Laestadius and Laestadianism in The Contested Field of Cultural Heritage

Associate professor Anne Heith has published a book on Laestadius and Laestadianism in Saami and Tornedalean texts:

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LLL Online in Aalborg

LLL Online sessions at The 29th Congress of Nordic Historians:

Lars Levi Læstadius – en reformator i den nordlige ødemarken

Lis Mari Hjortfors, Roald E. Kristiansen, Hannu Mustakallio, Kosti Joensuu and Rolf Inge Larsen (Photo: Siv Rasmussen).

Associate professor Rolf Inge Larsen, Tromsø:

Læstadius og «de hundre talenters forbandelse» (read pdf )

PhD/Researcher Kosti Joensuu, Rovaniemi:

Vitalist psychology and philosophy of religion in Laestadius’ thought

Summary: There is a strong emphasis on the significance of pre-reflective and pre-cognitive life of human being in Lars Levi Laestadius’ (1800-1861) philosophical theology. This experiential-existential emphasis is theoretically based on physiological medicine of enlightenment and its theological roots are in pietistic religiosity and Luther’s anti-philosophy. In this context I will question the nature of Laestadius’ critique of metaphysics and rationalism and the way how it paves a way for the later despise of intellectual rationalizations of living faith within northern pietism.

Professor Hannu Mustakallio, Joensuu:

Reformerna i den finska stiftsförvaltningen och hotet från laestadianismen i nordkalotten under senare hälften av 1800-talet (read pdf)

PhD Student/Researcher Lis-Mari Hjortfors, Umeå:

Laestadianismens betydelse för samernas liv, religiositet och identitet  i lulesamiskt område

Summary: Lars Levi Laestadius som grundade rörelsen var same och höll predikningar på samiska. Församlingen återfinns i både Sverige och Norge och har medlemmar även i Finland och USA. När koloniseringen och kristnandet av samerna inleddes var det många lulesamer som hittade en plats i laestadianismen för att bevara sin kulturella och språkliga identitet.

Associate professor Roald E. Kristiansen, Tromsø:

The Sacred Geography of Firstborn Laestadianism

Summary: Within a couple of decades after its beginning in 1845, the Laestadian movement had established numerous congregations not only in northern Sweden, Finland and Norway, be also in North America. Internal tensions, however, caused a split in which the movement at the end of the 19th century, resulting in an Eastern and a Western branch. The identity of the Western branch was based on a view of the congregations, which emphasized the need for submitting to the religious authority of the Lappland leadership. The concept of “Lappland” thus took on a religious significance, which became the hallmark of the Western Laestadian group, also known as the Firstborns.


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Kosti Joensuu to defend his doctoral thesis on Lars Levi Laestadius’ philosophy

Kosti Joensuu is defending his doctoral thesis The Physical, Moral and Spiritual: A study of Vitalist Psychology and the Philosophy of Religion of Lars Levi Laestadius tomorrow, December 9. We wish him all the best!

The thesis is available for sale here. A short interview with Joensuu can be found here.


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Lars-Erik Wikbergs article on The Unknown Laestadius [full version in Swedish]

The full version in Swedish of Lars-Erik Wikberg’s article from our kick-off seminar in 2015 is now available here. In the article, Wikberg outlines the founding of the publishing company Bibliotheca Laestadiana. He also gives a laestadian understanding of Laestadius, and a comprehensive theological view based on his own experiences. Wikberg gives important insight into what laestadians refer to as “The unknown Laestadius” [Den okände Laesadius] when dealing with academic researchers. In his argumentation Wikberg, uses central laestadian concepts such as The Doctrine of Passions (passionslæren), The Mark of Grace (nådemerke), The Order of Grace (nådens ordning), The Heavenly Parent (den himmelske forelder) and The Great Glory of Atonement (forsoningens store herlighet). Enjoy the reading.

(The presentation notes in English are available here.)

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Special issue on Laestadius in Norsk tidsskrift for misjonsvitenskap

Most of the presentations from our kick-off seminar in autumn 2015 have now been published in a special issue of Norsk tidsskrift for misjonsvitenskap. They are available Open Access here.


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Laestadius-poppy (Læstadius-valmuen)

In a newspaper article in Nordlys, Steinar Thorvaldsen tells about Laestadius’ pioneering work as a botanist. Among other things, Laestadius discovered a new plant, which later was named after him, the Papaver laestadianum or Papaver radicatum ssp. laestadianum (Læstadius-valmuen).


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Photo gallery “Læstadius lever”

A series of photographs with the title “Læstadius lever” by photographer and journalist Ole Magnus Rapp is now available at our homepage.


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Presentations from network meeting 2015

Pdf versions of the presentations at our first network meeting held in Tromsø in October 2015 are now available her.


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Seminar in Tromsø on Laestadius



Making Cultural Heritage Online: Lars Levi Laestadius

October 29th-30th  2015

Nedre lysthus: NLYSTH 06, Campus Breivika Uit


October 29th

The heritage of Lars Levi Laestadius Chairs: Rolf Inge Larsen/Olle Sundström
09.00 Making Lars Levi Laestadius Online Rolf Inge Larsen, UiT The Arctic University, Norway
09.30 En nordisk komparasjon av synet på Laestadius, med hovedvekt på Finland Hannu Mustakallio, Eastern Finlands University, Finland
10.30 L.L. Laestadius’ depiction of the indigenous Sami religion in Fragmenter i lappska mythologien Olle Sundström, Umeå University, Sweden
11.15 The unknown Laestadius Lars Erik Wikberg, Bibliotheca Laestadiana, Sweden
12.30 “Sällan lärer man finna någon person, som med så litet kan uträtta så mycket” – The Natural Scientist Lars Levi Laestadius Natalia Koroleva, Kola Science Center, Kirovsk, Russia and Andy Sortland, UiT The Arctic University, Norway
13.15  The «Firstborn» – A Historical Survey of the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church Roald E. Kristiansen, UiT The Arctic University, Norway
14.15 The Orthodox Christian Tradition Meets Popular Revivalism: Bengt Pohjanen’s Song of Praise to Lars Levi Laestadius Anne Heith, Umeå University, Sweden

October 30th

Digitalizing Cultural Heritage Chair: Steinar Thorvaldsen
09.00 Visualizing the laestadian Karesuando Steinar Thorvaldsen, UiT The Arctic University, Norway
09.30 A preliminary survey of Nordic scholarly editions Philipp Conzett and Per Pippin Aspaas, UiT The Arctic University, Norway
10.15 Zacharias Topelius Skrifter: Erfarenheter av en pågående digital utgåva – organisation och arbetsmetoder


Märtha Norrback, The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland
11.15 Digitalizing cultural heritage: design, technical solutions and examples Peter Øhrstrøm, Aalborg University, Denmark
12.00 Den vetegirige lappmarksprästen. Digitalisering och transkribering av J. A. Nenséns (1791-1881) uppteckningar från 1800-talet av de nordliga folkens liv och kultur Stina Karlgren, Umeå University, Sweden

Pdf versions of the presentations are available here.

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Lars Levi Laestadius – Making Cultural Heritage Online

The steering group for the Research project Lars Levi Laestadius Online (LLL Online) had its first meeting on Monday January 19.

On this web-page we will post all relevant information on the project.

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