Tales about treacherous Jesuits and scheming popes have historically formed an important part of Scandinavian culture. But whereas topics such as anti-Semitism in recent years have seen increased attention from scholars, the Scandinavian history of anti-Catholicism still stands out as a neglected field of study.
The main purpose of the project is to investigate the significance of anti-Catholicism in the construction of Scandinavian identity, which expressions it took and how it changed over time. Crucial here is the relationship between the existence of a common body of European ideas and developments specific to the Nordic countries. The project hypothesises that anti-Catholicism played an important part in the conceptions of Scandinavian national identity that developed during the nineteenth century, and that Catholicism came to serve as a counter-image to the notion of ‘national’ values articulated in the same period.