Embodying religious control : an intersectional approach to Sámi women in Laestadianism

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10 Sitaatiot (Scopus)


Drawing on the theory of intersectionality and feminist and political studies of religion, this article analyses the embodiment of gendered religious control in the case of Sámi women in Firstborn Laestadianism, a conservative Lutheran revivalist movement holding strong ideals of asceticism and pietistic religiosity. Women's bodies and actions are closely controlled in Firstborn Laestadianism, whereas in the Sámi community at large the position of women has traditionally been central and the social order matriarchal. The article maintains that control over sexuality, clothing and behaviour regulates not only the personal experience of being a decent and suitable religious bodily subject but also the community's reaction towards women. The female body appears as a space for interplay between the sacred and the worldly, the suitable and the forbidden. However, for Sámi women in Laestadianism, religion is only one matrix of power that regulates their lives. This article argues that being a Sámi woman in Firstborn Laestadianism is not a fixed subject position: particular intersections, most importantly the practices and traditions of the Sámi community and culture, enable women to transgress and negotiate the beliefs and norms of the movement.
JulkaisuCulture and Religion
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - maalisk. 2015
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Vertaisarvioitu alkuperäisartikkeli


  • Sosiologia


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