Heritage Churches as Post-Christian Sacred Spaces: Reflections on the Significance of Government Protection of Ecclesiastical Heritage in Swedish National and Secular Self-Identity

Authors

  • Tobias Harding Høgskolen i Sørøst-Norge

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3384/cu.2000.1525.20190627

Keywords:

sacred and profane, sacred places, heritagization, secularization, post-Christian, post-Lutheran, religious heritage, heritage policy, Sweden

Abstract

Sweden is often described as a country where secularization has come comparatively far. At the same time, state and church have remained relatively close, especially before the enactment of the decisions of increased separation of church and state in 2000. Sweden is also a country where the built heritage of the established church enjoys a strong legal protection. When relations between the state and the established church were reformed in 2000, this protection was left in place. This article offers an analysis of the significance ascribed to ecclesiastical heritage in the form of Church of Sweden heritage churches in government policy, focusing on the process leading up to the separation of church and state in year 2000. Using Mircea Eliade’s understanding of the sacred and the profane as a starting point for my analysis, I contextualize the significance of heritage churches is in the wider context of a post-Christian, and more specifically post-Lutheran, secularized society. I suggest that the ongoing heritagization of Church of Sweden’s church buildings could be seen as a process where they are decontextualized from the denominationally-specific religiosity of the Church of Sweden, but rather than being re-contextualized only as secular heritage, they could be more clearly understood as becoming the sacred places, and objects, of a post-Lutheran civil religion and generalized religiosity, i.e. not simply a disenchantment, but also a re-enchantment. This could be understood as a continuation of traditions of approaching memory, and the sacred, developed in a society characterized by the near hegemony of the established church in the religious sphere, but also in partially counter-clerical movements, such as the Romantic movement.

Author Biography

Tobias Harding, Høgskolen i Sørøst-Norge

Tobias Harding is Professor of Cultural Policy and Cultural Organization at the University College of Southeast Norway, Associate Professor (docent) in Cultural Policy at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), and holds a Ph.D. in Culture Studies from Linköping University.

References

Assmann, Aleida (2011): Cultural Memory and Western Civilization: Functions, Media, Archives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bennett, Tony (1995): The birth of the museum: History, theory, politics. London: Routledge.

Berggren, Henrik & Trägårdh, Lars (2015): Är svensken människa? Gemenskap och oberoende i det moderna Sverige. 2nd ed. Stockholm: Norstedts.

Billig, Michael (1995): Banal Nationalism. London: Sage.

Blückert, Kjell (2000): The Church as Nation: A Study in Ecclesiology and Nationhood. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Bromander, Jonas (2013): ”Religiositet i Sverige”, Lenart Weibull, Henrik Oscarsson & Annika Bergström (eds.) Vägskäl. Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, SOM-institutet, 291-301.

Burén, Ann af (2015): Living Simultaneity: On religion among semi-secular Swedes. Huddinge. Södertörns Högskola.

Casanova, José (1994): Public religions in the modern world. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226190204.001.0001

Casanova, José (2014): “Two dimensions, temporal and spatial, of the secular: comparative reflections on the Northern Protestant and Southern Catholic perspectives from a global perspective”, Rosemarie van den Breemer, José Casanova & Trygve Wyller (eds.) Secular and sacred? The Scandinavian case of religion in human rights, law and public space, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 21-33. https://doi.org/10.13109/9783666604492

Claesson, Urban (2004): Folkhemmets kyrka. Harald Hallén och folkkyrkans genombrott, En studie av socialdemokrati, kyrka och nationsbygge med särskild hänsyn till perioden 1905–1933. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

Den svenska psalmboken (1937): Uppsala: Svenska kyrkan.

Duncan, Carol (1995): Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums. London: Routledge.

Eckerdal, Jan (1988): “’Fädernas kyrka’ och Guds: Kyrkosyner i Svenska kyrkans psalmböcker”, Svensk teologisk kvartalsskrift, 1988:64, 112-129.

Ekström, Sören (2003): Makten över kyrkan, om Svenska kyrkan, folket och staten. Stockholm: Verbum.

Eliade, Mircea (1961): The Sacred and the Profane. The Nature of Religion. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.

Engberg, Arthur (1945): ”Den har tro för vilken mycket är heligt”, Arthur Engberg. Tal och skrifter III. Stockholm: Tiden, 287-294.

Government of Sweden (1974): Proposition 1974:28. Om kulturpolitik. Stockholm: Riksdagen.

Government of Sweden (1988): Proposition 1987/88:104. Om kulturmiljövård. Stockholm: Riksdagen.

Government of Sweden (1995): Proposition 1995/96:80. Ändrade relationer mellan staten och Svenska kyrkan. Stockholm: Riksdagen.

Government of Sweden (1996): Proposition 1996/97:3. Kulturpolitik. Stockholm: Riksdagen.

Government of Sweden (1998): Proposition 1998/99:38. Staten och trossamfunden: begravningsverksamheten, kulturminnena, personalen, avgiftsbetalningen, m.m. Stockholm: Riksdagen.

Government of Sweden (2017): 2016/17:116. Kulturarvspolitik. Stockholm: Riksdagen.

Harding, Tobias (2007): Nationalising Culture: The Reorganization of Swedish Cultural Policy 1970-2002. Linköping: Linköping University.

Harding, Tobias (2013): “Faith-Based Organizations and the Secular State: The Establishment of a Muslim Study Association in Sweden”, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 33:3, 341-355. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602004.2013.863077

Harding, Tobias (2015): “Bildning as a Central Concept in the Cultural Policy of the Swedish Government – From Arthur Engberg to Alice Bah Kuhnke” in Nordic Journal of Cultural Policy, 2015:2.

Harding, Tobias (2016a): “From State Church to Third Sector Organization? The Separation of Church and State in Sweden”, International Society for Third-Sector Research Working Paper Series X, Baltimore, MD: ISTR.

Harding, Tobias (2016b): “The Dawn of the Secular State: Heritage and Identity in Swedish Church and State Debates 1920–1939”. International Journal of Cultural Policy. 22:4, 631-647. https://doi.org/10.1080/10286632.2015.1017474

Harding, Tobias (2018): “Preserving Churches for Future Generations: Central Values in Swedish Policies on Church Heritage”, Nordic Journal of Cultural Policy,1:21, 5–24.

Heidenstam, Verner von (1915): Nya dikter. Stockholm: Bonniers.

Hillström, Magdalena (1917): ”Staten, kyrkan och ansvaret för kyrkobyggnaderna”, Magdalena Hillström, Eva Löfgren & Ola Wetterberg (eds.) Alla dessa kyrkor: Kulturvård, religion och politik. Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet.

Hillström, Magdalena, Löfgren, Eva & Wetterberg, Ola (eds.) (2017): Alla dessa kyrkor: Kulturvård, religion och politik. Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet.

Hyltén-Cavallius, Charlotte & Svanberg, Fredrik (2016): Älskade museum: Svenska kulturhistoriska museer som kulturproducenter och samhällsbyggare. Stockholm: Nordic Academic Press.

Josephson-Storm, Jason A. (2017): The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226403533.001.0001

Koselleck, Reinhart (2004): Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time. New York: Colombia University Press.

Lagergren, Fredrika (1999): På andra sidan välfärdsstaten, En studie i politiska idéers betydelse, Eslöv: Brutus Östlings bokförlag, Symposion.

Ministry of Culture (1995): Kulturpolitikens inriktning. SOU 1995:84. Stockholm: Fritzes.

Ministry of Ecclesiastic Affairs (1922): Betänkande med förslag till lag angående kulturminnesvård samt organisation av kulturminnesvården. SOU 1922:11–12. Stockholm: Centraltryckeriet

Ministry of Education (1972): Samhälle och trossamfund. SOU 1972:36. Stockholm: Beckmans tryckerier.

Ministry of Justice (1956): Byggnadsminnen. SOU 1956:26. Stockholm: Victor Pettersons bokindustri.

Ministry of Public Administration (1994): Staten och trossamfunden. SOU 1994:42. Stockholm: Fritzes.

Moberg, Jessica (2013): Piety, Intimacy and Mobility: A Case Study of Charismatic Christianity in Present Day Stockholm. Huddinge: Södertörns Högskola.

Nora, Pierre (1998): “The Era of Commemoration”, Pierre Nora (ed.) The Construction of the French Past: Realms of Memory. Volyme III: Symbols. New York: Colombia University Press, 609–637.

Nyblom, Andreas (2008): Ryktbarhetens ansikte: Verner von Heidenstam, medierna och personkulten i sekelskiftet Sverige. Stockholm: Atlantis.

Paine, Crispin (2013): Religious Objects in Museums: Private Lives and Public Duties. London: Bloomsbury.

Persson, Göran (2008): Min väg, mina val. Stockholm: Bonniers.

SFS (Svensk författningssamling) 1920:744. Kunglig Maj:ts kungörelse med föreskrifter om det offentliga byggnadsväsendet. Stockholm: Riksdagen.

SFS (Svensk författningssamling) 1988:950. Kulturmiljölag. Stockholm: Riksdagen.

Smith, Laurajane & Akagawa, Natsuko (2009): Intangible Heritage. New York: Routledge.

Sullivan, Bruce M. (ed.) (2015): Sacred Objects in Secular Spaces: Exhibiting Asian Religions in Museums. London: Bloomsbury.

Sundback, Susan (2007): “Membership in Nordic ’National’ Churches as a ‘Civil Religious’ Phenomenon”, Implicit Religion, 10:3, 262-280. https://doi.org/10.1558/imre2007.v10i3.262

Sundeen, Johan (2008): Andelivets agitator: J.A. Eklund, kristendomen och kulturen. Lund: Minerva och Högskolan i Borås.

Svenska kyrkan (2019): ”Svenska kyrkans medlemsutveckling år 1972–2017”, document downloaded from the Church of Sweden website, www.svenskakyrkan.se (accessed 02/05/19).

Taylor, Charles (2007): A Secular Age. Harvard: Harvard University Press.

Tergel, Alf (1974): Från konfrontation till institution. Ungkyrkorörelsen 1912–1917. Stockholm: Verbum.

Thurfjäll, David (2015): Det gudlösa folket. De postkristna svenskarna och religionen. Stockholm: Molin & Sorgenfrei.

UNESCO (2003): Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Wangefelt Ström, Helena (2006): ”Kulturarv: Ikon för en sekulariserad tid”, Kulturella perspektiv – Svensk etnologisk tidskrift, 15:3, 67-76.

Wangefelt Ström, Helena (2011): ”Heligt, hotfullt, historiskt: Kulturarvifieringen av det katolska i 1600-talets Sverige”, Lychnos, 2011:29-53.

Weber, Max (1993): The Sociology of Religion. Boston: Beacon Press

Wetterberg, Ola (1992): Monument och miljö: Perspektiv på det tidiga 1900-talets byggnadsvård i Sverige. Göteborg: CTH.

Wetterberg, Ola (2011): “Conservation and the Professions: The Swedish Context 1880-1920”, Melanie Hall (ed.) Towards World Heritage: International Origins of the Preservation Movement 1870-1930. Surrey: Ashgate, 201–220.

Downloads

Published

2019-06-27

Issue

Section

Independent Articles