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New Religiosity in Contemporary Sweden

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The contemporary popular or new religious landscape in Sweden — arenas with religious elements outside the established churches — is large and multifaceted. Religion is today expressed in different localities, like retreat centers, health centers and gyms, and can manifest as for example healing, mindfulness, seances, coaching and body therapies. The boundaries between religious and secular arenas are becoming increasingly blurred. The popular or new religiosity is firmly rooted in older traditions, but also expresses creative innovation as a result of globalization, secularism, individualism and the impact of psychological and therapeutic orientations. The book is based on a local study of contemporary popular or new religiosity in the area of Dalarna, Sweden. Religious expression always reflects its time. One of the book’s purposes is to explore how religion is perceived in our time and how Christianity has shaped our view of what belongs to the “religion” and what is seen as “superstition”. To understand religion it is necessary to study its practical everyday expressions.

Published: May 25, 2015

Section Chapter Authors
Acknowledgements Liselotte Frisk, Peter Åkerbäck
The Meditating Dala Horse Project: A Presentation Liselotte Frisk, Peter Åkerbäck
A Presentation of the Religious Landscape in Dalarna Liselotte Frisk, Peter Åkerbäck
Religion Anywhere: Structure and Content Liselotte Frisk, Peter Åkerbäck
Comparing Dalarna with Other Areas Liselotte Frisk, Peter Åkerbäck
Contemporary Religious Arenas: Retreat Centres, Health and Coaching Institutes, and Health Fairs Liselotte Frisk, Peter Åkerbäck
Mindfulness in Dalarna: A Focused Area of Study Liselotte Frisk, Peter Åkerbäck
The Church of Sweden: Its Response to Religious Pluralism Liselotte Frisk
Dalarna: A Local Place in a Global World Liselotte Frisk, Peter Åkerbäck
Secularization, Individualism and Identity Liselotte Frisk, Peter Åkerbäck
End Matter
Conclusion Liselotte Frisk, Peter Åkerbäck
References Liselotte Frisk
Index Liselotte Frisk


The book gives us a remarkable impression of the religious lives of many different people.

Written in a straightforward and lucid style, the account touches on a large number of topics. It is theoretically informed and reflective throughout, engaging with key concepts like religion, spirituality, globalization, secularization, and individualism. Also, the findings and conclusions are discussed in relation to relevant international scholarship. The book places Dalarna on the map of international scholarship preoccupied with religious changes in our time.
Nova Religio