Implicit Religion, Vol 10, No 3 (2007)

Membership of Nordic ‘National’ Churches as a Membership of Nordic ‘National’ Churches as a

Susan Sundbach
Issued Date: 20 Aug 2008


The article treats the specifically Nordic paradox, of a high level of church membership in four national populations combining with a low level of religious practice and church attendance. This fact has often been explained as the outcome of a spirit of a civil religiosity, which makes the church a symbol of the nation and of national culture. Church membership is in this view an aspect of the identification of individuals with their country. The concept of civil religiosity is here studied through the data from four Nordic countries in the 1999– 2000 European Values Study survey, concentrating on variables that marginally relate to religious traditions without designating identification with church dogmas. Through factor analysis Nordic civil religiosity seems to appear in two forms; broadly, as carrying elements of traditional ritual behaviour and individual religiosity, and, narrowly, as focusing on church-administered celebrations of family rites of passage. Finally, a ‘civil religious’ model as a prediction of church-membership among the respondents is applied with varying results for the four countries.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/imre2007.v10i3.262


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email:

Privacy Policy