Manliga och troliga. En studie av den officiella klerikala manlighetsideologin i 1500- och 1600-talets Sverige ur ett åldersperspektiv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Manly and faithful. A study of the official clerical masculinity ideology in 16th and 17th century Sweden from an age/generation perspective.

Historical masculinity studies, a subdivision of gender history, has been one of the most vivid fields of research in the early 21st century. While much empirical research has been done, especially for modern periods, the theoretical concepts are by and large underdeveloped. This is most evident when premodern historical periods are studied and one of the aims of this study is to elaborate an analytical model adapted specifically to the early modern context. The model is based on earlier research and stems from the assumption that different ideals of different gender positions in early modern society were various manifestations of similar ideas and ideals.
The model is used in a study of the official clerical masculinity ideology which the higher clergy mediated to the lower clergy in 16th and 17th century Sweden. By looking at various normative sources ideas, ideals, and counter-ideals are highlighted throughout the study. An important part of both the model and the empirical analysis is to accentuate the particularities of different age categories. The young schoolboy and the adult ordained priest are thus compared to each other.
The empirical conclusions of the study are that certain words and concepts, such as for example knowledge, diligence, and manliness were more complex ideals than previous research has assumed. The study also shows that important parts of the official clerical masculinity ideology derived from overarching gender ideas and ideals. This can be explained by the fact that, although all the clergy in early modern Swedish society were men, their religious message was directed to everyone. They had a gender-overdrawing mission, which explains why some of their ideas, ideals, and counter-ideals were not exclusively masculine.
The analytic model is used to visualize and clarify the empirical results and is evaluated as a possible contribution to the research field. However, it is concluded that future use of the model should be carried out in a larger empirical context where more positions in the early modern society might be studied and compared.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History
Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)13-39
JournalKyrkohistorisk årsskrift
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch

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