Renegotiating Relations, Structuring Justice : Institutional Reconciliation with the Saami in the 1990–2020 Reconciliation Processes of the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway

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West , H S 2020 , ' Renegotiating Relations, Structuring Justice : Institutional Reconciliation with the Saami in the 1990–2020 Reconciliation Processes of the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway ' , Religions , vol. 11 , no. 7 , 343 . https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070343

Title: Renegotiating Relations, Structuring Justice : Institutional Reconciliation with the Saami in the 1990–2020 Reconciliation Processes of the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway
Author: West, Helga Sofia
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology
Date: 2020-07-09
Language: eng
Number of pages: 22
Belongs to series: Religions
ISSN: 2077-1444
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070343
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/319190
Abstract: Social reconciliation has received much attention in Christian churches since the late 1980s. Both the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway initiated reconciliation processes with the Saami (also “Sami” or “Sámi”), the indigenous people of Northern Europe, at the beginning of the 1990s. As former state churches, they bear the colonial burden of having converted the Saami to Lutheranism. To make amends for their excesses in the missionary field, both Scandinavian churches have aimed at structural changes to include Saaminess in their church identities. In this article, I examine how the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway understand reconciliation in relation to the Saami in their own church documents using conceptual analysis. I argue that the Church of Sweden treats reconciliation primarily as a secular concept without binding it to the doctrine of reconciliation, making the Church’s agenda theologically weak, whereas the Church of Norway utilizes Christian resources in its comprehensive approach to reconciliation with the Saami. This article shows both the challenges and contributions of the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway to the hotly debated discussions on truth and reconciliation in the Nordic Saami context.
Subject: 614 Theology
colonialism
Christianity
institutional reconciliation
justice
Saami people
Church of Norway
Church of Sweden
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