Dopet som kult och kultur: Bilder av dopet i dopsamtal och föräldraintervjuer
1995 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Infant baptism as cult and culture : Images of infant baptismin baptismal conversations and interviews (English)
This study of Swedish secularisation and religiousness presents analyses of discourses related to the ritual of infant baptism. The aim of the study is to shed light upon the ambiguous image of Swedish religiousness. On the one hand, Sweden is regarded as one of the most secularised countries in the world. On the other hand, more than 90% of the inhabitants are members of the Church of Sweden, and participate in life-cycle rites such as infant baptism, weddings and funerals. Through discourse analyses of baptismal conversations and interviews with parents and priests the study shows how people verbally construct the practice of infant baptism as a meaningful and important event in their lives. These analyses shed light upon the conception of Swedish secularisation.lle analyses show that people, who by themselves and others are considered secularised, participate in and make use of a rite in the same way as people participate in and make use of corresponding rites in societies that are not considered to be secularised. Different discourse strategies employed by the priests are interpreted as being related to different theological views of the nature of Christian faith. Explicitly and implicitly expressed basic conceptions indicate an ambiguous picture of basic views in connection with baptism. These views are discussed in the light of the two aspects of the Church of Sweden as a carrier of both cult and culture, of both Christian faith and fundamental social values and practices. The positive evaluation of the Church of Sweden is connected to the cultural aspect of the Church of Sweden, and the negative evaluation to the cultic aspect. The basic accounting practices employed by priests and parishioners reflect a high value of honesty and authenticity. These norms can be related to the tension in infant baptism between the cultic and the cultural aspect. The study shows that Sweden is secularised in the sense that values such as personal responsibility, freedom and authenticity are highly valued, not only by people at large, but also by the Church of Sweden. Sweden is also secularised in the sense that Christian faith is understood, not as trust, but as personal intellectual conviction. On the other hand, the way people participate in and make use of the ritual of infant baptism show that they do this in a fundamentally religious way; that is as an act of integration, loyalty and trust. The religious discourses are secularised, but not the religious practices.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Verbum , 1995. , 311 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 132
secularisation, infant baptism, rituals, religion, religious discourse, Church of Sweden
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35072Local ID: 24806ISBN: 91-526-2337-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-35072DiVA: diva2:255920
1995-09-11, Auditoriet I, Kollegium, Mjärdevi, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)