This article presents the ethnographically driven multi-method research perspective of vernacular religion and analyses its potential to contribute to the theoretical advancement of Jewish studies. The ongoing discussion on religion and change within the study of religions in general and Jewish studies in particular is outlined and structured around three ‘turns’ identified in the research on vernacular religiosity. To exemplify these theoretical and methodological considerations, a recently initiated research project focusing on vernacular Judaism in Finland is presented. This project seeks to examine central ideas of boundaries as they are negotiated and interpreted among Finnish Jewry, to compare the emerging patterns with Nordic counterparts and thus contribute to a more nuanced perception of Jewish identities in these contexts. The article concludes with a discussion on the advances of such an approach, pointing to the relative novelty of research into vernacular religion within Jewish studies and the exceptionality of the Finnish Jewish context.
How can the Danish lawn be read and interpreted through the last century? The cases vary a lot, therefore the cases reach out towards a general discussion.The investigation aims at exploring the Danish lawn in an international perspective, and lawns in landscape architecture or lawns as symbols signify critical points of view to societal matters.The present contribution explores the lawn as a central component in selected cases from 1915 till today. The modern breakthrough in the 1920s in Danish landscape architecture revitalized the lawn. Further artistic contributions in the 1950s launched the lawn in a delicate poetic edition. Only a few years later in the 1960s, the lawn signified the inhuman, industrialized suburb. The color TV in the 1980s made the lawn synonymous with commercial football and technology. In 2019, the lawn is an everyday thing, and parallelly it exists as the antonym to the ecological flower meadow – the “true” urban nature.
In September 1704 a man named Sæmundur Þórarinsson was murdered by the river Elliðaá (fig. 1). Steinunn Guðmundsdóttir, his 43-year old wife, and Sigurður Arason, a 26-year-old man who lived with his mother, had had an affair and when Sæmundur was found dead in the river, rumours arose that he had been murdered. Sigurður was arrested for the murder. He first denied all allegations, but eventually he confessed and said that Steinunn had urged him to kill her husband. On November 14tth they were both sentenced to death at Kópavogur’s assembly and executed the following day. He was beheaded and his head put on a stake. She was drowned. Both were buried in unconsecrated ground on the opposite side of the road (fig. 2). In the spring of 1988, the archaeologists Guðmundur Ólafsson, Lise Gjedssø Bertelsen and Sigurður Bergsteinsson excavated their remains. The excavation uncovered a pair of barrows (fig. 3). A lot of small stones had been thrown on top of the original layer by passers-by, a custom which prevented revenance according to Icelandic folklore. Grave 1. Under the pile of stones, in a shallow grave, with no traces of a coffin, lay the skeleton of a woman (figs. 4–6). Her legs were crossed, and most of the bones from the toes were not found. The left arm was slanted down towards the stomach, the right arm inclined up towards the chest. The fists were clenched. The skull was in a strange distorted position. Two cervical vertebrae lay outside normal position, and the two front upper teeth were missing, but one was found in the grave behind the skull. She had been drowned with a sack covering her upper body. Although the missing toes and teeth raised the suspicion of torture, there is, no written evidence of torture in Kópavogur and by civil law, torture of the accused, but yet not convicted was banned and recent analysis showed no signs of torture. A confession given under torture could not be used as evidence in a lawsuit, however, when a person had been sentenced to death, he or she could be tortured, as an addition to the punishment in Denmark as well as in Iceland. Grave 2. On top of the second pile of stones a lower jaw of a man’s skull was found and some loose teeth, the grim remains of the skull that had been placed on a stake, and eventually fallen down (fig. 7). In a shallow grave under the stones lay the skeleton of the beheaded man (figs. 6 & 8), with the skull and the upper 2½ cervical vertebrae missing. The legs were crossed (figs. 6 & 8). By his feet was a 9 cm wide round hole for the stake, supported by several stones. The decapitated head had been placed at the top of the stake to intimidate passers-by on the road (figs. 6 & 8). There were no traces of a coffin. From literary sources we know that at least 12 death sentences were carried out at Kópavogur’s assembly. The last one was carried out in 1704 over Steinunn and Sigurður in accordance to Icelandic law. The Kópavogur gravesite is the only excavated execution site in Iceland, but comparable cases have been found in Denmark, such as one from 1822. Thomas Thomasen Bisp was executed in Vendsyssel for the murder of his wife Maren Justdatter. He had an affair with his maid Ane Margrethe Christensdatter and poisoned his wife. Thomas was sentenced to death by beheading and penalty on wheels and steep. Thomas’s body, including the head pierced by an iron nail, was soon removed and buried in a nearby hill, where it lay undisturbed for 78 years until road workers discovered it (fig. 9). Then the bones came at Vendsyssel Historical Museum. Ane Margrethe was sentenced to lifelong work detention in Viborg Prison, but after many years she was pardoned. https://doi.org/10.33063/diva-400603
Coloniser or Tourist?: Questions and Exercises in Swedish History Textbooks, 1927–2015. The history of History as a Swedish school subject has usually been based on two sources: curriculum plans and textbook narratives. Drawing upon more than 900 exercises that occur in 72 history textbooks published 1927–2015, this article primarily examines which different approaches to history that have been prearranged to the pupils during the second half of the last century. It is shown that a great majority of the exercises, throughout the whole period of time, prescribes a simple reproduction of unchallenged truths. It is also argued that both disciplinarian assignments and aesthetic tasks, seem to appear at least as often before, as after, the 1970s. Subsequently, especially in the 1990s, the exercises occasionally ask for the individual student’s own opinions - without demanding them to consider any historical circumstances. Accordingly it is argued that while the former category of exercises most often enjoin the distanced view of the uninvolved tourist, the latter rather instructs the pupil to embrace the coloniser’s self-centred perspective of the past.
This article examines the dominant discourses of behaviour and discipline in the debate on schooling and the conduct of school pupils in Swedish professional teacher journals between 1946 and 1962, the formative years of the Swedish comprehensive school. Drawing from the theoretical framework of discourse, governmentality and the fabrication of the subject developed by Michel Foucault, the fabrication and governing of the school pupil is highlighted and analysed. The findings of the study are related to historical research of the period as well as Foucauldian studies where a historical shift of perspectives on discipline and behaviour in the school have been proposed. The result is a detailed analysis of the fabrication and governing of the subject within the dominant discourses of behaviour and discipline during the period, as well as a critical nuancing of the idea of this historical shift.
Around 1970, violence among pupils became conceptualised in a radically new way when the concept of “mobbing” was introduced into the Nordic school debate. The concept was immediately embraced by popular discourse with the result that significant attention and discussion followed. It was also soon picked up by researchers and became further developed within Swedish and Norwegian behavioural science. This article concerns how pupil violence in the form of bullying was understood and theorised in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s in Sweden and Norway. It shows how certain political and intellectual conditions, and events, in both national contexts were decisive for the development of bullying theory, eventually leading up to a commercialisation of bullying theory. This development is discussed with the help of the concept “psychology-commercial complex,” derived from Pickstone’s theory of technoscience. publishedVersion