Book of the month: Granskogsfolk: Hur naturen blev svenskarnas religion by David Thurfjell
For many Swedes and people from northern Europe more generally, forests and nature have a special meaning. David Thurfjell, professor of the study of religion at Södertörn University, asks whether it might be the case that nature has become the new religion for Swedes and, if this is so, how did this come about. In dialogue with forest wanderers, previous research and through historical overviews a broad understanding of the relationship many Swedes today have with nature is offered. This relationship is in no way simple or unproblematic, but the study as a whole provides important insights into existential reflection in today’s individualized and secularized Nordic societies. Thus, though the focus in Granskogsfolk is on Sweden, the study undoubtably captures occurrences, thoughts and feelings many northern Europeans can recognize. In addition, the book is written in a clear academic language that should be approachable for a wide audience.