Geopolitics and religion – a mutual and conflictual relationship. Spatial regulation of creed in the Baltic Sea Region
Author: Thomas Lundén
Type: Article peer review
The geopolitical history of religion in the Baltic Sea area shows a development from the time of the Lutheran Reformation of a mosaic of states with very different jurisdictions of creed, from the tolerance under local containment of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to the strict Evangelical mono-religion of the Scandinavian countries. With seventeenth-century mercantilism, groups of skilled people of ‘foreign’ religion were invited to newly founded towns and ironworks in order to promote the economy. In the eighteenth-century enlightened absolute monarchs, defying both church and bourgeoisie, allowed groups of Catholics and Jews to Scandinavia under spatial restrictions on settlement. In Russia non-Russians of different religions were tolerated, while dissidents to the Orthodox Church were deported to peripheral places. With the Prussian territorial expansion in Germany, more groups were included into citizenship, including Jews. The last states to include groups of ‘foreign’ creed were the early nineteenth century semi-independent states of Norway and Finland.
Thomas Lundén. 2015. Geopolitics and religion – a mutual and conflictual relationship. Spatial regulation of creed in the Baltic Sea Region, International Review of Sociology, 25:2, 235-251.