Governing Morality: The Role of Intermediary Elites in Associative Governance of Religious Revivals in Scandinavia

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The chapter shows how the present relative lack of politicized religious cleavages in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden is in part the result of a process of intermediary elites navigating a revivalist organizational repertoire in relation to institutional opportunity structures. The religious revivals that emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries challenged the teachings and organization of the state churches through serene (associating within the established church) and secessionist (free churches) organizational models. 19th- and 20th-century intermediary elites – lay preachers and pastors – would seek to adapt serene and secessionist revivalist organizational models to exploit opportunities for influence in relation to the church, in party politics, and in social support. The process resulted in three similar, but different, moral-religious governance structures in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden: broad church, fusional, and secessionist political. The intermediary elites of the revivalist movement first paved the way for the style of compromise-oriented incorporation of organized groups that characterize the Nordic models of associative governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociative Governance in Scandinavia : Organizing Societies by “Combining Together”
EditorsAnker Brink Lund, Haldor Byrkjeflot, Søren Christensen
Number of pages33
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)9781032466743, 9781032466767
ISBN (Electronic)9781003382775
Publication statusPublished - 2024
SeriesNordic Studies in a Global Context

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