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Religion in Norway NORINT 0500 Norwegian life and society 17.09.2012 Anne Hege Grung.

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Presentation on theme: "Religion in Norway NORINT 0500 Norwegian life and society 17.09.2012 Anne Hege Grung."— Presentation transcript:

1 Religion in Norway NORINT 0500 Norwegian life and society Anne Hege Grung

2 In this lecture: Religion in Norway in a historical perspective: State and Church Religion in contemporary Norway: Religious pluralism, inter-religious interaction and current developments

3 The king and queen appointed by the presiding Bishop of the Church of Norway (1991)

4 The Church of Norway From the Norwegian constitution: Original §2: ”Den evangelisk-lutherske tro forbliver statens offisielle religion. De Innvaanere som bekjenner seg til den forplikter aa oppdra deres barn i samme.” 2012: Revised §2: "Værdigrundlaget forbliver vor kristne og humanistiske Arv. Denne Grundlov skal sikre Demokrati, Retsstat og Menneskrettighederne." § 16: "Alle indvaanere af Riget have fri Religionsøvelse. Den norske Kirke, en evangelisk-luthersk kirke, forbliver Norges Folkekirke og understøttes som saadan af Staten. Nærmere Bestemmelser om dens Ordning fastsættes ved Lov. Alle Tros- og Livssynssamfund skal understøttes paa lige Linje."

5 Norwegian legislation on religion and religious freedom: 1814: The Church of Norway a state church, Lutheranism official religion Jews and Jesuits were ’not allowed’ to enter Norway (changed for Jews in 1851, for Jesuits in 1956). 1842: ”Konventikkelplakaten” (1741) dismissed – it became allowed for religious gatherings and meetings beyont the clergy’s control 1845: Allowed for other Christian denominations to establish themselves in Norway

6 1969: ”Lov om trudomssamfunn og ymist anna” established full freedom of religion in Norway, including - The right to establish faith and life-stance communities, the right to convert (after the age of 15), the right to organize meetings and gatherings and to free speech

7 And still …

8 The official symbol of the Church of Norway

9 Religion in Norway - statistics Based on membership numbers Church of Norway: 3,9 mill/82% (2008) -In 1998: 94% Other Christian denominations: (2008) Islamic faith communities: (2008) -In 1990: Buddhism , Hinduism 5 200, Baha’i 1000, Judaism 850, Sikhism (2008)

10 Life-stance communities: The Norwegian Humanist Organisation (2008)

11 The mosque in Åkebergveien, Oslo

12 Mosque in Tromsø, Norway

13 The religious plural Norway Emerged from the mid 1980’s Caused primarily, but not only by (work) immigration Norway as part of a broader European religious and cultural pluralization process

14 The council for faith and life stance communities

15 The Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities The Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities in Norway was established on the 30th of May The goals of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities are defined in the statutes: To promote mutual understanding and respect between different religious and life stance communities through dialogue; To work towards equality between various religious and life stance communities in Norway based on the United Nations covenants on Human Rights and on the European Convention on Human Rights; To work, internally and externally, with social and ethical issues from the perspective of religions and life stances.

16 Member communities: The Bahá’í Community of Norway The Buddhist Community of Norway The Catholic Church in Norway The Christian Community Christian Council of Norway The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) The Church of Norway Gurwara Sri Nanak Dev Ji (Sikhs) The Holistic Community The Islamic Council of Norway The Jewish Communities in Norway The Norwegian Humanist Association Norwegian Hindu Culture Centre Sanatan Mandir Sabha, Norway (Hindu)

17 Pluralism, secularity - and dialogue? How secular is the Norwegian society? And – can Norway be categorized as a religiously plural society? Understanding public space as secular – access for all, on equal footing, with conversations using common/shared language and arguments? (Cf. O. Leirvik: ”Religionsdialog, sekularitet og eit felles forpliktande språk” (Interreligious dialogue, secularity, and a shared language of committment) (Bangstad, Leirvik, Plesner:2012)

18 Examples of interreligious dialogue/diapraxis in Norway

19 A Church minister and an imam together at the funeral of Bano Rashid– after Utøya 2011

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24 Current developments: Secularization Pluralization Polarization and dialogue – identity politics vs. shared community values Religious affiliation as an identity marker in Norway today? Being a Lutheran Christian and a Norwegian is not equivalent anymore


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