När grundaren konverterar : En kvalitativ studie om församlingsmedlemmars reaktioner efter Ulf Ekmans konvertering till den katolska kyrkan
Sammanfattning: Abstract The ninth of March 2014, the founder of Word of Life Ulf Ekman announced that he had decided to convert to the Catholic Church, a church he previously believed was the church of the Devil. This study investigates what consequences his decision had on members of two congregations in southern Sweden that are connected with Word of Life. The research is based on interviews of the congregation´s pastor, youth pastor and four congregation members. Ekman has during all his years as the leader of Word of Life been a respected leader and role model for the members. Furthermore, Ekman was convinced that he was chosen by God to lead this congregation. Previous research have shown that a leader of a congregation has a large influence on the members’ faith, but also that the members have a large influence on the leadership. According to Stroope, the social network and activities within a congregation play a major part of the members’ behavior. The result has been analysed using Weber’s definition of a charismatic leader, and Berger’s plausibility structure. The result shows that Ekman’s decision had consequences for the congregation, consequences that were influenced by the members’ strong belief that the Catholic Church is the big harlot and their view of Ekman as a charismatic leader. A large group of members decided to leave because of Ekman’s decision.
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