1. bookVolume 13 (2015): Issue 2 (October 2015)
    Issue title: The Long History of Lutheranism in Scandinavia. Contemporary Voices in Finnish Historical Research. Issue Editor: Pirjo Markkola
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Journal
eISSN
2284-7308
First Published
20 Sep 2012
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3 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The Long History of Lutheranism in Scandinavia. From State Religion to the People’s Church

Published Online: 15 Oct 2015
Volume & Issue: Volume 13 (2015) - Issue 2 (October 2015) - Issue title: The Long History of Lutheranism in Scandinavia. Contemporary Voices in Finnish Historical Research. Issue Editor: Pirjo Markkola
Page range: 3 - 15
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2284-7308
First Published
20 Sep 2012
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

As the main religion of Finland, but also of entire Scandinavia, Lutheranism has a centuries-long history. Until 1809 Finland formed the eastern part of the Swedish Kingdom, from 1809 to 1917 it was a Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire, and in 1917 Finland gained independence. In the 1520s the Lutheran Reformation reached the Swedish realm and gradually Lutheranism was made the state religion in Sweden. In the 19th century the Emperor in Russia recognized the official Lutheran confession and the status of the Lutheran Church as a state church in Finland. In the 20th century Lutheran church leaders preferred to use the concept people’s church. The Lutheran Church is still the majority church. In the beginning of 2015, some 74 percent of all Finns were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. In this issue of Perichoresis, Finnish historians interested in the role of church and Christian faith in society look at the religious history of Finland and Scandinavia. The articles are mainly organized in chronological order, starting from the early modern period and covering several centuries until the late 20th century and the building of the welfare state in Finland. This introductory article gives a brief overview of state-church relations in Finland and presents the overall theme of this issue focusing on Finnish Lutheranism. Our studies suggest that 16th and early 17th century Finland may not have been quite so devoutly Lutheran as is commonly claimed, and that late 20th century Finland may have been more Lutheran than is commonly realized.

Keywords

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