9780820499444 / 0820499447

From Quest for Truth to Being Oneself: Religious Change in Life Stories


Publisher:Peter Lang Publishing, 2006



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About the book:

There is a growing interest in ordinary peoples life stories. This book provides a detailed analysis of eight Norwegian women and men and their stories about their lives. It focuses on their construction of images of self, society, religion and morality. In spite of a majority Lutheran church, Norwegians are demonstrating new ways of accepting and celebrating religious variety. There is a strong emphasis on self in contemporary culture and an increasing tendency to shift from objective to subjective ordering of experiences. Whereas the older generation speaks about religious traditions as a duty and a quest for truth, the younger generation views religion to be something that corresponds to their true self. Gender also structures religion in contemporary Norway. Women are more religious than men, and women and men speak about religion in different ways. While women focus on religion as a source of meaning in their lives, men tend to describe religion as a moral factor. This book is based on a combination of survey data and life stories. It offers an analysis of the complexity of religion and culture, and the changing face of religion in contemporary Norway.

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