Biskopen visiterar. Den kyrkliga överhetens möte med lokalsamhället 1650-1760

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The aim of this thesis is to investigate the encounter of the ecclesiastical authorities with the local community, as reflected in the church visitations. The focus is on the bishops' visitations, but there is also a brief examination of the deans' visitations, which are used for a comparison of the two types of inspections. The geographical limit of the study is the diocese of Växjö in southern Sweden. The chronological framework is the period 1650-1760. If we look at the questions dealt with at these visitations, matters concerning the church's economy predominated throughout the studied period. We can observe a transition from matters to do with order and morals to those concerning religion, instruction, the exercise of office by the clergy, and poor relief. In my thesis I argue that this development can be seen as sign of an incipient dissolution of the uniform religious culture. In the beginning of the studied period, the parishioners participated in the visitations to a considerable degree. In the course of the period, active participation by parishioners declined. This, in combination with reduced attendance, suggests that the bishops' visitations gradually became more of élite affairs in the course of the period. Despite this, the parishioners always had the opportunity to pursue their own matters at these events. This increased distance between people and élite also contributed to the dissolution of religious uniformity. When the visitations no longer included all the people, this furthered the incipient dissolution of the prevailing religious culture. However, religion was still to play a major role for the people for a long time to come.


  • Olle Larsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History


  • secularization., order, morals, religion, diocese of Växjö, interaction, religious culture, Bishops' visitations, Deans' visitations, Modern history (up to circa 1800), Tidig modern historia (till ca. 1800)
Translated title of the contributionThe bishop's visit. The encounter of church authorities with the local community, 1650-1760.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1999 Apr 10
  • Olle Larsson, Väderkvarnsbacken 97, S-35256 Växjö, Sweden,
Print ISBNs91-628-3350-2, 91-86144-15-4
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1999-04-10 Time: 10:15 Place: Historiska institutionen External reviewer(s) Name: Liljewall, Britt Title: FD Affiliation: [unknown] ---