Sydsvenska baptister inför myndigheter. Tillämpning av religionsbestämmelser i Lunds och Växjö stift 1857-1862.

Owe Samuelsson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


During the 1850's, Baptism appeared as the first real free church movement in Sweden. It distanced itself completely from normal church life and therefore came into conflict with society's religious rules. Ecclesiastical and temporal authorities regarded Baptism as erroneous and social disruptive. In the present treatise, their actions against the Baptists in the southern parts of the country becomes the subject of study. The aim of the study is to try to illuminate the breach between the Swedish Church and Baptism, based on the application by the authorities of the religious regulations in the dioceses of Lund and Växjö 1857-1862.

In the spring of 1857, the swift radicalisation among parts of southern Swedish new-evangelism led to a Baptist break-through. Five years later, in 1862, the number of Baptists in the area subject to study amounted to about 1 000. The diocesan chapters of Lund and Växjö, as well as temporal authorities in the province of Kristianstad and Sunnerbo, tried, on the basis of laws and regulations in force, to counteract the new movement, but with little success. The Baptists regarded as measures taken against them, also those of a plurely spiritiual nature, as improper coercion and a proof of "persecution".

The highest State leadership considered all the old regulations regarding erroneous doctrine and apostasy to be incompitable with the steadily growing demands for religious freedom. As regards the dioceses of Lund and Växjö, two decisions of the supreme court and the King in Council in November 1862 came to mark the final point in the attempt of the authorities to take legal action against violations of the Sacrament Statute and refusal to baptise children. A strict application of the religious regulations had been shown to be an impassable way of dealing with people of another conviction. Everybody was forced to acknowledge, with satisfication or with regret, that the religious and social development had led to an inescapable fact: The dissolution of the unified Church.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Centre for Theology and Religious Studies
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1998 May 15
ISBN (Print)91-7966-518-7
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 1998-05-15
Time: 10:15
Place: Atén, Akademiska Föreningen

External reviewer(s)

Name: Åberg, Göran
Title: Docent
Affiliation: Bankeryd


The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Church History (015017061)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Religious Studies

Free keywords

  • colporteurs
  • diocesan chapter
  • rural deans
  • diocese of Lund
  • diocese of Växjö
  • infant baptism refusal
  • sacramental crime
  • local courts
  • province of Kristianstad
  • History of the Christian church
  • Baptists
  • Sunnnerbo.
  • religious regulations
  • Kristna kyrkans historia

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