‘’Now, God himself is preaching’’: Perspectives on the Spanish flu from magazines affiliated with the Church of Sweden
Sammanfattning: This study explores how the Church of Sweden was impacted by the Spanish flu in 1918-1920 and how people affiliated with the church interpreted the pandemic theologically. The material analyzed is trade-magazines for people affiliated with the Church from the relevant years. During the current Corona-pandemic, the activities of religious organizations have been given a lot of media attention as potential risk-events for infections. The religious beliefs of those organizations are scrutinized to explain why they feel safe to gather. After gatherings, possible effects such as large-scale outbreaks are often the focus of negative attention. Historically, however, there seems to be few studies on how religious organizations handled ongoing pandemics and the theological beliefs that motivated their choices. This study tries to look at the people working for the Church of Sweden in 1918-1920: how were they affected by the pandemic, how did they interpret the events theologically and what did they do in response to it.
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