Den unge Manfred Björkquist : Hur en vision av kristendomens möte med kultur och samhälle växer fram
Sammanfattning: This thesis is a biographical study of Manfred Björkquist’s early life and addresses questions concerning the development of his vision of Christianity, culture and soci-ety. A comparison is also made between Björkquist’s vision and the classical typol-ogy of H. Richard Niebuhr. The investigation is motivated by the pivotal role Man-fred Björkquist (1884-1985) played in Swedish church life in the 20th century. He was born in northern Sweden to a country vicar and follower of confessional Luther-anism and Pietism. In 1902-09 Björkquist studied at the University of Uppsala with the goal of becoming a Lutheran priest and missionary. Parallell to his studies, Björkquist was active in Christian work which was characterized by Lutheran Pie-tism, openness to Anglo-Saxon revivalism and a belief in the relevance of the na-tional church. A spiritual awakening in the Christian Student Association in Uppsala in the spring of 1908 and a new church-centered Lutheran theology provided the immediate context of Björkquist’s vision. He expressed it with the catchword »The people of Sweden – a people of God through Jesus Christ» and connected it to his concept of the national church, folkkyrkan (the folk church), as a vehicle for re-christianizing the nation. This re-christianization was meant to take place through voluntary conversion of individuals to personal faith in Jesus Christ and an active cultural and social involvement of the church in the contemporary life of the nation. In accordance with the social component of his concept of the national church, Björkquist used his vision to attempt to bring about a consensus between rival social groups and contending ideologies through dialogue. By adopting the organizational methods and patterns of activities that characterized the new social movements, Björkquist at the same time strengthened the forces of change in civil society.
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