Coordinator(s): Erika Willander (Uppsala University, Sweden)
Religion attracts much attention in ideological and political conflicts of today. To sociologist in the Nordic countries, this attention may come across as unexpected. After all, the Nordic countries are often perceived as some of the most secularized countries in the world as the old state church systems are believed to loose significance and power. Hence, this session address seek to address the tension between the significance paid to religion in society and its overlooked status in Nordic sociology. Specifically, it seek to contribute with knowledge about the majority groups that are to be found in-between clearly religious and non-religious groups. The relevance of studying the in-between groups is justified by increased religious diversity of the Nordic countries the last decades. In the aftermath of migration, the in-between religion and non-religion is not solemnly a phenomenon relating to the majority churches. Instead, groups’ in-between religious commitment and resistance include Christian as well as Muslim and Buddhist etc. groups in the Nordic countries. This is noteworthy since a mainstream approach to the religious may combine expectations of religious traditions with expectations of secular nation states in ways compatible with modern lifestyle and liberal values.
Against this background, this session invites papers that inquiry into the relevance of majority approaches to the religious in the Nordic countries. This include both majority groups (e.g., members of the majority churches in the Nordic countries) and minority groups (e.g., religious communities and secular groups). It invites papers that examine the theoretical as well as the empirical relevance of passive or ambiguous religious identity construction. It also invites papers that examine the experience of migration to the Nordic countries from the perspective of practicing religion and the Nordic regulations of religious pluralism.