Department of Sociology

Nordic patterns of religious practice

Principal investigator: Erika Willander, Ph.D.  (Church of Sweden's Unit for Analysis)

Funding: Research position in sociology at Church of Sweden’s Unit for Analysis

Project description: The aggregated levels of people's religiosity in the Nordic countries seem to follow a distinct pattern: Membership in the (former) state churches include the majority of the people living in the Nordic countries while church attendance is relatively uncommon. In contrast to church attendance, participation in church rituals (e.g. baptism, confirmation, weddings and funerals) are still relatively common in most of the Nordic countries. The project "Nordic Patters of Religious Practice" aims to contribute to the discussion of how to interpret and understand this pattern and thus widen and problematize the common conclusions that are often drawn about the Nordic countries about secularization and individualization. This is done by focusing on register data from all the Nordic countries. Worth noting is that comparable projects have either worked with survey data which can be problematized since response rates for surveys are declining or failed to include all countries in the Nordic region. Therefore, compared with other studies in the area, this project is fairly comprehensive since it brings together researchers (e.g. Kimmo Ketola and Marie Koivisto, Finland; Ida Marie Høeg and Hanna Vangen Nordbø, Norway; Sille Fusager, Denmark) working with church statistics in the respective Nordic countries.