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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2018

Chapter 2 Attitudes: Tendencies and Variations

From the book Contesting Religion

  • Mia Lövheim , Haakon H. Jernsletten , David Herbert , Knut Lundby and Stig Hjarvard


This chapter presents an overview of religiosity and attitudes to religious diversity in media and other public spaces based on a cross-Scandinavian survey conducted in 2015. Although Scandinavians in general have a weak personal connection to religion, Christianity still holds a privileged position as an expression of cultural identity. Scandinavians express support for equal rights to practice religion, but also doubtfulness towards public expressions of religion. More than one-fourth of respondents discuss news about religion and religious extremism regularly. There is a widespread sentiment that Islam is a threat to the national culture, even though most respondents state that they oppose an open expression of hostile attitudes towards foreigners. Political orientation and gender are salient aspects that shape diverging opinions regarding tolerance or scepticism towards the public visibility of religious diversity. Furthermore, Danes and Norwegians are more critical of public expressions of Islam than Swedes.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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