Church History

Church History is the study of the 2000 year history and development of the worldwide church and its interaction with surrounding cultures, ideologies and political systems. It is about continuity and change. The Christian message has formed individuals and societies, at the same time as the expression of faith has changed in meetings with its surroundings. The discipline of Church History investigates and explains how this has happened.

The starting point for undergraduate studies is the origins of the church in the antique Mediterranean world. We then follow developments through the Early Church, Middle Ages, Reformation period and on through the modern period up to today. Focus is on the contemporary Christian churches in Europe and North America and their history.

At Uppsala University the main focus for the subject has long been Sweden and the Nordic countries. The history of ecumenism is an expanding research field. Examples of current ongoing research are also historical studies focused on individuals; the interaction between the Church of Sweden and the folk movements and Free Church revival; the Church’s role in the building of the nation and relation to social political questions as well as the situation for the Church during the Second World War. One area of priority concerns women as actors in the history of the church and gender theoretical questions. A new area of study touches on generations’ theory.

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Publications (DiVA)