"Vi kristna unga qvinnor" Askers Jungfruförening 1865–1903 – identitet och intersektionalitet
Sammanfattning: The Maiden Association in Asker was founded in 1865 20 kilometers southwest of Örebro in the county of Närke. A group of unmarried women closely connected to the Asker Baptist congregation met for prayer, bible reading and conversations with early democratic overtones. They gathered in a time of change in a variety of areas, both social as well as church-related. The surviving material from these women – in the form of protocols, membership registers, etc. – provides an insight into their reflexive process. The local Maiden Association in Asker becomes a window, a vantage point into something that would otherwise be hard to access: in other words, the situation and thinking of "ordinary" women.The overall aim of this study has been to contribute to the understanding of how continuity and changes during the latter part of the 19th century, mainly in the realm of church history, could influence the thinking and life ideals of nonconformist Christian women. Based on my meeting with the source material, two central questions have been formulated: 1. How did the Maiden Association in Asker, during the time period 1865–1903 and in its context, formulate and shape the identities as Christian, woman and young? 2. Why were they formulated and shaped in this way? The method selected may be described as church historical and hermeneutic, with an inductive approach. The source material is derived from two distinct periods in the life of the association, 1865–1880 and 1888–1903, which has given the opportunity to identify changes over time. Two theoretical perspectives have been established – one based on identity and one based on intersectionality.The investigation shows the clear influence of the holiness movements at the local level in the shape of the Holiness Union and the Örebro Mission Association. But the study also shows that the lives and thinking of women were not only characterized by change, but also by continuity. The church historical changes that the nonconformist religious women in Asker took part in were not a clean-cut break with previous lutheran traditions and conventions.
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