The Religious Origins of Democratic Pluralism
Paul Peter Waldenström and the Politics of the Swedish Awakening 1868–1917
Imprint: Pickwick Publications
"Mark Safstrom's study of the nineteenth-century Swedish spiritual awakening should put to rest one contemporary conceit--that earnest personal religion is by its nature hostile to democracy and political diversity. Safstrom focuses on the career and ideas of a central figure in the revivals, Paul Peter Waldenstrom, to demonstrate the connection between religious and political pluralism in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Sweden. The book is carefully researched, well-written, and persuasive."
--Thomas Tredway, Emeritus President and Professor of History, Augustana College
"Safstrom's book is important for Scandinavian studies and European studies more broadly. . . . Safstrom's careful study shows that pietistic Christianity played an overlooked role in achieving social toleration and pluralism during the turbulent era in which social democracy made its political breakthrough."
--Steve Pfaff, Professor of Sociology, University of Washington
"Plurality--of perspectives, principles, and persons--is a fact, not an option. So is the intense religiosity of millions amidst a 'secular age.' Safstrom's measured and finely written study of Waldenstrom not only vindicates a largely forgotten thinker, preacher, and politician, but makes one of the best cases I have read for pluralism as an ethic fit for the facts of plurality, and Christianity as a basis for democracy."
--Ned O'Gorman, Conrad Humanities Professorial Scholar, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
"In the nineteenth century, Sweden went through a fundamental social and economic transformation, and by the mid-twentieth century it had emerged as an influential model of social progress. In this fresh and insightful book, Safstrom highlights the interrelations between religion and politics for these processes."
--Dag Blanck, Swedish Institute for North American Studies, Department of English at Uppsala University