Religion och intersektionalitet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Religion and intersectionality

Categories frequently discussed in terms of intersectionality are gender, class, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. This paper argues that religion often is a relevant dimension in intersectional analyses. Religion may not be inevitable as the other dimensions, but in large parts of the world it is nevertheless an unavoidable social element and even in the secularized West growing fundamentalist groups increase the impact of religion on society. Not only religious people, but also non-religious suffer direct political and social consequences of religious groups exercising their power, as well as being influenced more indirectly through socialisation where religion is part of a larger cultural value system.

Since religion is contextually inevitable, intersectional analyses would often benefit from including a religious dimension, and for this adequate analytical tools need to be developed. Viewing the religious dimension solely as formal religious affiliation, or as providing back-up ideologies to support power structures within other dimensions, will, however, not capture the intricate religion-internal structures, or the pervasive influence of religion in societies.

The concept of religious proximity is therefore introduced as an analytical tool which, it is suggested, will facilitate a more complex analysis of situations where a religious dimension interacts with the other dimensions. The closer to God, the religious centre, the divine will, or the like, a person is, the more power and authority he or she has, formal or informal. The paper thus proposes that we speak of degrees of religious proximity – as we speak of different classes or ethnic groups – and shows by means of three examples how situations can be given an intersectional analysis including an irreducible religious dimension. Focus in the examples is on the intersection of gender and religious proximity and it is shown how these partly mutually constitute each other.

(The article is written in Swedish)


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies


  • religious proximity, gender, power, intersektionalitet, religion, intersectionality
Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)69-80
JournalKvinnovetenskaplig tidskrift
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

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)