This dissertation is an ecclesiological study, conducted in the form of a case study that examines worship praxis in six parishes in the diocese of Luleå between 1990 and 2009. The specific research problem of the dissertation is whether the organizational changes that took place in connection with the relational change between Church and State in 2000 are reflected in local worship and in church service related decisions in diocese and parishes, and how the concrete relationship between worship praxis and regulations is manifested. The research problem also includes what ecclesiological impact the organizational changes may have had in the studied parishes and what the empirical results can reveal about the ecclesiality of the Church. The dissertation addresses four research questions. In response to the first question: “Are the organizational changes of 2000 reflected in local worship and in worship related decisions in dioceses and parishes and, if so, in what way?” it is noted that organizational change is reflected indirectly in expressions of growing autonomization. In response to the second question "What is the relationship between worship praxis and regulations in the Church ordinance and The Swedish Church manual 1986?” there is a tangible difference between worship praxis and regulations throughout the studied period, i.e. even before the relational change, although the difference over time has increased. Regarding the third question "What impact could the organizational change, associated with the relational change between the Church of Sweden and the State, have had on the ecclesiologies in the worship praxis which the studied parishes represent and hold?” I have not found that the new order has affected, in any direct way, the parishes’ implicit ecclesiologies during the time span covered by the study. Rather, it seems that the Church ordinance that was established at the time of the relational change has reinforced an already existing implicit ecclesiology where the parishes are considered to be autonomous. The fourth question "How can the empirical result be interpreted theologically with regard to its implicit ecclesiology, and what does that say about the ecclesiality of the Church of Sweden?” The theological interpretation of autonomization indicates an overall "immanent ecclesiology", which can be visualized in current praxis in the diocese of Luleå. The ambition that the Church of Sweden despite organizational change in the year 2000 would be the same also indicates a similar implicit ecclesiology. This is because the Church was not thought to change its identity despite being subjected to a revision in form. The study shows that the arsenal of theories and the methodical approach have implications for how much can be clarified and that different ways of studying the Church should be combined. The present study is an example of this by the study's abductive approach and exploratory character, which have allowed both interaction between praxis-related empiricism and theory and interaction between descriptive analysis and hermeneutic interpretation. The study also shows that “ordo-related theories” may be applicable to the study of the Church as an organizational structure.
|Published - 2015
|MoE publication type
|G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)