Catholic Mission and Conversion in Scandinavia: Some Reflections on Religion, Modernization, and Identity Construction

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Abstract

The relation between mission, religious conversion and identity construction is the subject of my paper. On a concrete level, I discuss the Catholic mission and conversions in Scandinavia from the middle of nineteenth century to the present time. Up to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the Catholic Church strongly emphasised its claim to be the only true Church, and as a consequence, all non-Catholic regions were regarded as missionary areas. Most of the priests and sisters working in Scandinavia were foreigners, whereas converts from Protestantism dominated the parishes. I pay special attention to the question of national and religious identity and the changing discourses of Catholic conversion, reflected in conversion narratives.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History

Keywords

  • identity constructions, Scandinavia, Catholic mission, conversion narratives
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of History
Volume1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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