Ida Olenius

PhD student at Department of Theology, Church History and Mission History

Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 B
Postal address:
Box 511
751 20 UPPSALA

Short presentation

I am a PhD Candidate in Church History. My thesis examines the Church of Sweden during the Second World War. In particular, I am interested in the methods the Church of Sweden used to strengthen the mental (or "spiritual") preparedness (for war or crisis) of the civilian population, and how this work and its purpose was viewed by the church as well as by the state authorities.

Keywords: 20th century 1900-tal kyrkohistoria church history world war ii andra världskriget svenska kyrkan church of sweden beredskap kristen nationalism nationell kristendom national christianity christian nationalism second world war

I am studying the Church of Sweden during the Second World War (1939-1945) from the perspective of "spiritual preparedness". This term was used in Sweden in both Christian and secular contexts at this time, and could broadly be defined as the ability of the Swedish population to stay united, endure hardships and withstand defaitism in the face of foreign hostility or attack. My aim is to clarify what the Church did to strengthen this spiritual preparedness among the Swedes and how its work was organised, what the relationship was with the governmental organization Folkberedskapen, and how "spiritual preparedness" was interpreted by the Church. I will also discuss the inspiration for the Church of Sweden's work with spiritual preparedness, and what was done with regards to the famous motto "The Swedish line is the Christian line" of November 1941.

I am part of the Network for Historical Studies of National Christianities: Nätverk som fick stöd 2021-2022 - Vetenskapsområdet för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap - Uppsala universitet ( In May 2023, I was part of the organizing committee for the cross-disciplinary symposium National Christianities in the Nordic Region - Past and Present, supported by CIRCUS and organized within the network.

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Ida Olenius