sh.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Postsovjetisk minnespolitik ur ett kyrkohistoriskt perspektiv: Svenska kyrkan och S:t Katarina församling i S:t Petersburg
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Study of Religions.
Umeå universitet.
2019 (Swedish)In: Innan murarna föll: Svenska kyrkan under kalla kriget / [ed] Lennart Sjöström, Artos & Norma bokförlag, 2019, p. 145-180Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article tells the story of St. Catherine ́s Swedish Lutheran Church in St Petersburg with a particular focus on how this building was linked to a Swedish legacy and also to hopes for actions from The Church of Sweden in the time after the cold war. In the fall of 1991, a handful of people gathered in an apartment in St. Petersburg to sign an application to the city authorities to be registered as the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in St. Petersburg. The application was approved and the formation had consequences for The Church of Sweden and for Swedish Foreign Policy, as the congregation repeatedly tried to be recognized as a Swedish outpost in St. Petersburg.

The congregation ́s claim that they were the legitimate heirs of the Swedish Lutheran congregation, which had existed in the city or its surroundings since 1632, was clearly demonstrated, thus revealing memories, which were reactivated and filled with new content. It can clearly be stated that it would not have been possible to revive and revitalize the memory of the Swedish Lutheran presence in St. Petersburg without the material (and spatial) traces in the form of the church building.

St. Catherine’s congregation is not very big today (2018). Exact numbers are hard to establish – but it is not more than 50 members. These are mostly Russians with an interest in Scandinavian history and culture, some of whom have Swedish or Finnish roots. On the other hand, arrangements like concerts, St Lucia and Christmas celebrations gather big audiences. The congregation still has an uncertain existence and the building – despite its poor condition – is the congregation´s primary asset. The (church) building can be described as an ecumenical activity house since the congregation allows other groups use of the building.

There have been plans to transform the church building into a Swedish cultural center, plans not yet materialized. The building has attracted a variety of hopes of different groups, from the preservation or re-creation of a lost Swedish identity and belonging, to being a necessary junction in the maintenance of Swedish-Russian relations. The former ambition rests on, and belongs to, a Lutheran religious identity, while the second one is an expression of Swedish (secular) diplomacy and politics.

In practice one can conclude that the Swedish Lutheran congregation in S:t Petersburg has no official links with The Church of Sweden. That formal bond broke when the fortress Nyenskans fell in 1703. After that, the congregation has been part of the Lutheran church in Russia. And as long as Finland was a Grand Duchy of Russian, the Swedish congregation could work closely with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland. The congregation has always been turned towards Finland, Sweden and Russia. It constitutes – since the 18th century – a contact area between different countries – a zone where people, languages, traditions (religious and cultural) and stories have met, merged, transformed and sometimes even collided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Artos & Norma bokförlag, 2019. p. 145-180
Keywords [sv]
Minnesforskning, Kyrkohistoria, Svenska kyrkan, Ryssland
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39059Local ID: 755/3.1.1/2014ISBN: 978-91-7777-081-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-39059DiVA, id: diva2:1354723
Part of project
The Gateway to Russia: Memory Politics, Materiality and Collective Identities - St Catherine Swedish Congregation in St Petersburg around the turn of two Centuries, The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 755/3.1.1/2014Available from: 2019-09-26 Created: 2019-09-26 Last updated: 2019-09-26Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Authority records BETA

Gunner, Gunilla

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Gunner, Gunilla
By organisation
Study of Religions
Religious Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 63 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf