"Herren är mitt ibland oss" – en analys av föreställningar om gudsnärvaro i Den svenska kyrkohandboken från 1986
Sammanfattning: This dissertation studies the ways in which conceptions of the presence of God are described in the Swedish Church Service Book that was adopted by the Church Assembly of the Church of Sweden in 1986. The author has used a systematic theological method when making a close textual analysis of the liturgical texts used at the Sunday services. This material functions both as a “living” divine service text and as a doctrinal text in the Church of Sweden. With the aid of the discussions in the works of Vincent Brümmer, Martin Buber, James M. Gustafson and Jean-Luc Marion and others the author has identified two complementary analytical categories. The personal-analysis category deals with God seen as being present in God´s relation with humankind. It is considered whether this relation is characterised by closeness or distance, and by symmetry or asymmetry, and whether it is described as being emotionally coloured. This category has also been used to study the role of humankind in this relation. In the non-personal-analysis category the presence of God is characterised as a power that may be seen as something that occurs outside humankind understood as a general process and as an event, that is not understood as an action with intent. This category includes a concept of the presence of God as a process in humankind: a union, a continuing existence, and that humankind can be changed. With both of these analysis categories the author has discussed possible notions of the absence of God.The close text analysis has revealed and problemized various levels of meaning in the liturgical texts. One and the same text can describe the presence of God as personal and non-personal. The discussion has clarified how the concepts of the presence of God are described, and what parts of the Service are emphasised. This includes people´s prayers for forgiveness and the words of forgiveness. It also includes the “word of God” in the reading of the Gospel, the Eucharist, the Blessing and the “prayer situation per se” in Divine Service. Concepts of the absence of God can mainly be interpreted in these texts on the basis of the personal-analytical category.
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