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"En liten dusch för själen": Heterogen andlighet bland Svenska kyrkans medlemmar
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Sociology of Religions.
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The thesis explores relations between members of the Church of Sweden and heterogeneous spirituality. More specifically heterogeneous spirituality is studied within the Church, a terrain understudied. The purpose statement, method and material are all bifurcated, following a mixed methods design. Prevalence and contents of heterogeneous spirituality are examined through statistical secondary analysis and semi-structured interviews. Common variables and questions are studied quantitatively and qualitatively. The examination is preceded by an underlying operationalization in which categories are determined as indicators of religion or spirituality, understood as ideal types corresponding to Paul Heelas' and Linda Woodhead's concepts life-as religion and subjective-life spirituality. The operational definitions enable a simultaneous exploration of three disparate theoretical perspectives. Two are associated with Heelas and Woodhead, namely the process of subjectivization and the spiritual revolution claim. The third is derived from Grace Davies works on believing and belonging, which predict growing heterogeneity in the religious landscape. The quantitative material consists of the extensive Enköpingsstudien and Medlem 2004. The secondary analysis' main contribution is tests of significance of variables previously overlooked, as well as a study of variables in detail previously explored as items within larger groups. The qualitative materials consist of semi-structured interviews with participants in spiritual networks within the Church of Sweden, exclusively recruited in the Diocese of Stockholm. The follow-up of identical questions quantitatively and qualitatively enables a dialogue between etic and emic perspectives. The interviews shed light over how etic indicators in fact can be interpreted by respondents in a given context. A premise for the spiritual revolution claim is conflict between religion and spirituality, manifest in the heartlands of the congregational domain and the holistic milieu. Expected consequences are negative association between variables characterizing life-as and subjective-life quantitatively, expressions of conflict or incompatibility qualitatively. Results supporting the claim were at large absent. Better fares Davies prediction of increasing heterogeneity, characterized by positive association as well as expressions of compatibility. Lastly, the informants' statements were permeated by signs of subjectivization. One conclusion is that Heelas' and Woodhead's implementation of life-as religion and subjective-life spirituality as distinct and rival milieus is unwarranted. Subjectivization seems to, contrary to Heelas and Woodhead, influence the congregational domain to a large extent.  This compromise use of the dichotomy religion and spirituality as largely distinct and differentiated phenomena. The overall tendency in the material is co-existence rather than conflict. Referring to Davie's phrase Believing without Belonging, I argue that Belonging and Believing Something Else better captures the members relationship to belief, belonging and heterogeneous spirituality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
religion, spirituality, life-as, subjective-life, the holistic milieu, the congregational domain, church of sweden
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-305740OAI: diva2:1039061
Subject / course
History of Religion and Social Sciences of Religion
Educational program
Master Programme in Theology and Religious Studies
2016-10-05, Eng 4-2007, Thunbergsvägen 3 D, Uppsala, 10:09 (Swedish)
Available from: 2016-10-24 Created: 2016-10-21 Last updated: 2016-10-24Bibliographically approved

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