Lutheranism from Above and from Below: "Pastoral Professionals" and Trust within the Nordic State/Society Nexus
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Historical Sociology. 2020, 33 (4), 530-545. https://doi.org/10.1111/johs.12302
The article points to the dispersion, democratization, and feminization of “pastoral” forms of power and authority since the mid-19th century as a key to understanding the exceptionally high degree of social trust in the Nordic countries. Taking Norway as its central case, it argues that the Nordic welfare state has been shaped by an older, distinctively Lutheran–Pietist combination of educational forms of government from above and edifying popular self-organization from below. This trust-producing synthesis has been sustained by such “pastoral” professions as teaching, nursing, and social work, functioning as mediators between public welfare policies and the life world of citizens.