Andlighetens ordning En diskursiv läsning av tidskriften Pilgrim
Sammanfattning: This thesis takes as its point of departure the question "is there a connection between ordinary Swedish Christianity and the extreme forms of various examples?". As a way of concidering possible connections, a "normal" spiritual context in the Swedish setting is studied: the Christian magazine "Pilgrim. A magazine for spiritual guidance".The book presents an investigation of the magazine and its notion of spirituality over a period of twelve years (1994-2006). Questions that guide the investigation are: Which are the fundamental notions of spirituality in the magazine? How can someone be spiritual due to the magazine? Which are the bodily norms which are assumed when it comes to gender, sexuality, ethnicity and class? Which connections between the normal and the extreme in contemporary Swedish spirituality can an investigation of Pilgrim as an example of "ordinary" spirituality reveal?The work is carried out as a discursive reading of Pilgrim with the help of Michel Foucault and his notion of "discourse". Furthermore some of the insights from the feminist discussion on so called "intersectionality" are used to widen the methodological scope. More specifically, the magazine is approached as a single textual surface.After qualification of the rules of the discourse, they are applied to identify the discursive formation of Pilgrim. By analyzing the strategies which constitute spiritual guidance, the forms of spirituality (subject positions) that the magazine constructs are revealed. The way that social categories - gender, sexuality, ethinicity, class - are characterized in the magazine reinforce heteronormativity, orientalism and a class-structure. Through the magazine social categories function together with other vital categories in a way that the outcome is one and only construction of the ordinary subject: i.e. the western rich man as a spiritual subject.In conclusion this study suggest that ideas about spiritual growth that flourish in an ordinary Christian cultural and intellectual environment (exemplified by the magazine Pilgrim), like ideas of resistance against the postmodern world and society's superficiality, might have a structure that can be found also in more extreme Christian contexts, and, more importantly, as a part of the problematic of these extreme examples. The extreme resides in the ordinary, and the ordinary resides in the extreme. There seems to be an order of notions, of subjects and of bodies: the Order of Spirituality.
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