Centre for Theology and Religious Studies

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


Since the autumn of 2015 I am a doctoral student in Practical Theology with special interest in Swedish medieval homily and liturg. In this area of interest I have a special focus on the monastery of Vadstena, founded by Sta. Birgitta of Sweden.

I got both my degrees from Lund University. In 2011 I got my Bachelor´s degree in New Testament Studies and in 2013 I got my Master´s degree in Practical Theology. I translated and analysed six sermons from the beginning of the 16th century, delivered by the confessor general Nicolaus Ragvaldi to the sisters in the abbey of Vadstena.

In the autumn of 2015 I got my Bachelor´s degree in Latin from Lund university. The bachelor thesis is a textual edition of a section from a liturgical book focusing on the blessings of farms, written by a priest in the diocese of Lund in 1552.


About the research

Title: Medieval Sermons on Saints in Sweden: Rhetoric and Theology

The area of investigation is medieval sermons on the saint St. Birgitta, St. Botolph and St. Erik, with the purpose to understand how medieval sermons of saints were composed in order to make the audience follow their example, admire them and pray for their help. There is both a perspective on the sender, but also the reception of the sermon. Although, the lack of sources telling something about how the sermons were recieved the form of the sermon can help us understand how the preachers sought to adapt the sermons to different audiences. Another central question in the thesis focuses on the understanding of how narratives and the images of the saints develops in different genres. My hypothesis is that the images constructed in the sermons differ from that of liturgical sources, due to the form of the sermon. In order to understand the construction of the saints and the adaption to the audience it is crucial to understand the form of the sermon. The preliminary research questions are: 

What images of the saints St. Botolph, St. Erik and St. Birgitta are constructed in sermons from Vadstena abbey ca. 1400–1510, how are they developed and why are they chosen? 

  1. How are the sermons on saints composed?
  2. Are the images of the saints transient or constant in different liturgical genres, and why do they or do they not change? What influenced those images?
  3. How is the saints made relevant for the audience? 

Research portal (Lund University)


Erik Claeson

Doctoral Student
Church and Mission Studies
Centre for Theology and Religious Studies

Contact information

E-mail erik.claesonctr.luse

Phone +46 46 222 90 24

Visiting address Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address Box 192, 221 00 Lund

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