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Sweden, Lutheranism in.

1. For beginnings of the Luth. Reformation in Swed. see Christian II; Gustavus I; Petri, Laurentius; Petri, Olaus; Stockholm Blood Bath.

The pattern of religious thought that emerged out of the Swed. Reformation gen. followed Ger. models. Writings of O. Petri contributed esp. a lasting Luth. statement of faith; L. Petri set up an episc, structure consonant with Lutheranism. By 1552 RCm was practically dead in Swed. Attempts of John III (1537–92; son of Gustavus* I; king of Swed. 1568–92) to Romanize Swed. failed, as did Counter* Reformation measures under Sigismund III (see Poland, 2). The 1593 Council of Uppsala declared the Swed. ch. Luth. (see also Lutheran Confessions, A 5), but the program of Charles* IX (succeeded by Gustavus* II) savored somewhat of J. Calvin's* theocratic spirit.

2. A remarkable unity and balance of ch. and state prevailed in the 17th c. An excellent program of educ. and discipline resulted. Strong bps. (including J. Rudbeck,* O. Svebilius,* Erik Benzelius the Elder [1632–1709; abp. Other bps. and abps. in the family include his 3 sons; Erik Benzelius the Younger (1675–1743; librarian U. of Uppsala; bp. Gothenburg and Linköping; abp.; see also 3), Jacob Benzelius (1683–1745; succeeded E. Benzelius the Younger as abp.), and Henrik Benzelius (1689–1758; prof. U. of Lund; abp.); Karl Jesper Benzelius (1714–93, son of E. Benzelius the Younger; bp. Strängnäs)], J. Swedberg,* H. Spegel*) left their mark on nat. life. The age of strong bps. and great kings (Gustavus* II; Charles* X, XI, and XII) saw centralization of ch. govt. 1686, founding of schools for clergy and laity, a hymnal, manual of worship, new Bible tr., new catechism, and a system of ch. registers. The question of orthodoxy became critical in the last half of the 17th c.; the Book of Concord became part of ch. law 1686.

3. The next period (1718–72) began with the death of Charles XII and soon saw growing manifestations of Pietism,* which gained the support of E. Benzelius the Younger (see 2), A. Rydelius,* Erik Tolstadius (1693–1759; vicar and pastor Stockholm), et al. J. K. Dippel,* Ger. Pietist, lived for a time in Sweden. Herrnhut (see Moravian Church, 3) influenced esp. cen. and S Sweden. Anticonventicle measures were taken in the 1720s (see also 5). E. Swedenborg* was a child of this era.

The next period, which introd. modern Swed., began 1772, the yr. in which Swedenborg died. Gustavus III (1746–92; b. Stockholm; king 1771–92; has been called the prince of the Enlightenment*) arrested council in a body and est. absolute govt. by means of a military coup d'état 1772. For. ideas and customs, esp. Fr., invaded the land; rationalism helped weaken orthodoxy; religious life reached low ebb reflected in a new catechism and other religious books.

4. Reaction against liberalism drew heavily on writings of A. Nohrborg.* Adherents of the protest movement esp. in N provinces were called ”readers“ because of their use of the Bible and other Christian literature. A nat. ecclesiastical council was authorized 1863, met first 1868. Lund became the cen. of ch. affairs. Outstanding figures in the 1st half of the 19th c. include Frans Mikael Franzén (Michael: 1772–1847; b. Oulu [Uleaaborg], Fin.; educ. Aabo; minister Kumla [Örebro Co., Swed.] and Stockholm, Swed.; bp. Hernösand [Härnösand] 1841; hymnist), E. G. Geijer,* H. Schartau,* E. Tegnér,* J. O. Wallin.* See also Communistic Societies, 5; Scott, George.

5. Anticonventicle measures taken in the 1720s were repealed 1858. Schism developed in the Evangeliska Fosterlands-Stiftelsen (see Rosenius, Carl Olof) 1878, when the Svenska Missionsförbundet was formed under leadership of P. P. Waldenstrom* (see also Swedish Missionary Societies, 4). Nearly one-fifth of the population emigrated in protest against religious and soc. conditions. The ch. began to take interest in current ills; Peter Jonasson Wieselgren (1800–77; b. Spaanhult, Swed.; scholar; cleric) advocated temperance reform; but with the growth of socialism and labor unions the ch. lost much of its influence on secular life.

6. In the 20th c. strong currents were set in motion in theol., missions, ch. art and music, the diaconate, and ecumenicity. Free Chs. developed. Leaders included E. M. Billing,* active in the ”young ch. movement“; Manfred Björkquist, who helped raise the Sigtuna* Foundation into prominence; N. Söderblom,* scholar in the field of comparative religion and ecumenical leader; Y. T. Brilioth*; G. E. H. Aulén*; A. T. S. Nygren.* Svensk Teologisk Kvartalskrift began 1925. Other significant works include a new Bible tr., rev. handbook, new hymnal. Interest in litugical renewal, in some respects influenced by the Angl. Ch., led to new forms of ch. architecture and of vestments and produced a book* of hours. CB

For Swed. Luth. influence in the US see Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church; entries beginning Swedes … and Swedish. …

See also Laestadius, Lars Levi; Lund, Theology of.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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