Varför blir man katolik? Katolska konversionsdiskurser i Skandinavien

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


Why do Scandinavians convert to the Catholic Church? In this article, I try to give an answer to this question. Up to the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, the Catholic Church strongly emphasised its claim to be the only true Church. As a consequence, non-Catholic countries such as the Nordic were subjected to Catholic missionary activity. In this period, a Catholic conversion was not only an expression of a personal conviction of faith but also a manifestation of a pronounced disassociation from the convert’s former religious community. In literary conversion narratives as well as in inquiries about conversion motives from the pre-conciliar period, conversion is described as a process leading to change of confession. A central point is the development of a conviction of the Catholic Church as the only true church, representing values such as truth, tradition, authority and security. The reforms initiated by Vatican II changed the discourse of conversion. In post-conciliar Scandinavian conversion narratives it is not longer the hierarchical structure of the Catholic church that is emphasised, but spiritual values such as the feeling of the presence of God, mysticism, and personal sanctification.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History


  • konversionsberättelser, Katolsk konversion och mission, konversionsmotiv
Original languageSwedish
Title of host publicationFörbistringar och förklaringar – kulturhistoriska essäer tillägnade Anders Piltz på hans sextiofemårsdag
EditorsArne Jönsson, Stephan Borgehammar
PublisherLunds universitet, Skåneförlaget
ISBN (Print)978-91-87976-29-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryPopular science

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