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“Den katolska faran” : Antikatolicismen och den svenska nationella identiteten i ett nordiskt perspektiv

Werner, Yvonne Maria LU (2015) In Scandia 81(1).
Abstract
In Sweden, as in other Protestant countries, the gradual dismantling of the legislation on com-pulsory religious adherence saw the politicization of religious issues. In this situation, the imagery of the old enemy took on new functions. This was very much the case with the notion of the ‘Catholic danger’, which time and again surfaced in the Swedish media and in parlia-mentary debate. In the 1860s and 1870s, Sweden’s harsh religious legislation was liberalized. The Dissenter Act of 1860 legalized conversions to other Christian denominations, but it put in place many obstacles to leaving the Established Church, and many of the legal restrictions were obviously anti-Catholic in intent. Anti-Catholic sentiment was also expressed in... (More)
In Sweden, as in other Protestant countries, the gradual dismantling of the legislation on com-pulsory religious adherence saw the politicization of religious issues. In this situation, the imagery of the old enemy took on new functions. This was very much the case with the notion of the ‘Catholic danger’, which time and again surfaced in the Swedish media and in parlia-mentary debate. In the 1860s and 1870s, Sweden’s harsh religious legislation was liberalized. The Dissenter Act of 1860 legalized conversions to other Christian denominations, but it put in place many obstacles to leaving the Established Church, and many of the legal restrictions were obviously anti-Catholic in intent. Anti-Catholic sentiment was also expressed in con-junction with the legislative proposals and parliamentary debates on the question of religious freedom that preceded the Act concerning Freedom of Religion of 1951. The fact that full re-ligious freedom was introduced so late stemmed largely from fears that the Catholic Church would grow strong under the protection of a more liberal religious legislation. The article addresses anti-Catholic rhetoric in Sweden from the mid nineteenth century to the early 1960s, with a focus on the debates in the media and in parliament. It is shown that there was a shift in the perception of the ‘Catholic danger’. At the beginning of the period, anti-Catholicism was prompted by a desire to shield Protestant religious unity; later the objective became progressively more secular. Even if the Lutheran heritage still played an important role for Swedish cultural identity, common values were no longer motivated by religion, but purely by politics and ideology. Today it is Islam that is portrayed as a threat to the Nordic community of values, and the current anti-Islamic rhetoric is closely allied to that used until the 1960s against Catholicism. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Under 1800-talet tilltog de antikatolska stämningarna i Europa. Antikatolicismen hämtade sin näring från katolska kyrkans fördömande av såväl protestantismen som den moderna utvecklingen i riktning mot ett sekulärt samhälle. I flera länder utmynnade dessa motsättningar i veritabla sammandrabbningar mellan katolska kyrkan och den av liberala krafter dominerande statsmakten. Man talade om ”kulturkamp”, och från statsmaktens sida tillgreps diskriminerande lagstiftning, expropriering och landsförvisning av medlemmar av katolska ordnar och kongregationer.

I Sverige förekom inga ideologiska sammandrabbningar av detta slag. Fram till 1860 års dissenterlag var det olagligt för svenska medborgare att tillhöra någon annan kyrka än den... (More)
Under 1800-talet tilltog de antikatolska stämningarna i Europa. Antikatolicismen hämtade sin näring från katolska kyrkans fördömande av såväl protestantismen som den moderna utvecklingen i riktning mot ett sekulärt samhälle. I flera länder utmynnade dessa motsättningar i veritabla sammandrabbningar mellan katolska kyrkan och den av liberala krafter dominerande statsmakten. Man talade om ”kulturkamp”, och från statsmaktens sida tillgreps diskriminerande lagstiftning, expropriering och landsförvisning av medlemmar av katolska ordnar och kongregationer.

I Sverige förekom inga ideologiska sammandrabbningar av detta slag. Fram till 1860 års dissenterlag var det olagligt för svenska medborgare att tillhöra någon annan kyrka än den evangelisk-lutherska svenska kyrkan. Landets katolska minoritet representerade därför länge en numerärt obetydlig utlänningskyrka, och till skillnad från andra protestantiska länder som Storbritannien, Holland och även Danmark förblev antalet katolska konvertiter få. Detta har ofta förklarats med att den svenska nationella traditionen var så intimt förknippad med lutherdomen och dess kamp mot ”papismen”. Denna koppling mellan lutherdom och svensk nationell identitet levde kvar långt efter det att religionen för de flesta svenskar upphört att vara ett normativt riktmärke i tillvaron.

Hur såg den antikatolska retoriken ut? I vad mån knöt den an till till inhemska lutherskt konfessionella traditioner? Och hur förändrades den antikatolska retoriken över tid? Detta är temat för denna artikel. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
anti-Catholicism, Lutheran heritage, religious legislation, national culture, identity, Scandinavia, Antikatolicism, svenskhet, nationell identitet, protestantism, "katolska faran", antijesuitism
in
Scandia
volume
81
issue
1
publisher
Stiftelsen Scandia
external identifiers
  • wos:000356988800003
  • scopus:84948703506
ISSN
0036-5483
project
‘The Catholic danger’. Anti-Catholicism and the formation of a Nordic national identity 1815-1965
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
a5f4e589-4d25-4e6d-8808-d1e79ba1aac9 (old id 4895484)
alternative location
http://www.tidskriftenscandia.se/sites/default/files/banner/scandia20151_Werner.pdf
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 12:51:17
date last changed
2019-03-09 18:59:55
@article{a5f4e589-4d25-4e6d-8808-d1e79ba1aac9,
  abstract     = {In Sweden, as in other Protestant countries, the gradual dismantling of the legislation on com-pulsory religious adherence saw the politicization of religious issues. In this situation, the imagery of the old enemy took on new functions. This was very much the case with the notion of the ‘Catholic danger’, which time and again surfaced in the Swedish media and in parlia-mentary debate. In the 1860s and 1870s, Sweden’s harsh religious legislation was liberalized. The Dissenter Act of 1860 legalized conversions to other Christian denominations, but it put in place many obstacles to leaving the Established Church, and many of the legal restrictions were obviously anti-Catholic in intent. Anti-Catholic sentiment was also expressed in con-junction with the legislative proposals and parliamentary debates on the question of religious freedom that preceded the Act concerning Freedom of Religion of 1951. The fact that full re-ligious freedom was introduced so late stemmed largely from fears that the Catholic Church would grow strong under the protection of a more liberal religious legislation. The article addresses anti-Catholic rhetoric in Sweden from the mid nineteenth century to the early 1960s, with a focus on the debates in the media and in parliament. It is shown that there was a shift in the perception of the ‘Catholic danger’. At the beginning of the period, anti-Catholicism was prompted by a desire to shield Protestant religious unity; later the objective became progressively more secular. Even if the Lutheran heritage still played an important role for Swedish cultural identity, common values were no longer motivated by religion, but purely by politics and ideology. Today it is Islam that is portrayed as a threat to the Nordic community of values, and the current anti-Islamic rhetoric is closely allied to that used until the 1960s against Catholicism.},
  author       = {Werner, Yvonne Maria},
  issn         = {0036-5483},
  language     = {swe},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Stiftelsen Scandia},
  series       = {Scandia},
  title        = {“Den katolska faran” : Antikatolicismen och den svenska nationella identiteten i ett nordiskt perspektiv},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/3016246/5469618.pdf},
  volume       = {81},
  year         = {2015},
}