Kyrka och kön – om könskonstruktioner i Svenska kyrkan 1945-1985

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The aim of this thesis is to analyse how sex and gender have been constructed within the context of the Swedish Lutheran Church 1954-1985. The studied texts mainly consist of Christian pastoral work primarily dealing with sexuality and marriage. But the material also includes investigations within this field published by the Swedish state (SOU), and newspaper articles where marriage and sexuality are discussed from or against a Christian point of view. The question about how sex and gender is constructed have been explored by using three different analytic themes influenced by gender theory: a/ sexuality and gender, b/ Christian views on marriage and married life and c/ the relation between tradition and modernity. These themes highlight in different ways aspects of the construction of sex and gender, e.g., the relation between the individual and social structures, questions concerning private and public spheres, and different views on the person within tradition and modernity. Another important aspect concerns power, namely a discursive interpretation of power and a substantial one. Both concepts illustrate the construction of sex and gender in important ways. During the first period, 1945-1959, there is an emphasis on difference in the construction of sex and gender. By some, man and woman are viewed as two incommensurable entities. During the 1960s an indivdualist perspective is offered. This attaches great significance to feelings and to the development and maturity of the individual and the inner self. Within this perspective the category of gender becomes subordinated. In the 1970s a new perspective on theology is formulated by feminist theologians. Gender serves in a feminist theological approach as a structural critique. Gender as a category is made into a total perspective through which a gender perspective is applied to different areas in society. The question about homosexuality challenges in 1985 a traditional dichotomic construction of sex and gender in which woman and man are constructed as two polarities who are attracted to each other. A queer theoretical perspective highlights how gender - by being constructed from a heterosexual point of view - also includes a strict heterosexual understanding of sexuality. In concluding the thesis I discuss how the Swedish Lutheran Church can be understood as a value tradition in which one finds many vying moral views on sex and gender.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ethics


  • History of the Christian church, church, feminist perspectives, power, tradition, modernity, man, woman, marriage, sexuality, Sex, gender, Kristna kyrkans historia, Sociology, Sociologi
Translated title of the contributionChurch and Gender - the Construction of Sex and Gender in the Swedish Lutheran Church 1945-1985
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2001 Oct 27
  • Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion
Print ISBNs91-7139-536-9
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2001-10-27 Time: 10:15 Place: Carolinasalen, Kungshuset, Lundagård External reviewer(s) Name: Christoffersen, Svein-Aage Title: Prof. Affiliation: Department of Theology, University of Oslo --- The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)