Dödsstraffet, kyrkan och staten i Sverige från 1700-tal till 1900-tal

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (monografi)


This is a study of change in ecclesiastical praxis and theological Irgument concerning the death penalty and the condemned in Sweden, seen in an international perspective and as a part of general change in the society. The execution gave an example of both crime and revenge and of repentance and the possibility of a pious death. This examl)le through secularisation came under attack from two sides. Enlightened thinkers and modern critics of capital punishment rejected execution as not serving any purpose. From a moralising conception of Christianity with its roots in enlightenment, it was questioned whether the criminal could possibly be converted in such short periods of time allowed. The converted sinner was no longer an ideal. Gradually the condemned as a concrete person becomes a problem. Therefore he is dehumanised - seen not as a person, but as a symbol. The decline of the example can be described as three phases. In the first the dying of the condemned acts as an example, while in the next phase his visible death is the example. In the modern execution-culture, death poses a problem, the abstract death is the example. In part one debate, legislation and the application of law is considered. In the period up to 1809 a central question was if it was possible to disregard what was understood as God's com- mand: that a murderer shall die. Gradually debate and praxis changed, and from the 1860's abolishment was a serious possibility and executions were few. Every execution emphasised the question as to what had hindered a pardon in this particular case and also if execution was justified. Part two considers ecclesiastical action. The widespred critique of the priest's role especially at the site of execution, is described. The priest's position with obligations towards the state, the church and the condemned also was an origin of conflicts. One problematic situation was when a higher court (normally the Crown) was to decide what to do with a condemned in a state of "obvious spiritual anguish". Lastly the church's actions around the condemned and at the site of execution is studied.


  • Martin Bergman
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Religionsvetenskap


Tilldelande institution
Handledare/Biträdande handledare
  • [unknown], [unknown], handledare, Extern person
Tilldelningsdatum1996 maj 28
  • Nerenius & Santérus
Tryckta ISBN91-85190- 53-5
StatusPublished - 1996