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Civil Religion In An Age Of Changing Churches And Societies. A Look At The Nordic Situation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter represents a continuation of a lecture given at a conference for church historians and sociologists in Oslo, almost fourteen years ago, about civil religion in the Nordic countries. It summarises some of the Nordic contributions to the discussion about civil religion in the Nordic countries. The chapter adds some tentative comments on possible consequences for civil religion in these countries, especially regarding three trends: 1) the increased ambitions of the national churches in terms of self-government, 2) the changes in the state apparatus as a result of increased globalisation and increased significance of market solutions, and 3) the increased ethnic pluralisation of the Nordic populations. Robert Bellah introduced the concept of civil religion at a conference in 1966, with his content analysis of the religious dimension of the inaugural speeches of American presidents from George Washington to Lyndon B. Johnson.

Keywords: civil religion; globalisation; national churches; Nordic situation; Robert Bellah



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