Denominations of Faith in the Census

The article deals with two interrelated sets of research questions: how did non-conformism spread in Norway, which was completely dominated by the State Church, and where can such developments be studied in the censuses more internationally? Some nations have century-long series of census-based aggr...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Diskus
Main Author: Thorvaldsen, Gunnar 1948-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2014]
In:Diskus
Year: 2014, Volume: 16, Issue: 2, Pages: 5-21
Online Access: Volltext (Kostenfrei)
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Summary:The article deals with two interrelated sets of research questions: how did non-conformism spread in Norway, which was completely dominated by the State Church, and where can such developments be studied in the censuses more internationally? Some nations have century-long series of census-based aggregates about religious affiliations, while other nations have never or rarely included faith oriented items in their census questionnaires. Contrary to what could be expected with the increased awareness of privacy protection, several European countries, like the United Kingdom, have introduced a census question about religion at the start of the new millennium. This makes an overview of faith questions in the censuses topical both for historical and contemporary studies. This article deals in greatest detail with the differentiation of religion according to the censuses in Norway. Hopefully, this can inspire similar studies on the basis of the international overview of censuses in the first part of the article. After dissenters were allowed from the 1840s, the Norwegian censuses provide one of the longest overviews of the spread of alternative beliefs, from 1865 to 1980. The slow growth is attributable to Norway as an anti-pluralistic society, where the voluntary activity of the independent congregations had difficulty competing with the State Church's professional organization. Local dissenters could still stand strong with up to one third of the population as followers. They had solid bastions especially in along the coasts in the north, the south-east and the south-west, mostly strong positions for alternative Lutheran congregations. Relatively speaking, dissenters were stronger in towns than in the countryside, which among other things can be seen from the predominance of women among the many migrants to urban areas and among the dissenters.
ISSN:0967-8948
Contains:Enthalten in: Diskus
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.18792/diskus.v16i2.37