A Burning Affair

Special Issue on the Burning of the Qur’an


  • Göran Larsson University of Gothenburg
  • Iselin Frydenlund Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society
  • Torkel Brekke Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society




Qur’an burning, Rasmus Paludan, blasphemy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland


In this special issue of Temenos we wish to draw attention to and provide a contextualization and analysis of the burnings of the Qur’an that have taken and continue to take place in the Nordic context in recent years. Although many countries still have blasphemy laws or laws against religious hatred that protect ‘religion’ (however defined) or religious sensibilities from being desecrated or mocked, most Western countries, including Sweden and Norway, have removed blasphemy laws and made it possible to offer a critique of religion, including the right to criticize religious texts. While several articles in this special issue discuss the contemporary practice of public rituals where a physical copy of the Qur’an is burnt, we argue that understanding why this practice has become so widespread in the Nordic region requires a historical awareness of how both blasphemy and the freedoms of religion and expression have been understood and practised in this very specific cultural and political environment in the far corners of Europe.




How to Cite

Larsson, G., Frydenlund, I., & Brekke, T. (2024). A Burning Affair: Special Issue on the Burning of the Qur’an. Temenos - Nordic Journal for the Study of Religion, 60(1), 5–26. https://doi.org/10.33356/temenos.137982