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The attraction of the reconstructed past

Conference contribution
Authors Ola Wetterberg
Published in International Society for the Sociology of Religion, conference. The Politics of Religion and Spirituality.
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Conservation
Language en
Keywords religious heritage, management regimes, conservation professionals, handbooks, policies
Subject categories Sociology, Religious Studies, Cultural Studies, Ethnology


The past twenty years have seen an unprecedented activity of reconstructions of medieval wooden church buildings in the Scandinavian countries. There has been all kind of motivations, ambitions and skills underlying these activities. A few churches are built by the Church of Sweden to host the religious activities of a parish. More common are projects that have been set up as scientific experiments into craft skills, building constructions and timber quality, or have been built for pedagogic purposes in museum settings or in business-driven fun fairs. Yet another category of projects are related to the growing activities related to pilgrimage trails. Common to all of these projects is that they through their combination of reconstructed pastness values and religious attribution – historic or/and contemporary – are expected to attract a lot of attention mostly are part of an intentional destination policy, with different purposes. This paper will give a broad overview of the different kind of projects and analyse expectations as well as underlying needs and desires of the people involved. It will also trace historical roots to contemporary practices to be found both in secular and religious relations to history and pastness in small medieval parish churches.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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