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Religion, Lutheranism and the Nordic Model of Welfare

Religion, Lutheranism and the Nordic Model of Welfare
Workshop, Åbo Akademi University, Turku 6–7 October 2008

New! Updated workshop programme

Papers to be presented

Dating back to the pioneering work of Max Weber researchers have
found renewed interest in the discussion of the religious elements in
the welfare state. In the Nordic countries, the influence of
Lutheranism has been seen as a much wider cultural and mental
phenomenon than direct operations of the church. Internationally,
attention has been drawn towards integrating religion in the existing
welfare state typology and in establishing patterns founded on

The Nordic countries have attracted attention as they still are to a
great majority Lutheran and at the same time they represent a
distinct welfare model and gender order. Nordic researchers have
discussed this aspect either as a very general explanation, as part
of a historical-institutional explanation or as part of the social
and normative foundation of the welfare state.

The workshop “Religion, Lutheranism and the Nordic Model of Welfare”
will concentrate on religion as one of the historical layers of the
Nordic welfare states. The speakers include, among others, Dag
Thorkildsen (University of Oslo ), Paolo Borioni (Fondazione Istituto
Gramsci), Aud V. Tønnessen (University of Oslo) and Ingela Naumann
(University of Edinburgh).

We call for proposals discussing various aspects related to religion
and welfare either from a long historical perspective or with a focus
on specific historical turning-points. Both theoretical discussions
and empirical analyses are encouraged. Paper proposals (max. 400
words) should be submitted to Sarah Hankalahti
( by June 13, 2008. Authors of submitted
abstracts will be notified not later than June 27, 2008.

The workshop is organized by the theme group Religion, Lutheranism
and the Nordic Welfare State Model that is part of the Nordic Centre
of Excellence: The Nordic Welfare State – Historical Foundations and
Future Challenges (NordWel).

NCoE-NordWel will provide accommodation and reimburses travel costs
for all participants with accepted papers. Travel grant can be
applied for in connection with abstract submission.

For more information, contact Sarah Hankalahti
( or Pirjo Markkola (

Pirjo Markkola, Åbo Akademi University
Bo Stråth, University of Helsinki