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National Piety: Religious equality, freedom of religion and national identity in Finnish political discourse

Hjelm, T; (2014) National Piety: Religious equality, freedom of religion and national identity in Finnish political discourse. Religion , 44 (1) pp. 28-45. 10.1080/0048721X.2013.857366. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper analyses the legislative discourse regarding a Members’ Initiative to enact a law which was discussed in the Finnish parliament in 2006 and which proposed changes to the constitution and several laws, the purpose of which was to balance the privileged position that the Lutheran Church of Finland enjoys. The author uses critical discourse analysis to examine four different discourses emerging from the debate: inequality of religions in the eyes of the law; the ‘completeness’ of the freedom of religion in Finland; the justified hegemony of the ‘folk church’; and the church as a value base in a pluralising world. He argues that the discursive struggle between the different positions is a struggle between ‘minimalist’and ‘maximalist’definitions of freedom of religion and that the discussion represents a case of ‘national piety’, a conflation of discourses of religious equality, freedom of religion and national identity that reproduces the status quo.

Type: Article
Title: National Piety: Religious equality, freedom of religion and national identity in Finnish political discourse
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/0048721X.2013.857366
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0048721X.2013.857366
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1407073
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