Klosterförbudet och religionsfriheten : en diskursanalys av klosterförbudsdebatten i svensk politik 1949-1961
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study is to examine the political debate regarding the repeal of the Swedish prohibition against monasteries 1949-1961. The study emphasis is on the Swedish religious freedom bill from 1949 (that proposed the conditional repeal of the monastery prohibition) as well as on two parliamentary debates from 1951 and 1961 where the issue was discussed. As a theoretical framework the essay applies a discourse analytical approach using some of the analytic tools presented by Michel Foucault in The Order of Discourse. The thought patterns expressed in the monastery prohibition debate are hence seen as formed by a common contemporary discourse which can be summoned as the secularity- and modernity discourse. This formative thought structure can be made visible in the political and intellectual context surrounding the monastery prohibition issue. The study for instance highlights the belief and knowledge debate (introduced in 1949 by philosopher Ingemar Hedenius who criticized religion for its incompatibility with reason in the influential book Belief and knowledge/ Tro och vetande) as well as certain overall secular imperatives visible in post-war Sweden’s political and social climate. The essay claims that the arguments presented in the monastery prohibition debate, despite difference in opinion, on the whole follows a discursive pattern which lay emphasis on religion as a highly private matter as well as on viewing religious freedom as a right primarily reserved for the autonomous (free) individual and only secondarily as a freedom for religious communities to exercise their practice without hindrance.
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