What Is This Thing Called Lutheranism Anyway?: A Critical Perspective on the Construction of Lutheran Christianity in Sweden and Finland

A3 Book section, Chapters in research books

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Hagman Patrik
Editors: Kaius Sinnemäki, Anneli Portman, Jouni Tilli, Robert H. Nelson
Place: Helsinki
Publication year: 2019
Book title: On the Legacy of Lutheranism in Finland: Societal Perspectives
Title of series: Studia Fennica Historica
Number in series: 25
Start page: 69
End page: 80
ISBN: 978-951-858-135-5


It is difficult to establish a theological continuity regarding the content of the term Lutheranism from the 16th century to the present. The construction of what we today understand to be Lutheran theology began in the late 19th century and became central to academic theology in the early part of the 20th century. By looking at the various ‘Luther renaissances’ and their motivations, this chapter argues that the construction of Lutheran faith as pure, clear and uncompromising is to a significant degree motivated by nationalistic tendencies in the Nordic societies. This ‘Lutheranisation’ of the Nordic countries was an attempt to counter the secularization of these societies, by distinguishing Lutheran faith from other types of Christianity, such as Roman Catholicism and various Free Church movements.


Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Finland, Lutheranism, Martin Luther, Monasticism, Reformation

Last updated on 2020-21-01 at 04:11