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Religiösa konflikter i norra Hälsingland 1630-1800
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
Responsible organisation
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation deals with religious conflict in a number of local communities of Sweden during early modern times, i.e. from 1630 to 1800. Religious conflict, in my understanding, comprises all kinds of conflicts in which the religious element is essential. The area of investigation in the dissertation is the northern part of the county of northern Hälsingland in northern Sweden. It is an area of particular interest in this context, since it featured a multitude of religious conflicts during early modern times. For the area and period of time under consideration here, the study of religious conflicts entails a study of three phenomena: major community conflicts in connection with outbreaks of witchcraze; major community conflicts during religious revivals; and minor conflicts, such as individual court cases involving witchcraft or blasphemy.

The purpose of the dissertation is understand the pattern of such religious conflicts in northern Hälsingland in its local context. The local perspective is central and has also made me direct my interests towards the prelude to and aftermath of the conflicts in question.

Particularly the latter has, to a large part, been neglected in earlier research. Theoretically the dissertation is inspired by the theoretical discussions of social scientist Walter Korpi. He maintains that identifying the distribution of power resources in society is essential to understanding conflict. This has proved to be a fruitful approach to the understanding of local, religious conflict in northern Hälsingland and I have been able interpret the witchcraze of the 1670s and the religious revivals in the latter part of the 18th century as the results of changes in power relations in the local community.

The major community religious conflicts of northern Hälsingland – i.e. the conflicts during the witchcraze and the religious revivals -- were serious local traumas. The dissertation

has also dealt with the aftermath of these conflicts, and the result does, among other things, emphasize the importance of honour in early modern society. Those accused during the witch trials of the 1670´s fought extensively for their right to attend communion together with the other members of their congregation -- a struggle to a large part due to the fact that taking part of the communion together with other honourable people could serve to restore their honour and reintegrate them in society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International , 2003. , 284 p.
Stockholm studies in history, ISSN 0491-0842 ; 67
Keyword [en]
revivals, witchcraft, Hälsingland, Norrland, early modern Sweden, religious conflicts, local community
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7835ISBN: 91-22-01989-8OAI: diva2:199128
Public defence
2003-01-31, F11, Södra huset, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

Sammanfattning på engelska med titeln: Religious conflicts in northern Hälsingland from 1630 to 1800

Available from: 2003-01-09 Created: 2003-01-09 Last updated: 2012-10-01Bibliographically approved

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Wallenberg Bondesson, Maria
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