The Church as Nation

A Study in Ecclesiology and Nationhood

by Kjell Blückert (Author)
©2000 Thesis 366 Pages


The twentieth century is said to have been the century of the nation and of the church. This has been asserted in various quarters. It is European nationalism and confessionalism that have constrained into being, constituted and made permanent nation-states, national churches and confessions. In this study modern theories on nationalism and ecclesiology are brought together and Sweden is employed as an historical example. The concepts nation and church, the superideologies nationalism and confessionalism, and the institutions nation-state and national church are viewed as parallels. The connections between them are described as symbiotic, although the nationalistic discourse, primarily in its rhetoric, has had a more parasitic relation to Christian traditions. The national discourse in the Lutheran State Church in Sweden during the first four decades of the twentieth century is depicted with source material such as church historiography, hymns and popular lectures. Two churchmen are focused on: the nationalist Johan Alfred Eklund and the internationalist Nathan Söderblom. Both were however firmly rooted in nationalism and inter-nationalism. Globalisation was not yet on the agenda.


ISBN (Softcover)
Frankfurt/M., Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2000. 366 pp.

Biographical notes

Kjell Blückert (Author)

The author: Kjell Blückert has completed a B.A. in history and a M.D. at Uppsala University. He has worked as a teacher and as a student counsellor. He took a Licentiate in Ecclesiology in 1999. This doctoral thesis has been written in Uppsala and also in Mainz at the Europäische Institut für Geschichte. Blückert is now on the staff of the Theological Faculty in Uppsala.


Title: The Church as Nation