Sweden and Denmark have by American sociologist Phil Zuckerman been described as prosperous “societies without God,” as secular “heavens.” But are these societies truly secular? And is it true that secularity has caused prosperity in Scandinavia? This paper deals with the modern religious situation in “the public square” in Scandinavia, with new research findings and will give essential references to Scandinavia's cultural and religious history. It will display the impact of the Lutheran heritage in creating the Swedish/Scandinavian welfare states, and discuss Zuckerman's attempt to describe Sweden and Denmark as secular ideals.
Secularism, Secular State, Sweden, Prosperity, Lutheranism, Public Square
The Politics of Religion
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Kjell Olof Urban Lejon
Professor, Department of Culture and Communication, Linköping Unversity, Sweden