Filmic constructions of the (religious) other: Laestadians, abnormality, and hegemony in contemporary scandinavian cinema

Authors

  • Sofia Sjö Åbo Akademi University
  • Andreas Häger

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.33356/temenos.9477

Keywords:

Scandinavian film, Laestadianism, Other, hegemony, religious media literacy

Abstract

Religious themes and characters have lately assumed center stage in a number of Scandinavian films. As with films from other parts of the world, so also in Scandinavian films a suspicion of certain religious traditions can be observed. In Scandinavian films this is not only true of traditionally foreign religions, but for some domestic religious groups as well, among them the Laestadian revival movement. In this article we analyze how this movement and its members are constructed as Other in four Scandinavian films. We theorize this ‘Othering’ with the help of Gramsci’s concept of hegemony and argue that the ‘othering’ of Laestadians helps present the contrasting views as ‘normal’ and unproblematic. In the final section of the article we discuss the findings from the perspective of media and religion in a post-secular society, arguing that the media are today central to our understanding of religion, but at the same time shape religion in accordance with their own logics. We suggest that what is needed in order to understand how religion and groups such as the Laestadian revival movement are constructed in the media is religious media literacy.

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Published

2015-06-08

How to Cite

Sjö, S., & Häger, A. (2015). Filmic constructions of the (religious) other: Laestadians, abnormality, and hegemony in contemporary scandinavian cinema. Temenos - Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion, 51(1), 25–44. https://doi.org/10.33356/temenos.9477

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Articles