An instance of secularization? The Finnish online discussion of the issue of same-sex marriages

  • Jenni Hokka University of Tampere
Keywords: Secularization (Sociology), Religious change, Social media, Gay rights, Same-sex marriage, Gender, Suomen evankelis-luterilainen kirkko, Christianity, Church membership, Electronic discussion groups, Digital media, Internet


In October 2010 one of Finland’s four national TV channels aired a panel discussion dealing with gay and lesbian rights in society. Among the debaters were members of parliament from various parties, well-known actors and other public figures, as well as a priest, a bishop and other religious spokespeople. Afterwards, a great number of people publicly expressed their views on same-sex marriages. The ways the Lutheran Church treated the same-sex couples, as well as the reasons and outcomes of a vast number of resignations from the Church were discussed, particularly in the online discussion forums. The public discussion spread rapidly, especially through the social media. Resignations from the Church are often perceived as a clear sign of the decline of religious beliefs and practices, which is an integral aspect of the secularization process. But lately the whole notion of a secularization of society has been questioned and a growing number of researchers have stated that the concepts of resacralization, desecularization, or a resurgence of religion would actually better describe the current situation than the theory of secularization. The aim of this article is to examine whether the concept of secularization still has some explanatory power at least in the Nordic countries. Another aim is to contemplate what kind of knowledge this special case has to offer when rethinking secularization.
Jan 1, 2013
How to Cite
Hokka, J. (2013). An instance of secularization? The Finnish online discussion of the issue of same-sex marriages. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 25, 80-98.