Limits of Power. Clerical Appointment as Part of Domestic Policy in Sweden after the Reformation, 1560–1611

  • 1 University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Abstract

This article examines state-church relations in Sweden by analysing clerical appointment processes in the latter part of the 16th century. The aim is to ascertain whether the king of Sweden could appoint pastors independently, and if not, with whom he was compelled to share the power. Earlier studies argue that the power of the king grew due to the reformation. First, this article examines the number of clerical appointments that were made in the period 1560-1611. The results reveal a remarkable annual variation in the number of clerical appointments. Second, the timing and share of clerical appointments made by the king are studied. The number of appointments made by the king is viewed against the total number of clerical appointments so as to reveal the importance of appointments made by the crown. Third, the article examines the proportion of appointments made by other authorities. The results suggest that the crown’s role in clerical appointment processes varied, but more interestingly, it was not as ubiquitous as earlier researchers suggest. Thus article concludes that crown’s power over the church in 16th century Sweden was not as vast as it has previously been claimed.

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