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Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Kyrko- och missionsstudier

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this research is to identify how God’s actions are talked about in sermons in the Church of Sweden and how this is perceived by the listeners. The research questions that guide this study are: How do priests in the Church of Sweden in the diocese of Lund talk about God in their sermons? And how is this perceived by the participants in the Sunday service? To answer these questions I have collected nineteen manuscripts from sermons held in the diocese of Lund on two different Sundays. Analyzing these manuscripts I have used and continually developed a scheme of analysis based on Paul Scott Wilson’s concepts of trouble and grace. These concepts are related to Luther’s concepts of Law and Gospel. Trouble is everything that describes any kind of trouble that an individual or humanity is in, in relation to God, creation and other human beings. Trouble is also the parts of the sermon where the focus is on the human responsibility to act. Grace, on the other hand describes God’s actions in the Bible and in our lives. I have also conducted nine interviews with listeners to capture their perspectives. They were conducted on the same two Sundays on which the sermons were held. One Sunday has a Gospel pericope that I thought would invite preachers to talk about trouble and the other a pericope that I thought would lead to more talk of grace in the sermons. As a third method I have conducted a survey about the preachers behind the analyzed manuscripts. This made it possible for me to investigate connections between, e.g., theological background and different aspects of the results. The results of this study show that God’s actions are displayed in the sermons only to a limited extent and that the things that are said about God are not given the best conditions to be heard. I argue that this is a result of secularization and point to three problems with this way of preaching: (1) people do not get sufficient help to see and verbalize God in their lives; (2) the sermons become legalistic in tone and devoid of hope; (3) the secularization of preaching leaves us with questions about the essence and purpose of preaching. In the last chapter I also suggest some ways to go forward if one wants to avoid the problems I have pointed to.

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