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Religionsfriheten i Sverige 1809 – 1951: Från samvetsfri kristen tro till fritt val av religiös tillhörighet i svensk lagstiftning
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Religious liberty in Sweden 1809 – 1951 : From Christian faith free of conscience to free choice of religious affiliation in Swedish law (English)
Abstract [en]

In 1809 the citizens of Sweden where given the freedom to practice their Christian faith through the Swedish constitution of 1809, 16 §. This proclaimed that there should be religious freedom in Sweden, albeit restricted to Evangelical-Lutheran faith. Although after the law regarding dissenters was passed in 1860 by choosing another church than the Evangelical-Lutheran church you lost some civic rights, for example you could not become a public official. The freedom to choose religious affiliation was given through the Law of Religious Freedom in 1951. The purpose of this study is to evaluate in what way the concept of religious freedom has developed in Swedish law between 1809 and 1951.

In the background I treat two historical events and one era, with focus upon religious freedom, which have in my opinion influenced the view of religious freedom in Sweden during the chosen period of 1809–1951. These are the Constitution of the United States, the Enlightenment Era in Sweden and also the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights as given by the United Nations.

In the section about the Constitution of the United States a description of its religious freedom and how it is interpreted is given. This is done since, according to my understanding, the Constitution had great impact on an international level and therefore probably influenced Swedish law during the 19th century.

The section about the Enlightenment Era in Sweden gives a description of the influence upon Swedish religion from enlightenment philosophy, which can be summarized in the efforts of king Gustav III to achieve religious freedom and also the increased influence of the so called “religious enlightenment movement” (a term used by Carl Arvid Hessler) in Swedish politics and legislation.

I have included the UN:s Universal Declaration of the Human Rights because I assume it has influenced the Law of Religious Freedom 1951. Since Sweden was one of the nations which signed the declaration it was necessary to reflect this in Swedish law.

The survey treats the development of religious freedom in Swedish law through the six subjects which conforms to each of the headings. The Law of Burial 1894 is included to exemplify religious freedom in a specific matter.

This study traces the development of the concept of religious freedom in Swedish law, which can be concluded in three expressions: Freedom of having an Evangelical-Lutheran faith which not contradicts the conscience of the individual; Freedom of choice of Christian affiliation among those approved by the state; and also Freedom of decision of which religion to be a member of, if any.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 49 p.
Keyword [sv]
Religionsfrihet, 16 § Regeringsformen 1809, Konventikelplakatets upphävande, Dissenterlagarna, Religionsfrihetslagen 1951
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-92831ISRN: LIU-IKK/REL-G-13/004--SEOAI: diva2:622981
Subject / course
Religious Studies
Available from: 2013-05-24 Created: 2013-05-23 Last updated: 2013-05-24Bibliographically approved

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Hellberg, Fredrik
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