Magdalena Nordin is Senior lecturer at Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University

Abstract

A high number of Assyrians/Syriacs (an ethnic and religious group with a long history in the Middle East), in emic terms called suryoye, have come to Sweden since the late 1960s. Due to the recent war in Syria and Iraq since 2015, this number have increased, and this makes Sweden the most important country for this group in the world. The suryoye are often considered to be an example of successful integration into Swedish society. Although the suryoye tend to see themselves as one, they are heterogeneous, coming from different social and educational backgrounds from different countries, and they are multilingual. Most of them, however, have a Christian background and the majority belong to the Syriac Orthodox Church. In this project, the main focus is therefore, on the Syriac Orthodox Church. In Sweden it is a large, well-established church with 50 congregations and about 45 000 members today, and a study of this institution provides an excellent opportunity to understand the ways in which religious organizations can promote or prevent integration into a new society. The aim the research project is to examine the processes of integration within three Syriac Orthodox congregations in Sweden, with a special focus on the role of religious traditions in these processes.

The seminar will be held in English.