The many altars of the North. Challenges and opportunities arising from Christian migration and minorities in Northern Europe.

27 januari 2022 09:00 till 28 januari 2022 19:00 Konferens

In this seminar, we invite scholars to discuss the new Christian landscape in the Nordic countries. We invite papers that examine Christian migrants and minorities and discuss the various trends, challenges, opportunities and shapes of these communities.

The last three decades have massively transformed the religious landscape of the Nordic countries following new streams of migration. This migratory influx has mostly been treated as a predominantly Muslim phenomenon in academic and public discourse, which has failed to acknowledge for the large composition of Christians amongst the migrants. This Christian migration has led to the flourishing of new Catholic, Pentecostal, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox communities, which has hardly been noticed. A development that could be described as a silent Christian migration.

The conference will take place at Lund University the 27-28th January 2022.

A special Ph.D. seminar on the topic will be hosted as part of the conference on the 26th January. The seminar is an opportunity for early carrier scholars to present papers and receive feedback from senior scholars.


Key notes

“Christian immigration to the Nordic countries”
Tuomas Martikainen, Senior Researcher, University of Eastern Finland, Finland.

“Christian minorities in contemporary Sweden – e pluribus unum?”
Magdalena Nordin, Associated professor, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

“Orthodox Christians in Northern Europe - diaspora or minority?“
Sebastian Rimestad, Senior Research Fellow, Universität Leipzig, Germany

”The Visible and the Invisible: Narrating Catholic Immigration in Denmark”
Bjørn Thomassen, Roskilde University, Denmark.


Possible themes of the conference

• Silent migration: public discourse and debate arising from Christian migration
• Localization of theology and practice amongst Christian migrants and minorities
• The establishment, integration or contestation of Christian migrant and minority congregation
• Conversion: narratives, patterns and dynamics of Christian conversion amongst migrants and minorities
• Personal narratives of Christian migrants and minorities
• Statistical mapping, angles and loop-holes of Christian migrants and minorities
• Challenges and opportunities arising from interaction with state, civil society and majority churches


Papers and Deadlines

Proposal for papers should include name, affiliation, title and abstract (200 words). Proposals should be send to emil.saggau@ctr.lu.se no later than 25th October 2021. Please write explicitly in the mail if a paper is intended for the separate Ph.D. seminar or for the general conference.

A preliminary program and acceptance of papers will be made public by the beginning of November 2021.



A joint session with civil society and NGO’s will be held on the last day of the conference to stimulate further discussion and outreach.



The conference will take place at the Centre for Theology and Religious Study at Lund University.

There is no conference fee and accepted speakers will be invited to Lunch and “fika” (coffee breaks) throughout the seminar. A final conference buffet dinner will be held on the 28th free of charge for conference participants. Speakers need to organise travel and accommodation by themselves.



Centre for Theology and Religious Study at Lund University
Chair: Professor Mika Vähäkangas
Secretary: Research Fellow, Emil Hilton Saggau
Organising committee: Research Fellow Aron Engberg, Docent
Andreas Westergren and Ph.D. Student Ryszard Bobrowicz

For questions and queries please contact the conference secretary at emil.saggau@ctr.lu.se.

Om händelsen:

27 januari 2022 09:00 till 28 januari 2022 19:00

Centre for Theology and Religious Study at Lund University


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