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European Science Foundation ranking A

International Journal of Practical Theology

Ed. by Couture, Pamela / Schröder, Bernd

Editorial Board: Dreyer, Jaco / Gräb, Wilhelm / Graham, Elaine / Grethlein, Christian / Hastings, Thomas John / Lefebvre, Solange / Mette, Norbert / Miller-McLemore, Bonnie / Mullino Moore, Mary Elizabeth / Nieman, James / Osmer, Richard / Schreiter, Robert / Schweitzer, Friedrich / Kwan Un, Joon / Ven, Johannes / Wolfteich, Claire

In cooperation with Simojoki, Henrik / Bowers Du Toit, Nadine / Ramsay, Nancy

CiteScore 2017: 0.52

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 3.042

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Volume 22, Issue 1


Teaching Rituals: New Church Activities and Religious Education

Aino-Elina Kilpeläinen
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology, P.O. Box 4, 00014 University of Helsinki, FinlandUniversity of HelsinkiFaculty of TheologyP. O. Box 400014 HelsinkiFinland
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/ Dr. Marie Vejrup Nielsen
  • Aarhus Universitet, School of Culture and Society, Department for the Study of Religion, Jens Chr. Skousvej 3, 8000 Aarhus, DenmarkAarhus Universitet, School of Culture and SocietyDepartment for the Study of ReligionJens Chr. Skousvej 38000 AarhusDenmark
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Published Online: 2018-06-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijpt-2016-0035


Today, a series of new initiatives are appearing within the established churches, many of them directed towards families with young children. The research presented in this article examines one specific new activity, “Babysalmesang” – baby hymn singing – within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark. This study rests firmly on the results of a national study and provides a qualitative perspective on what takes place in babysalmesang from the perspective of ritual education. The analysis of the data showed that babysalmesang is a ritualized activity that, at the same time, teaches about a ritual: baptism.


Innovative gemeindepädagogische Angebote richten sich heute häufig an Familien mit kleinen Kindern. Der vorliegende Artikel untersucht den in der evangelischen Kirche Dänemarks verbreiteten „Babysalmesang“, ein Choralsingen mit Säuglingen, das die Charakterzüge einer Taufvorbereitung trägt. Die Autorinnen knüpfen mit einer videographie-basierten, qualitativen Untersuchung an eine landesweite Studie an und beleuchten vorrangig Aspekte der Ritualerziehung. Ihre Analyse belegt, dass „Babysalmesang“ zugleich über das Taufritual unterrichtet und selbst eine ritualisiert Aktivität ist.

Keywords: Rituals; religious education; parents and infants; music

Stichwörter: Rituale; Religionspädagogik; Eltern und Kleinkinder; Musik

About the article

Published Online: 2018-06-01

Published in Print: 2018-05-30

Citation Information: International Journal of Practical Theology, Volume 22, Issue 1, Pages 23–39, ISSN (Online) 1612-9768, ISSN (Print) 1430-6921, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijpt-2016-0035.

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