Exponents of Christian Love

Project: Dissertation

Layman's description

During the second half of the 19th century, leading Swedish theologians and priests often had a conservative view of society. Compared with today, there was also a strict view of the role of the priest, both as a Church leader and as a man. This thesis illuminates the link between Christianity and the construction of masculinity, particularly of priests, during this period.

In the mid-19th century the Lund High Church movement was formed, a Church of Sweden group at the Faculty of Theology at Lund University. A number of the men who belonged to this circle were not only university lecturers and priests, but also parliamentary representatives, and in time they received important positions within the Church.

One of the starting points of this study is that the Lutheran ideas expressed by these men were aimed at the re-Christianisation of Swedish culture. The Christian confession was to form the foundation of society. The theologians in Lund thought of society as being like an organism, in which the individual had his or her specific place and function. The theologians also had an expressly conservative view of society and opposed reforms such as the abolition of the class society and the incipient emancipation of women. They claimed that morality in society was dependent on the protection of the family as an institution. Both men and women had specific positions and functions in the Lund High Church social structure.

In the thesis, particular attention will be given to questions of priestly ideals and the priestly home and family relationships. The priestly ideals of the time can be seen in pastoral letters, ordination speeches and funeral sermons. The thesis aims to discuss the role and function of the priest from a gender perspective and thus provide a more comprehensive picture of the 19th century ideal of priestly masculinity.
Effective start/end date2004/09/012011/12/31


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