Workshop: Rituals and community in an age of social distancing

The present global pandemic alters people’s lives in a wide range of ways. It also alters the religious landscape in novel and unpredictable manners.

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One key characteristic of almost all religious practices and traditions is, as Baker et al. underline, the centrality of face-to-face gatherings. Given the need for social  distancing, the pandemic might be a trigger for an increased need for religious traditions; on the other hand, the pandemic causes significant changes to these traditions. The purpose of this workshop is to investigate how religious institutions, congregations and individuals in the Nordic region have been affected by the social changes brought about by the COVID-19 regulations. Analytical themes regarding religious rituals and community will be primary, but methodological issues will also be on the agenda because conducting research in an age of social distancing calls for methodological rethinking and innovation.

Welcome to a ReNEW Research seminar and workshop at University of Oslo, November 2021

Program

Wednesday 17 | Thursday 18 | Friday 19 | Presenters | Organizers | Sponsors

Wednesday 17th: Regulating religious practice

  • 12-13: Arrival and lunch
  • 13-13.30: Welcome and introduction 
  • 13.45-16.00: State and religious authority (Henrik moderator)
    • Lene Kühle (Århus Universitet): Danish religious institutions handling the COVID19 crisis
    • Giuseppina Scala (Bocconi University and University of Padova): The Constitutional Protection of Religious Freedom during the Spread of Covid-19 Pandemic in Italy and Sweden. A Comparative Law Perspective 
    • Research/stakeholder responses and discussion: How will normative choices made by civil and religious authorities affect the religious landscape?
      • Helge Årsheim (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences)
      • Ingrid Rosendorft Joys (The Council for Religious and Life stance Communities in Norway) 
  • 17.30: Dinner at Der Pepperen gror, Bogstadveien 1, 0355 Oslo

Thursday 18th: Mediatized lived religion

  • 9.00-12.00: Mediatized religion and the COVID-19 effect (Auli moderator)
    • Ingeborg Dybvig The Church of Norway: Digital experience, opportunities and challenges after the pandemic 
    • Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen (University of Oslo): Churches’ Performed Identities at Facebook
    • Laura Kallatsa and Sini Mikkola (University of Eastern Finland): Online Communion during the First Wave of COVID-19 in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland
    • Research/stakeholder responses and discussion: How will digital media transform churches self-understanding? 
  • 12.00-13.00 Lunch
  • 13.00-15.00: Virtual and Hybrid Communities (Moderator: Elisabeth).) Research and stakeholder response and discussion: What kind of consequences will it have that majority and minority religions make their religious rituals publicly available online?
    • Merete Thomassen (UiO) @Coronaworship: Material and Digital liturgies
    • Ånund Brottveit (KIFO): Digital Easter, drive-in Id al-fitr, and Christmas on a distance. Abstract (pdf)
    • Noora Palmi (University of Eastern Finland): The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Employees’ Experiences of Meaning in and Wellbeing at Work in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
    • Research and stakeholder response and discussion
  • 15.30-17.30 Deaths and farewell (Moderator: Henrik)
    • Auli Vähäkangas (University of Helsinki): Experiences and emotions related to funerals during Covid 19.
    • Carsten Schuerhoff (KIFO): Pandemic Funerals. Temporary or permanent changes in the ritualization of death?
    • Research and stakeholder responses and discussion: Digital or hybrid funerals - a worship service or a commercial product?
  • 18.00: Workshop with roundtable discussion: Important insights, findings across the presentation, trends and characteristics. Future network and research plans.
  • 20.15: Dinner at Zarathustra Meyhane, Thorvald Meyers gate 80, 0550 Oslo

Friday 19th: Changing patterns of Lived Religion

  • 9.00-12.00: Beliefs and practices (Moderator: Auli)
    • Erika Willander (Uppsala university): The existential crises among care professionals and hospital chaplaincy in Sweden 
    • Henrik Reintoft Christensen (AU): Religious beliefs and practice in a population under COVID-19 restrictions. The Danish survey
    • Tore Witsø Rafoss (KIFO): Religious beliefs and practice in a population under COVID-19 restrictions. The Norwegian survey.
    • Research and stakeholder responses and discussion: How will COVID-19 transform established religious patterns in the Nordic countries?
  • 12.15-13.00: Second session: Publications and activities (Moderator: Elisabeth) (internal)
    • Inger Furseth, editor, (UIO): Guidelines for articles in the Nordic Journal of Religion and Society.
    • Andrew Wergeland, Editorial Secretary, Studia Theologica: Guidelines for articles in Studia Theologica

  • 13.00: Lunch and goodbye

Presenters

Finland

  • Professor Auli Vähäkangas (University of Helsinki)
  • Dr. Laura Kallatsa (University of Eastern Finland)
  • Dr. Sini Mikkola (University of Eastern Finland)
  • Early Stage Researcher, M.Th Noora Palmi (University of Eastern Finland)

Sweden

  • Researcher Erika Willander (Uppsala University)

Denmark

  • Associate Professor Henrik Reintoft Christensen (Aarhus University)
  • Professor Lene Kühle (AU)
  • PhD Anne Lundahl Mauritsen

Italy

  • Guiseppina Scala (Bocconi University and University of Padova)

Norway

  • Associate Professor Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen (University of Oslo)
  • Research Director Ånund Brottveit (KIFO - Institute for Church, Religion, and Worldview Research)
  • Researcher Olaf Aagedal (KIFO)
  • Associate Professor Merete Thomassen (UiO)
  • Researcher Tore Witsø Rafoss (KIFO)
  • Researcher Carsten Schuerhoff (KIFO)
  • Director of communication Ingeborg Dybvig (Church of Norway)

Respondents

  • Associate professor Helge Årsheim (INN)
  • Professor Knut Lundby (UiO)
  • Associate professor Nina Hoel (UiO)
  • Associate professor Birgitte Lerheim (UiO)
  • Professor Pål Ketil Botvar (UiA)
  • Professor Inger Furseth (UIO)
  • General secretary Director Ingrid Rosendorft Joys (The Council for Religious and Life stance Communities in Norway)

Organizers

Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen (University of Oslo), Auli Vähäkangas (University of Helsinki) and Henrik Reintoft Christensen (Aarhus University)

Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen,Auli Vähäkangas, Henrik Reintoft Christensen, Ånund Brottveit and Olaf Aagedal. Photo
From left: Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen,Auli Vähäkangas, Henrik Reintoft Christensen, Ånund Brottveit and Olaf Aagedal

Co-organizers

Ånund Brottveit and Olaf Aagedal (KIFO)

Sponsors

ReNEW, Faculty of Theology (UiO), KIFO

Published Oct. 20, 2021 3:15 PM - Last modified Nov. 16, 2021 3:51 PM