Gustav III - en upplysningskonungs tro och kyrkosyn
Sammanfattning: King Gustav III has often been viewed for his cultural interests and not least for the political engagement. Regarding religion he has usually been judged as indifferent and almost disrespectful. Based on extant historical sources, this dissertation questions this received understanding of the King's attitudes towards religion. On the contrary, this study argues that Gustav III appreciated the significance of the Church for society and took a personal interest and involvement in various matters concerning the Church.The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment were very current during the latter part of the 1700's. Both church and society were challenged by the new conceptions of the time which were open for tolerance and freedom of religion. The conservative Lutheran clergy opposed these pro-enlightenment ideas with the goal that the traditional Lutheran-Orthodox Church-Unity system in Sweden should be maintained unchanged. Gustav III on the other hand was seriously committed to the enlightenment ideas.The first chapter describes the religious education of Crown Prince Gustav, in the period before he ascended the throne. The second chapter discusses the King's involvement in matters pertaining to tolerance and the freedom of religion. The third recounts his Italian journey, which historians have often studied with regard to the development of his cultural and political views. In this chapter his Italian sojourn is seen from a religious perspective, which includes an analysis of its repercussions for future ecclesiastical policies. The fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters examine various Church decisions and actions in which Gustav III was actively involved. These included the following three subjects: the desire for liturgical renewal towards a more elaborate form, the enhancement of the position and power of bishops, and matters relating to the chaplains attached to the royal court. Chapter seven analyses Gustav III's position as Head of the Church and how he understood this role from a religious aspect. These seven chapters collectively present Gustav III's religious faith and understanding of the Church.
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