En framgångsrik främling: Filadelfia-församlingen i Stockholm – självbild i historieskrivning och verksamhet

Den 5 december 2014 försvarade Andreas K. G. Thörn sin avhandling “En framgångsrik främling: Filadelfia-församlingen i Stockholm – självbild i historieskrivning och verksamhet” vid Örebro universitet. Opponent var professor Daniel Lindmark, Umeå universitet.


Andreas K. G. Thörn (2014): En framgångsrik främling: Filadelfia-församlingen i Stockholm — självbild i historieskrivning och verksamhet 1910-1980 (A Successful Stranger — The Philadelfia Church in Stockholm — Self-image in Historical Narration and Work 1910-1980). Örebro Studies in History 16.

The aim of the thesis is to examine how a group’s self-image is created, sustained and if necessary changed during the revolutionary 20th century. The study takes its point of departure in the idea that a self-image is essential for an organisation’s cohesion and collective identity. The study object is the Pentecostal Philadelphia church in Stockholm, Sweden, established in 1910. In concrete terms, the thesis examines the self-image of the church as it is expressed in its narratives and activities from 1910 to 1980. The self-image is analysed with the aid of the concepts ‘boundaries’ and ‘symbols’ and in relation to social and organisational change processes. In the main the empirical material consists of official documents such as jubilee publications, annual reports and the weekly newspaper Evangelii Härold.

The main contribution of the thesis is an analysis of the church’s historical narrative. In this narrative the  overall theme appears to be the small and faithful group that due to God’s influence and despite opposition became a major and significant church — a success story. The theme also remains the same when the circumstances change. Narrative theory emphasises that the narrative has to be changeable in order to be serviceable. However, my study shows that the narration, at least at the level highlighted in the thesis, is inert. The self-image seems to be difficult to change but is not necessarily static. The narrative is shown to include strategies for dealing with internal change processes and changes in society

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Daniel Ndoundou: Väckelseledare i den Evangeliska Kyrkan i Kongo

Den 14 mars 2014 försvarade Disputation Bertil Åhman, sin avhandling Daniel Ndoundou: Väckelseledare i den Evangeliska Kyrkan i Kongo. Ihresalen kl 10. Opponent var prof. Hans Austnaberg, Stavanger.


Daniel Ndoundou (1911 – 1986) was born in the southern part of French Equatorial Africa, close to the border of the Belgian Congo. At an early age he joined the Swedish protestant mission. As a young man he began to work as an evangelist and in 1946 he was ordained pastor. The following year a spiritual revival started and soon Daniel Ndoundou became its leader, a position he held for the rest of his life.

The aim of this thesis was to describe and analyse how Daniel Ndoundou carried out his ministry as a revival leader in the intersection between traditional beliefs and the new religion introduced by the protestant missionaries. He experienced the process of his country gaining its independence and the founding of the autonomous Evangelical Church of Congo. As a wellknown counsellor and healer he received many pilgrims at his home. During revival meetings he sometimes preached to thousands of people. He had to take a stand on different movements of political and religious character that emerged especially during the colonial era.

The thesis shows that the doctrines adopted by Daniel Ndoundou were close to those of the
missionaries. However, he sometimes accepted and applied practices that were seen as controversial by his Church leaders. This was particularly evident when he invited people to the “Pool of Siloam” where he organized ritual baths for healing. The thesis also describes the legacy left by Daniel Ndoundou namely how the Evangelical Church of Congo manages the revival almost 30 years after his death. Many charismatic Christians play an important role and for the local pastor they are sometimes difficult to handle. The void left by Daniel Ndoundou is strongly felt by many church members since he was seen as the authority in matters relating to spiritual gifts.


revival, Daniel Ndoundou, Buana Kibongi, Congo, Evangelical Church, prophet, nganga, charismatic, kindoki, Swedish Mission, spiritual gifts, ngunza.

Bertil Åhman, Swedish Institute of Mission Research, Box 1526, Uppsala University, SE-751
45 Uppsala, Sweden. Church and Mission studies, World Christianity and Interreligious
Studies, Box 511, Uppsala University, SE-75120 Uppsala, Sweden.

Hitta boken

Studia Missionalia Svecana 113. 315 pp. : Swedish Institute of Mission Research. ISBN 978-91-977128-1-1.

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Pentecostalism, Globalisation and Society in Contemporary Argentina

Den 10 januari 2014 försvarade Geir Aasmundsen sin avhandling Pentecostalism, Globalisation and Society in Contemporary Argentina vid Södertörns högskola. Opponent var Olle Kristensson, Uppsala.


In Argentina, pentecostalism had a breakthrough in the early 1980s, and today more than 10 per cent of the population are Pentecostals. The revival coincided with a socio-political transformation of Argentinean society. After half a century of dictatorships and Peronism, democracy was restored, and structural changes paved the way for a certain ‘autonomisation’ of politics, economy, science and religion. The ‘new’ form of society that developed resembles what in this study is called a Western model, which to a large degree is currently being diffused on a global scale. This work examines the new religious sphere and how Pentecostals relate to society at large, and the political and judicial sphere in particular.

Hitta boken

Södertörns högskola, 141 89 Huddinge, Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, No 85 (2013).

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Piety, Intimacy and Mobility: A Case Study of Charismatic Christianity in Present day

Den 15 februari 2013 försvarade Jessica Moberg sin avhandling Piety, Intimacy and Mobility: A Case Study of Charismatic Christianity in Present day Stockholm vid Södertörns högskola. Opponent var Tuija Hovi, Åbo.


The aim of this ethnographic study is to examine how affiliates of the multicultural charismatic Christian congregation New Life Church practice religiosity within the context of their personal daily lives, within the framework of the general congregation and in terms of their involvements with other religious organizations in the area of Stockholm.

Beginning with the assumption that the practice of contemporary religiosity and the development of a religious identity are part of an ongoing process of habituation, the study describes how practitioners cultivate a form of charismatic piety characterized by certain embodied orientations, patterns of ritualization and narrative genres. To shed further light on this process, it draws upon a variety of theories concerning ritualization, embodiment, performance, narratives and materiality. Apart from this, the study also constitutes an attempt to explore and measure the impact on the practitioners’ religiosity of late modern developments such as urbanization, detraditionalization and global mobility as well as the growing absorption in consumerism, emotional intimacy and the unfolding of the “authentic” inner self.

While pursuing these ends, the study also calls into question previous assumptions about charismatic Christianity in Sweden, most particularly the assumption that today’s practitioners remain inclined to be entirely faithful to one given institution and its system of beliefs and practices. Indeed this view is directly challenged herein by the finding that contemporary charismatics are far more inclined to eclectically appropriate elements and models of thoughts from various contexts of origin as well as to affiliate with and/or visit multiple Christian institutions.

This dissertation is based upon fieldwork (observation, participation and interviews) in Stockholm’s charismatic milieu between the years 2009 and 2011 that is particularly focused on the organization New Life Church.


Charismatic Christianity, Pentecostalism, habituation, learning religion, mobility, ritualization, ritual appropriation, religious consumption, commodification, materiality, embodiment, narrative, late modernity, globalization, inward turn, subjective turn, authenticity, intimacy, prayer, worship, music, testimony, urban religion, religious eclecticism.

Hitta boken

Södertörns högskola, 141 89 Huddinge, Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, No 74 (2013).

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