På onsdag är det release för Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Cavanaugh på Ersta, en bok jag och Fredrik Wenell redigerat om (i huvudsak) svensk frikyrklighet i dialog med Cavanaugh. Läser den ikväll – för första gången mellan pärmar, faktiskt! – och konstaterar återigen att Hauerwas korta förord är så intressant och insiktsfullt. Hör bara:
I had come to Sweden just prior to the disestablishment of the Lutheran Church by the state. I was told often that this would be a deep challenge to the Lutheran Church in Sweden. I have no reason to doubt that may well be the case, but I thought the disestablishment of the Lutheran Church would present a deeper and more lasting challenge to the Free Church. I thought that might be the case because the Free Church had positioned itself primarily as “not Lutheran.” What do you do when you lose the primary identifying marker that makes you who you have been?
Reading the essays in this book, however, has helped me see that while that impression may not have been wholly wrong it was too simple. For many of these essays help me understand that the challenge is not the Lutheran Church itself, but the Swedish welfare state. The latter turns out to be the expression of a Lutheranism that makes difficult any strong distinction between church and state. It seems outside the welfare system in Sweden there is no salvation. Accordingly the Free churches of Sweden, at least as these essays suggest, are manifestations of the very modernity they may well think they are reacting against. Ironically, spontaneous prayer turns out to be a practice that insures the Free churches will lack the resources to understand, much less resist, the forces that threaten their life.