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“The future lives with us”: Diversity work and processes of change in the Church of Sweden
Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för etnologi, religionshistoria och genusvetenskap, Genusvetenskap.
2021 (engelsk)Inngår i: Anthropology Book Forum, E-ISSN 2380-7725Artikkel, omtale (Annet vitenskapelig) Published
Abstract [en]

Kristina Helgesson Kjellin introduces her book A Good Place to Be. An Anthropological Study of Diversity Work and Identity formation in the Church of Sweden with the story of how a small Marian side altar suddenly appears in a church in the suburb Skärholmen outside Stockholm. This type of side altar, common in Catholic and Orthodox Churches, is usually not seen in the Lutheran Church of Sweden. Its appearance in the suburban church can be related to the presence of migrant communities with their roots in other (Christian) traditions, members of which today make up a considerable part of the churchgoers in Sweden. The story of how the side altar became integrated in this Swedish church is one of the examples offered by Helgesson Kjellin of the multifaceted encounters between the tradition of the Church of Sweden and different migrant communities. Through ethnographic studies of such encounters, Helgesson Kjellin aims to illuminate what she refers to as “diversity work” [mångfaldsarbete]. As the term can signify the promotion of diversity regarding a range of categories such as gender, age, sexuality, functionality, ethnicity and religion, the author clarifies that her focus is the “cultural and religious diversity, mainly the Christian diversity” p.15) that characterize the congregations she has studied. These all belong to a network named “The future lives with us” [Framtiden bor hos oss] formed in 2001 by congregations in a number of urban centers in Sweden around a common vision of the Church of Sweden as “a church for everyone, irrespective of cultural and/or religious background” (p. 15). Fieldwork was conducted among employees and volunteers active in the network, with a special focus on the church in Skärholmen.

The criteria for joining the network is to be a minority congregation (meaning that less than 70% of the inhabitants are members of the Church of Sweden) and to be located in an urban, culturally and religious diverse community. An important feature of these congregations is that in spite of low numbers of members, the level of activity is high with many people coming to the church to pray, to ask for aid and to attend church services. For the churches in the network the burning issue is how to be relevant in their communities under these conditions, including the economic challenge for a post-state church that now depends on membership fees.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2021.
Emneord [en]
Church of Sweden, migrant communities, diversity work
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
genusvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-202702OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-202702DiVA, id: diva2:1643414
Merknad

Publicerad 2021-11-15 i Anthropology Book Forum, OPEN ACCESS BOOK REVIEWS, ISSN: 2380-7725

Tilgjengelig fra: 2022-03-09 Laget: 2022-03-09 Sist oppdatert: 2022-05-03bibliografisk kontrollert

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