratsbecomechurch-supporters (the small man’s small faith in the commonchurch)

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

4 7 nordic legal realism vs human rights
4.7. Nordic Legal Realismvs Human Rights

National Church dimension of Welfare States




Elites and intellectuals still ’natural’ church supporters

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

4 8 post 1968 post 1989
4.8. Post-1968 Post-1989
  • WCC in Uppsala: deliberative theology
  • Peace Movement
  • Elites and intellectuals marxists: no natural church support
  • School curriculum changed into religious neutral teaching of christianity and other religions (not in, but also not about).

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

4 9 this generation of scandinavian politicians is the first that
4.9. This generation of Scandinavian Politicians is the firstthat
  • Do not knowLutheranCathecism and Hymn Book
  • Do not let theirchildrenbecomebaptized
  • Live in a multi-religious situation
  • Confessionalise the national churches
  • At the level of elites do not support national churchesunreflected
  • Reflectonmulti-levelled legal systems and multi-levelledpoliticalinfluences
  • Go to war (to protect human rights?)

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

4 10 a post generation
4.10 A post-generation:
  • Post-Lutheran
  • Post-National Churches?
  • Post-Secular?
  • Post-Modern?
  • Post-Tolerant
  • Post-National?
  • Post-Parliamentarian? (post-democratic!)

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

even without believing in belonging
Evenwithoutbelieving in belonging
  • Did the Nordic peoples ever go to church – wasn’t always the church an institution for the highlights of the life?
  • The impact of a web-based birth-registre
  • But at the end of the day…

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

conclusion i
Conclusion I:

Deep historical intertwinement between

Nation state buildings

Nordic legal traditions

Nordic state churches

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

ii last decades vast future
II: last decades vast future:

Pragmatism, realism and secularism/sation in the shadows of warm and cold wars: freedom, kingdom and parliamentarian democracy ruling the folk-home’s monoreligious identity to – what?

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

ii current problems securitization vs inclusiveness
II: Current problems SecuritizationvsInclusiveness
  • Denmark vs the (muslim) World - Cartoons
  • Norwayvsthe Human Rights – Folgerø vs. Norway
  • Swedenvsits (Christian) Minorities – the Åke Green Fallet
  • Finland vs the old and wellknownNeighbours – laylow
  • Icelandvs the Economicalcrisis – also the Churchcan go bankrupt
  • Greenland vs the Climatechanges – gold, oilorchurch

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

ii 1 changes in the last decades
II.1: Changes in the last decades
  • Church of Sweden from statechurch to suigeneris. Otherreligiouscommunitiescanget support to getchurch-taxesifthey support swedishvalues
  • Finland: attempts to take the status of churches out of the constitution
  • Iceland: 1997-law regarding status, government and operation of the Church of Iceland: A legal person. Institutionalfreedom.
  • Norway: stronginternalstructure in the church of norway. Distinctionbetweenschool-based and confesssionalteaching of christianity
  • NPM in the Danish National church

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

ii 2 changes in the near future
II.2. Changes in the near future
  • The norwegianconstitutionalchange from king-leadstate-churchinto a national peopleschurch; the value § changes; the school-legislationchanges
  • Faroe Islands got an independent and theologicallyratherconservativchurch – impact of new evangelicalism?
  • Finland: change of legal status? Discussionsabout the impact of public labourlaw
  • Equaltreatment of religiouscommunitites?

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

ii 3 a norwegian changes in constitution 2013
II.3 a Norwegianchanges in constitution 2013:

”the official religion of the stateshallremain the and all belonging to that have the duty to rise theirchildreninto it” changedinto

”The Valuefoundationshallremainourchristian and humanist heritage”

”The EvLuChofNoremains the peopleschurch and is as suchsupported by the state.” –

No legal autonomy. Ministers still civil servants. Public funding of all religions onequalfooting

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

ii3b norwegian changes in mandatory religious subjects in school
II3b: Norwegianchanges in mandatoryreligioussubjects in school:

From Knowledge about Christianity, Religion and Life Stances into Religion, Lifestances and Ethics with Christianity 40%, othre religions 40 %, lifestances 20 %. Opt outs. Still question about hymns, prayers, christmas services etc

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

ii3c object clause for kindergarten school system
II3c: ObjectClause for kindergarten&school system

From ”the school has the duty in cooperationwith the home to provide pupils with a christian and moral education”


A compromiseformulawith a number of generalyacceptedvalues (democracy, mutualrespect, scientific attitude, love for neigbours” but alsosayingthatthesevaluesarerooted in ”our Christian and humanist heritage” and ”as rooted in other traditions too”.

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

ii 3 fields of concern
II.3. Fields of Concern
  • Public funding for religiousgroups
  • Equaltreatment of gender, sexes, religion etc
  • Religiousfamilylaw? Gender-neutralfamilylaw?
  • Religious blind orreligiousidentity? Judges , nurses, teachers, salespersonswearingreligious symbols
  • The nordicidea of how to teach religion in public schools
  • Whotakescare of the deads
  • The role of religion as national markeur

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

iii impact of globalisation and european integration
III. Impact of Globalisationand European Integration
  • Hesitant; late; or even No membership of the European Union
  • Meaning: no framework programmes on equal treatment of religions, please, thank you! (the Metoch-case and the Folgerø-case)
  • From normative Human Rights officers to realistic foreign policy – does religion have any role any more?

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

iii 1 impact of nordic traditions
III.1. Impact of Nordic traditions

On European and Global reflections:

  • The public private dividereformulated: individialfaith as private – religious organisation as public
  • Teaching religion non-confessionally in public schools
  • Western law as secularlawwith tolerant loop-holes for religiousfaith
  • The state, not the church, as provider of legislative, judiciary, foreign policy etc
  • Religion doesn’tcount in non-religiousmatters

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

iii 2 constitutionally or parliamentary
III.2. Constitutionallyorparliamentary
  • Problematising the role of the law in analysing church-state-relations
  • The changes happens in the real life
  • Thank you for the invitation

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;

iii conclusion
III. Conclusion:

Exporting Nordic Values

(there is only one law; pragmatism; tolerance)


importing religious legal systems?

Lisbet Christoffersen;;;