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Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 4-21)
av Line Nyhagen

Secular and religious women have a history of fighting for women’s rights and gender equality. Yet, contemporary feminist and women’s movements in the West are largely understood as secular and as rejecting religion, and religion is often perceived as the antithesis of empowerment and emancipation. In this article, I problematise the relationship between feminism, secularism and religion via a discussion of secular feminist views on women and religion, and religious women’s views on secular feminism. Bringing together previously separate strands of work, this article provides an original analysis of how both secular feminist women and non-feminist religious women engage in discursive articulations of Othering, constructing inferior subjects who are (dis)placed outside the boundary of “women like us.” Such discursive representations, which are rooted in perceptions of feminism and religion as unitary and static, contribute to the construction and maintenance of sharp boundaries between secular and religious women, thus hindering the potential for dialogue and collaboration in support of women’s rights and gender equality.

Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 22-39)
av Gry Espedal

This article examines the institutional logic of compassion as shaped and modified within a faith-based organization. The following research questions are addressed: How does the institutional logic of compassion emerge, and how is it shaped over time? The study involves a content analysis of archival sources, semi-structured interviews with managers and organizational members, and observations of a Norwegian faith-based healthcare organization. The composite nature of the institutional logic of compassion is revealed in the interplay between other logics, of professional care, the bureaucratic state and business-like health care. This article identifies the logic of compassion as constructed and conveyed by three complementary processes: institutional believing, material practicing and moral reasoning. Within this logic of compassion, the dominant process of personal faith has, over time, been modified and reintegrated, providing the organization with a broader and renewed connection with social and religious meaning making.

Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 40-54)
av Lise Eriksson

This article comparatively studies intersections between biopolitics and religion in Finnish and Norwegian parliamentary debates on assisted reproductive technologies and biotechnology. In both countries, references to religion have been prevalent in policy processes and parliamentary debates on these issues, with Christian Democrats actively promoting bioethics. The article analyses references to religion and the role of national churches and Christian Democratic parties. It also discusses under what conditions religious positions influence political decisions and how these cases bring nuance to theories of politicisation of religion. Legal sources and parliamentary proceedings of plenary sessions are analysed through critical discourse analysis. The article suggests that reproductive politics has contributed to politicisation of religion in the Finnish and Norwegian parliaments, identifying blurred boundaries between public and private spheres and a discursive framework of values debates.

Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 55-70)
av Rolf Lyneborg Lund, Anja Jørgensen & Ole Preben Riis

The Church of Denmark was established in 1849 and is regarded as a pillar of traditional national identity. This status is being challenged by a steady decline in membership in recent decades. The Capital area is especially prone to low membership rates, and this regional pattern remains when the analysis controls for income and education. Furthermore, the local membership rate is also related to affiliation to the neighbourhood. Our detailed analysis is based on public register data on the individual level combined with geographical mapping information. Denmark is thereby divided into micro-aggregated areas in order to locate varying church membership rates. While some local variation can be explained by socioeconomic status, some also depend on residential belonging to different types of local communities. Our analysis points to the sense of attachment to place of residence as a major factor in explaining membership of the established church.

Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 71-90)
av Inger Furseth, Lene Kühle, Knut Lundby & Mia Lövheim

This article studies empirically the complexity of religion in the public sphere by systematically comparing the five Nordic countries. Sociologists debate if current trends in the West point to secularization or a return of religion (deprivatization, desecularization, or post-secularity). By drawing on the social science complexity reference, this article offers a critique of current scholarship and introduces the concept of religious complexity. The empirical study asks how religion is regulated, debated, and negotiated in the state, the polity, the media, and civil society in the Nordic countries since the 1980s. It is based on multiple sources of data. The analysis shows several religious trends at different levels: A growing secularization at the individual level, and the deprivatization of religion in politics, the media, and civil society. The conclusion outlines the religious complexity in the Nordic countries and discusses possible explanations that link the different and seemingly inconsistent trends.

Nordic Journal Of Religion and Society

1-2019, volume 32


Nordic Journal of Religion and Society (NJRS) is an arena for all disciplines that study the field of relations between religion, churches, religious institutions, culture and society. NJRS is the only Nordic journal devoted to these issues.


Sociology of religion is a key discipline, but NJRS also includes contributions from scholars in psychology of religion, religious studies, church history and theology. The journal only publishes articles in English. NJRS is a referee journal at level 2 in the Norwegian system, and is published twice a year.



Professor and Adjunct professor Inger Furseth, Norway

Professor Mia Lövheim, Sweden



Ann Kristin Gresaker



Associate professor Magdalena Nordin (Review Editor), Sweden

Senior researcher Kimmo Ketola, Finland

Associate professor Lars Laird Iversen, Norway

Assistant professor Tomas Axelson, Sweden

Professor Pétur Pétursson, Iceland

Professor Margit Warburg, Denmark


Design og typesetting: Type-it AS, Trondheim        

ISSN online: 1890-7008

DOI: 10.18261/issn.1890-7008


Copyright: Material reproduced in the journal is governed at all times by the current regulations of the standard contract agreement concerning publication of a work of literature in journals, between Den Norsk Forleggerforening og Norsk faglitterær forfatter og oversetterforening, see also www.nffo.no.


The journal is published with the support of Nordic Board for Periodicals in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOP-HS) and KIFO – Institute for Church, Religion and Worldview Research.

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