"Det var en plågsam stund, en stund af indre smärta" : En psykobiografi över Lina Sandells sorgebearbetning mellan åren 1858-1861

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (monografi)


Bereavement and sorrow are complex phenomena and processes of the
human psyche. Central to this doctoral thesis is Lina Sandell (1832–1903,one of Sweden’s most productive and prominent authors of evangelicalism during the 19th century. Her hymn texts ”Day by day” and ”Children of the Heavenly Father” are well known outside Scandinavia. The main purpose of this psychobiographical study was to investigate the coping process following the death of Sandell’s beloved father, Jonas Sandell, who fell over-board and drowned before her eyes, in the year 1858. The aim was to increase comprehension of the interaction between religious conceptions,
evangelical culture and the psychological processes contributing to
the state of deep bereavement by: 1. exploring the most important objects in the religious significance system by Sandell, before the death of her father and during two periods following his death. 2. Describing and interpreting the different strategies of coping that Sandell used after her father’s death by analysing personal journals and letters through application of the theory:
The flow of coping (Pargament, 1997), the instrument RCOPE (the scale
of positive and negative patterns of religious coping methods) (Pargament, Koenig & Perez, 2000), with special focus upon her search for meaning, her experience of control and her self-concept. The theory of Crisis (Cullberg, 2006) was used to specify Sandell’s periods of reaction. 3. Describing and interpreting both the ordinary and the religious mechanism of attachment in behaviours, emotions, thoughts and desires and how these affected Sandell’s
coping process. The analysis shows essentially four factors: Directly after the death of her father, Sandell was quite self-confident with the purpose of the loss. She developed a bereavement theology where Jesus is the actor to the death of her father. Jesus will also be the comforter in the grief and the love to Jesus
will replace her love to the father. The love to Jesus will be distinguished by joy, peace and spiritual satisfaction. But unfortunately ”appropriate” feelings will not appear to Sandell. There are also signs of, what could be called a forced grief. Bowlby (1980/1998) discusses the disordered variants of mourning. Chronic mourning and prolonged absence of conscious grieving does not correspond to Sandell’s immediate and religious expectations of
joy, gratitude and affective serenity, which accelerates her feelings of failure and shortcoming. Sandell was highly dissatisfied and she felt ashamed over
her bursting spiritual ability. The many feelings of shame in the diary and letters of Sandell may be explained and understood in many ways. Sandell also uses several negative coping strategies, which counteract positive selfconfidence. Thoughts about the punishment of God, the acting of the devil and the one’s insufficiency and sinfulness leads to radical feelings of shame and submissive and passive control in the coping process. Despite Sandells ambition to conserve the objects of significance, there is an offset in their
meaning and mutual relationships. The object, Jesus, divine trials, brethren in Christ, eschatological motifs, religious infidelity and the love of God have different relations depending of the bereavement process and also different meanings during the coping process. One may observe how Sandell alters the ideas of eschatology that before the loss was motivated by the longing for the union with Jesus, but after the loss is more motivated by longings after, and
reunion with her lost family members. The conclusions are that for Sandell the evangelical piety seems to contain many ‘attachment triggers’, where God is condemning, punishing and absent. Just occasionally, Sandell seems to experience affect regulation and
feelings of security and comfort in her coping. The relationship is very close to an ambivalent, insecure attachment.


  • Sofie Walter
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Filosofi, etik och religion


Tilldelande institution
Handledare/Biträdande handledare
  • Antoon Geels, handledare
Tilldelningsdatum2013 mar 22
  • Artos & Norma
Tryckta ISBN978-91-7580-625-9
StatusPublished - 2013