The Diet of Västerås in Swedish Church Historiography – Some Remarks

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In June 1527, the Swedish king, Gustav Vasa (1496–1560), gathered the four estates to a diet – or Riksdag – in Västerås. At this important meeting, the king’s power was consolidated, at the cost of the Catholic Church, which was stripped of its economic wealth and political influence. In several ways, the Diet of Västerås would also mark the beginning of the reformation in Sweden and Finland. This is visible in the recess, which was composed and signed at the diet.According to the recess, only “God’s pure Word” would henceforth be preached in the kingdom. Moreover, claiming that the king was introducing a new religion became illegal although, after the Diet in Västerås, it was clear that Martin Luther’s teachings would be accepted in Sweden.

In this article, the seven most influential Swedish Church historical works from 1695 to 1999are scrutinised. I will focus on two issues. On the one hand, I will study how these seven works portray the reformation, its agents, and its opponents in relation to the Diet of Västerås. On the other hand, I am interested in how the studies differ from each other, with particular emphasis on church issues. When I for instance discuss political matters, I do so in relation to matters concerning the church and the reformation. 

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)187–213
JournalSuomen kirkkohistoriallisen seuran vuosikirja
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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