Anticlericalism and early social democracy in Sweden in the 1880s

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Jakob Evertsson
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
Place: Leiden
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Church History and Religious Culture
Volume number: 97
Issue number: 2
Start page: 248
End page: 266
eISSN: 1871-2428


This article examines early socialist
anticlericalism directed against the clergy of the Church of Sweden in
the late nineteenth century. Research on socialist critiques and the
Church of Sweden is generally lacking, and no attempt has been made to
interpret the critique using the concept of anticlericalism. This study
analyses the Social Democrats’ official newspaper Socialdemokraten and
demonstrates that socialist anticlericalism was focused on clerical
lifestyles, the church as a class institution, and often religion
itself. A critical analysis of the arguments reveals that the satire and
exaggeration already familiar to many were commonly used in
anticlerical rhetoric when describing the clergy. The ultimate aim of
the critique was the abolition of the Established Church because it was
considered to provide a conservative religious ideology for the state.

Last updated on 2020-18-01 at 03:12