Monday, 30 March 2015

Faith, hope, and love – a Swedish TV-show

Today I attended a workshop at our university:
Borders and Religions crossing borders

Perspectives on Space, Formation and Citizenship
The workshop was organized by the Research project 'Good Protestant, Bad Religion? Formatting Religion in Modern Society'. It is based at Oslo University and is financed by the Norwegian research Council (NFR)

We have listened to presentations around a concept called ‘protestantization’. I am not sure I understood everything. In one of the papers the main organiser, Prof Trygve Wyller from Oslo, explains:
Protestant is evidently part of the modernity, democracy and citizenship, it might also be part of trajectories of exclusion and repression, both in the past and today.
So, it is a lot about how religion plays a part in the whole process of creating different spaces. Spaces that sometimes are separated by borders.

While I listened to the presentations I thought about the TV show, that I knew was going to start tonight:
Tro, hopp och kärlek. (Faith, hope, and love).
'Mark will help three priest and a pastor find love.'
The program idea is that a few clergy who are single, will present themselves to the TV-audience. Other single persons, who are interested in dating them, will then have a chance to write to the TV channel in order to date the particular priest/pastor they are interested in. The ultimate objective is that the priest and the other person will find love through the program.

I must confess that I was a bit dubious. But the first colleague in the show was a person that I know. Kristin. She made a very good impression. Relaxed! In a sense I felt proud.

Religions crossing borders? Definitely. Formatting religion in modern society? Yes. Good protestant, bad religion? That’s up to the viewers to decide. I am sure that there will be a whole lot of comments in social media. It will be interesting to follow this from a distance.

By way of anecdote, the program leader is a famous Roman Catholic. And he is proudly gay.

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