Med lust och bävan. Vägen till biskopsstolen inom Svenska kyrkan under 1900-talet

Sammanfattning: This study focuses on the appointment of bishops within the Church of Sweden and analyses the patterns of this group during a period of social change which affected the station and function of the Church of Sweden in society. The concepts field, capital, elite, habitus and strategy are employed as a means of tying empirical findings to the question of how an elite is formed and how it maintains its position in a clearly defined sphere. This particular perspective has not been explored in previous studies of the Church of Sweden elite, and new light has thus been shed on patterns and structures. The Church of Sweden constitutes a field where, as in all fields, competition for the leading positions exists. The objective is to gain power over the interpretation of the system of beliefs, the doxa, within the field. In this struggle various strategies evolve that build on the capital required for success. Throughout the 20th century, the scope of this field was affected by the relationship to the Swedish state. Several defence strategies evolved to protect the field’s autonomy. These strategies are evident in the bishop appointment process. However, a duality in the logic of the Church of Sweden field stands out in connection with the recruitment of bishops: The office of bishop is a calling and the individual is unable to affect the outcome of the appointment process. An important characteristic of the attitudes of bishops toward their position has been to assume an attitude of humility with regard to their station and duties. During most of the 20th century, power within the Church of Sweden was associated with males in positions of authority demonstrating that homosociality was an important asset to future bishops. Even though the men were competitors prior to their appointment, they were supportive in their interactions and provided each other with validation, thus confirming the hierarchic order and the gender identification of the role of bishop.

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