Approaching Religion Vol. 12/2: “Nordic Fundamentalism”

The current issue of Approaching Religion (Vol. 12, Issue 2) approaches the complex and much-debated concept of ‘fundamentalism’ from a variety of angles. The guest editors, Prof. Susanne Olsson of Stockholm University and Prof. Simon Sorgenfrei of Södertörn University, take their starting point in the insights gained from a research project on Wahhabi mission in Sweden, namely that a fundamentalist approach to sources and teaching in this movement may take form in expressions and practices that are not necessarily associated with ‘fundamentalist Islam.’ As a consequence, in this issue they ask: How might changing environments or circumstances influence fundamentalist interpretations and practices? And to what extent might similar approaches be found within other, non-fundamentalist, religious groups operating in secularised Nordic societies today?

The articles in the issue approach this question from several different vantage points. Måns Broo (Åbo Akademi University) analyses the ISCKON movement, while Karen Swartz (Åbo Akademi University) and Olav Hammer (University of Southern Denmark) investigates the Anthroposophical Society of Sweden. Mercédesz Czibalmos (Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare) and Riikka Tuori (University of Helsinki), on their part, deal with the Chabad Lubavitch in Finland. The two concluding articles deal with Islam: Susanne Olsson and Jonas Svensson (Linnaeus University) investigate Salafism while Simon Sorgenfrei and Simon Stjernholm (University of Copenhagen) look into Sufism. Taken together, the articles contribute with interesting insights on the concept of fundamentalism itself and how it might be developed, and how arguably fundamentalist approaches might be applied by groups generally not categorised as fundamentalist in the Nordic Countries today.

Approaching Religion is published by the Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture, it is fully open access and accessed at: