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Confirmation Candidates in the Church of Sweden

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This article is about confirmation preparation in the Church of Sweden from the viewpoint of the confirmation candidates. It focuses on whether or not the confirmation candidates’ expectations, experiences and beliefs support the goals of confirmation that the Church of Sweden has formulated in its general guidelines for confirmation. The results showed points of agreement (e.g. expectations to come to one’s own decision about God, having fun and experiencing community in the confirmation group) and points of departure (e.g. expectations of gifts at the end of the confirmation period). The results also showed that experiences met the confirmation candidates’ expectations (e.g. experiences of learning while having fun). In addition, the confirmation candidates’ beliefs were changed by confirmation preparation. The article ends with a discussion on how general guidelines may function as guiding principles for confirmation.

Affiliations: 1: Uppsala University


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1. Church of Sweden Riktlinjer för Svenska kyrkans konfirmandarbete. [Guidelines for the Church of Sweden’s confirmation work] 2007 Uppsala Church of Sweden
2. Glock C. Y., Stark R. Religion and Society in Tension 1965 Chicago Rand McNally Press
3. Harding S., Phillips D., Fogarty M. Contrasting Values in Western Europe. Unity, Diversity and Change. 1986 Hampshire, London The Macmillan Press Ltd.
4. Ilg W., Schweitzer F."“Researching Confirmation Work in Europe: The need for Multi-Level Analysis for Identifying Individual and Group Influences in Non-Formal Education”" Journal of Empirical Theology 2010Vol 23 159 178 [Crossref]
5. Norris P., Inglehart R. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide 2004 Cambridge Cambridge University Press [Crossref]
6. Schweitzer F., Ilg W., Simojoki H. Confirmation Work in Europe: Empirical Results, Experiences and Challenges. 2010 Tübingen Gütersloher Verlagshaus
7. Schweitzer F., Niemelä K., Schlag T., Siminjoki H. Youth, Religion and Confirmation Work in Europe: The Second International Study 2015 Tübingen Gütersloher Verlagshaus
8. Walliner B. Tradition och förnyelse i Svenska kyrkans konfirmandundervisning. Läroplansutveckling och pressdebatt 1942-1985. [Tradition and Renewal in Church of Sweden Confirmation Classes Curriculum Development and the Debate in the Press, 1942-1985] 1990 Stockholm Verbum
9. Willander E. Schweitzer F., Niemelä K., Schlag T., Siminjoki H."“Confirmation work in Sweden”" Youth, Religion and Confirmation Work in Europe: The Second International Study 2015 Tübingen Gütersloher Verlagshaus 245 253 2015
10. Willander E. What Counts as Religion in Sociology? The problem of Religiosity in Sociological methodology 2014 Uppsala Uppsala University Dissertations
11. Wanda A. Religion and Reason: Integrative Religious Education in Europe — A “Study-of-Religions” Approach 2012 Munich Walter de Gruyter
12. Voas D."“The Rise and Fall of Fuzzy Fidelity in Europe”" European Sociological Review 2009Vol 25 2 155 158 [Crossref]

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