Normative Imperatives and Communal Influences : The Consistory's Role in Proposing Lutheran Clergy in the 18th-Century Russian Border Area
Räihä, A. (2017). Normative Imperatives and Communal Influences : The Consistory's Role in Proposing Lutheran Clergy in the 18th-Century Russian Border Area. Scandinavian Journal of History, 42 (5), 537-559. doi:10.1080/03468755.2017.1353190
Published inScandinavian Journal of History
© 2017 the Historical Associations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivatives License.
Merit was strongly emphasized in the Privileges of the Clergy (in 1723) and legislative reforms, as well as in the formalization of election practices in connection with clerical appointments in the Kingdom of Sweden in the early 18th century. According to existing research, this resulted in a deepening difference between the standpoints of the laity and the ecclesiastical authorities. However, in studying the appointments of clergy in the Lutheran parishes in Russia’s western border area in the mid- and late 18th century, this article argues that the boundary between the opinions of the diocesan board (in this case the Consistory of Fredrikshamn) and those of the parishioners with regard to the candidates’ suitability for vacant clerical posts may have been more fuzzy. The focus is on the consistory’s proposals for investiture. The investitures were structured according to normative rules of procedure, but the wording in the descriptions of the candidates in the consistory’s proposals strongly emphasized the importance not only of merit but also of other factors, such as the parishioners’ opinion and the different parties’ familiarity with the candidates. ...