Category : Sweden

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Nathan Söderblom

Almighty God, we bless thy Name for the life and work of Nathan Söderblom, Archbishop of Uppsala, who helped to inspire the modern liturgical revival and worked tirelessly for cooperation among Christians. Inspire us by his example, that we may ever strive for the renewal of thy Church in life and worship, for the glory of thy Name; who with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Ecumenical Relations, Spirituality/Prayer, Sweden

(Bloomberg) Electric Vehicles Could Make Dealerships a Thing of the Past, Too

There’s auto news out of Sweden: Volvo Cars says that it will be fully electric by 2030. No more internal combustion, no more hybrids. It’s batteries or bust.

In making this commitment, Volvo is betting on a trend: that as EVs are becoming cheaper and new conventional cars are being priced higher, consumers’ math on electric-versus-internal combustion will soon come out in electrics’ favor.

But there’s more to Volvo’s position on EVs than just changing the powertrain. The carmaker says its pure electric models will only be available for sale online, and that its first fully electric car is now receiving over-the-air software updates. (Tesla has been doing this for years.) That first plan has implications for the built environment; the second, for emissions and the global climate.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Ecology, Science & Technology, Sweden, Travel

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Anskar

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst send thy servant Anskar as an apostle to the people of Scandinavia, and dist enable him to lay a firm foundation for their conversion, though he did not see the results of his labors: Keep thy Church from discouragement in the day of small things, knowing that when thou hast begun a good work thou wilt bring it to a faithful conclusion; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Denmark, Spirituality/Prayer, Sweden

A Prayer to Begin the Day from A Swedish Liturgy

O Lord God, heavenly Father, Who didst give up Thine only-begotten Son into grief and sorrow, that we might have peace through Him: grant us so surely to found our faith upon Him alone that we may have peace in our souls. Quicken us with Thy Word; grant already here on earth the peace which is a foretaste of the rest that remaineth for Thy people. And while the cares and tumults of this life beset us round about, guide us in all our undertakings by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may abide in Thy peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer, Sweden

Sunday Afternoon Mental Health Break–The White Moose of Sweden

Posted in Animals, Photos/Photography, Sweden

Must not Miss True Story of an Adventure Racing Team and a Dog–Arthur

Posted in Animals, Ecuador, Sports, Sweden

Sweden opens its first cemetery free of religious symbols

“People can decide for themselves what their graves should look like, but the cemetery will be free of all religious and nationalist symbols,” said Erdem.

He also stressed that the cemetery wasn’t just for atheists. Believers too could apply to be buried there, as long as they were happy to keep the religious element of their identity out of sight.

Located close to the city’s Stora Tuna church, the cemetery remains empty for now, but several locals have expressed an interest.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Europe, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Sweden, Theology

More Poetry for Memorial Day: Tomas Tranströmer’s The Half-Finished Heaven

From here:

Despondency breaks off its course.
Anguish breaks off its course.
The vulture breaks off its flight.

The eager light streams out,
even the ghosts take a draught.

And our paintings see daylight,
our red beasts of the ice-age studios.
Everything begins to look around.
We walk in the sun in hundreds.

Each man is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

The endless ground under us.

The water is shining among the trees.

The lake is a window into the earth.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Europe, History, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Sweden

(The Local) Swedish group wants 'legal abortions' for men

Men who don’t want to become fathers should be permitted to have a “legal abortion” up to the 18th week of a woman’s pregnancy, say the young liberals.

The cut-off date coincides with the last week in which a woman can terminate a pregnancy in Sweden.

“This means a man would renounce the duties and rights of parenthood,” LUF Väst chairman Marcus Nilsen told The Local.

By signing up for a “legal abortion” then, a man would not have to pay maintenance for his child, but neither would he have any right to meet the child.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Men, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Sweden, Theology, Women

(NYT) A Swedish Girl, ISIS and a Cautionary Tale of Global Terrorism

It was a running-away-from-home nightmare for the age of global terrorism. Marilyn Nevalainen, a pregnant teenager, decided to follow her boyfriend last year when he set out to wage jihad, leaving the lakes and forests of southwest Sweden for life under the Islamic State in the desert heat of Iraq.

Apparently lacking any clear idea of what she was getting herself into, she ended up with militants near Mosul, with a new baby to care for and her boyfriend dead on an Iraqi battlefield.

Remarkably, Ms. Nevalainen, now 16, and her infant son made it out alive. Much remains unknown about how she turned up two weeks ago in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, and she has not spoken publicly beyond a brief television interview in which she contended that she had followed her boyfriend without knowing “what ISIS means, what Islam is, nothing.” She is now back in Sweden.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Globalization, Sweden, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Women

For his Feast Day–Medieval Sourcebook: Life of Anskar, the Apostle of the North, 801-865

When one of Anskar’s followers suggested to him that he could work miracles he replied, ” Were I worthy of such a favour from my God, I would ask that He would grant to me this one miracle, that by His grace He would make of me a good man.” No one can read the “Life” written by Rimbert his disciple and successor which, after being lost for five hundred years, was fortunately rediscovered, without feeling moved to thank God for the accomplishment of the miracle for which Anskar had prayed. He was a good man in the best and truest sense of the term. In the character presented to us by his biographer we have a singularly attractive combination of transparent humility, unflinching courage, complete self devotion, and unwavering belief in a loving and overruling providence. The claim to the title Apostle of the North, which was early made on his behalf, rests not upon the immediate outcome of his labours, but upon the inspiring example which he bequeathed to those who were moved to follow in his steps. For whilst the Missions which lie planted in Denmark and Sweden during the thirty-three years of his episcopate were interrupted after his death by the desolating raids of the Northmen, those by whom the work was restarted gratefully recognised him as their pioneer.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Denmark, Europe, Sweden

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Anskar

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst send thy servant Anskar as an apostle to the people of Scandinavia, and dist enable him to lay a firm foundation for their conversion, though he did not see the results of his labors: Keep thy Church from discouragement in the day of small things, knowing that when thou hast begun a good work thou wilt bring it to a faithful conclusion; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Denmark, Europe, Spirituality/Prayer, Sweden

(FC) Why Sweden Is Shifting To A 6-Hour Workday

The eight-hour workday hasn’t changed much since Henry Ford first experimented with it for factory workers. Now, Americans work slightly longer””an average 8.7 hours””though more time goes into email, meetings, and Facebook than whatever our official job duties actually are. Is it time to rethink how many hours we spend at the office?

In Sweden, the six-hour workday is becoming common.

“I think the eight-hour workday is not as effective as one would think,” says Linus Feldt, CEO of Stockholm-based app developer Filimundus. “To stay focused on a specific work task for eight hours is a huge challenge. . . . In order to cope, we mix in things and pauses to make the workday more endurable. At the same time, we are having it hard to manage our private life outside of work. We want to spend more time with our families, we want to learn new things or exercise more. I wanted to see if there could be a way to mix these things.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Health & Medicine, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Sweden, Theology

(G+M) Simon Hedlin on why Amnesty International made the wrong decision on sex workers

There are important reasons why it is a gigantic misstep for Amnesty to advocate for the decriminalization of sex buyers. First, the empirical evidence of potential benefits from making it permissible to purchase sex is weak while the costs may be enormous. New Zealand decriminalized prostitution in 2003 and yet the country’s Prostitution Law Review Committee found in its evaluation that a majority of prostituted persons felt that the decriminalization act “could do little about violence [in prostitution].” At the same time, several studies have found that countries where buying sex is decriminalized, sex trafficking is more prevalent.

Second, decriminalizing buying sex seems to be at odds with Amnesty’s core objectives. One of the reasons that there are so many of us who have strongly supported Amnesty for years is the organization’s steadfast commitment to the fundamental rights of individuals, whether they are refugees, prisoners of conscience, or victims of torture. But buying sex is not a human right.

Instead of adopting a harmful proposal, Amnesty should have learned from Sweden’s prostitution policies. In 1999, Sweden made it illegal to buy sexual services, but not to sell them ”“ an approach that is now often called “the Swedish model.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Europe, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Sexuality, Sweden

(AP) In Women's World Cup US and Sweden play to 0-0 Draw

Meghan Klingenberg — not Hope Solo — made the biggest save of the night for the United States.

Klingenberg, a diminutive defender, leaped to head a shot by Sweden’s Caroline Seger. The ball hit the crossbar and caromed away from the goal.

Goal-line technology was used to confirm the ball never crossed the line.

The save in the 77th minute preserved the 0-0 draw with Sweden on Friday night in one of the most anticipated group-stage matches at the Women’s World Cup.

“Brilliant,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said of Klingenberg’s heroics. “Believe it or not, we actually practice that.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Europe, Globalization, Sports, Sweden, Violence

(FT) Russian air incursions rattle Baltic states

The Baltic countries are registering a dramatic increase in Russian military provocations, rattling nerves in a region which fears it could be the next frontier after Ukraine in Moscow’s quest at asserting its regional power.

Nato fighters policing Baltic airspace were scrambled 68 times along Lithuania’s borders this year, by far the highest count in more than 10 years. Latvia registered 150 “close incidents”, cases where Russian aircraft were found approaching and observed for risky behaviour. Estonia said its sovereign airspace had been violated by Russian aircraft five times this year, nearing the total count of seven over the previous eight years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Eastern Europe, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Finland, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Russia, Sweden, Theology

(Comment is Free) Giles Fraser–In Sweden, human darkness is confronted by the arts not the church

The takeaway message is this: no one needs churches to be nice or tasteful. If churches have a future, it’s in addressing our existential darkness: sin and death. Progressive politics is important, but it doesn’t do any deep religious work. And liberals in the church will have to rediscover this after we have won our culture wars. What other religion has such a dark image at its centre? And yet my own brand of liberal Christianity too often seeks salvation through a few gentle verses of All Things Bright and Beautiful or lots of self-important dressing up and wandering around in fancy churches. Devoted atheists are never going to be persuaded by a theology of the cross. But no one whatsoever is going to be persuaded by a theology of nice.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Movies & Television, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Sweden, Theology, Wicca / paganism

(Charisma) Swedish Megachurch Pastor Ulf Ekman Converts to Roman Catholicism

During his Sunday morning service, Ulf Ekman announced the he and his wife, Birgitta, are converting to Roman Catholicism.

Ekman is the founder of Word of Life, a megachurch in Uppsala, Sweden. News reports and blogs coming out of the nation reveal the congregation was “partially stunned” after hearing what was packaged as a “special announcement.” The theme was “Follow the Lamb Wherever He Goes.”

“For Birgitta and me, this has been a slow process were we have gone from discovering new things, to appreciating what we have discovered, to approach and even learn from our fellow Christians,” Ekman says on his ministry website.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Sweden

(CSM) Harold Sirkin–To cut entitlements, US can look to one of Europe's welfare states

One of America’s chief fiscal burdens is the mounting cost of entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) ”“ an obligation that will only grow larger as baby boomers age. In tackling this problem, the United States should look to what many might see as an unlikely model ”“ the European welfare state, Sweden.

“Usually, U.S. policymakers look to Europe to determine what not to do when it comes to social-welfare policy,” James C. Capretta, former associate director of the US Office of Management and Budget, wrote a few years ago.

But, he continued: “When you are in a hole, the prudent first step is to stop digging, and the United States can indeed gain insight into how to ”˜stop digging’ the entitlement hole” by studying the reforms that some European countries have implemented. Most notably, he suggested, we should study what Sweden and Germany did to cut their long-term government pension commitments.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Budget, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Health & Medicine, Medicaid, Medicare, Politics in General, Social Security, Sweden, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology

(BBC) Sweden tops Tim Berners-Lee's web index

Sweden has topped a new global index evaluating the state of the web in 61 countries, with the US coming second and the UK third.

Compiled by Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation, it ranked both the social and political impact of the web.

It found that only one in three people are using the web globally and fewer than one in six in Africa.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Economy, Europe, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Sweden

England Beat Sweden 3-2 in Euro 2012 competition today

A heart stopping thriller of a game. Danny Welbeck’s goal was just beautiful. Read it all and see the picture there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, Men, Sports, Sweden

Andriy Shevchenko Inspires Euro 2012 Co-Hosts Ukraine To Opening Win

Andriy Shevchenko rolled back the years to score twice as co-hosts Ukraine came from behind to beat Sweden 2-1 in their opening game of the European Championships, in Kiev.

Read it all (and there are three videos at the bottom).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Men, Sports, Sweden, Ukraine

(AP) Sweden moving towards cashless economy

Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661. Now it’s come farther than most on the path toward getting rid of them.

“I can’t see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore,” says Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of 1970’s pop group ABBA, and a vocal proponent for a world without cash.

The contours of such a society are starting to take shape in this high-tech nation, frustrating those who prefer coins and bills over digital money.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Europe, History, Sweden

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Anskar

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst send thy servant Anskar as an apostle to the people of Scandinavia, and dist enable him to lay a firm foundation for their conversion, though he did not see the results of his labors: Keep thy Church from discouragement in the day of small things, knowing that when thou hast begun a good work thou wilt bring it to a faithful conclusion; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Denmark, Europe, Spirituality/Prayer, Sweden

In Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V we trust: File sharing made an official Swedish religion on Third Request

Since 2010 a group of self-confessed pirates have tried to get their beliefs recognized as an official religion in Sweden. After their request was denied several times, the Church of Kopimism ”“ which holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred symbols ”“ is now approved by the authorities as an official religion. The Church hopes that its official status will remove the legal stigma that surrounds file-sharing.

All around the world file-sharers are being chased by anti-piracy outfits and the authorities, and the situation in Sweden is no different. While copyright holders are often quick to label file-sharers as pirates, there is a large group of people who actually consider copying to be a sacred act.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Sweden

From the You Cannot Make This Stuff Up Department-Apparently Inebriated Moose found in Swedish tree

A seemingly intoxicated moose has been discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede.

Per Johansson, 45, says he heard a roar from his vacationing neighbour’s garden in southwestern Sweden late Tuesday and went to have a look. There, he found a female moose kicking about in the tree. The animal was likely drunk from eating fermented apples.

Read it all.

Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Animals, Europe, Sweden

(FT) John Lloyd: The art of darkness

The first page of the first chapter of Henning Mankell’s latest (and apparently last) Wallander novel The Troubled Man is sheer misery. Inspector Kurt Wallander, divorced for 15 years, lives in a flat “where so many unpleasant memories were etched into the walls”; he “reminded himself over and over again of his father’s lonely old age … now it seemed as if his father was taking him over … he had no religious hopes of anything being in store for him … nothing but the same darkness he had once emerged from … he would be dead for such a long time … he had seen far too many dead bodies in his life”.

Wallander novels might be prefaced by the sign Dante imagined above the gates of Hell ”“ “lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’ intrate”: “all hope abandon, ye who enter here”: for in these books, the descent is often through deepening layers of horror. The same could be said for much of rest of the now enormously popular, critically acclaimed school of Scandinavian noir ”“ for noir they are, set in the bleakness of towns and forests, dark for much of the year. The cult BBC hit of the year so far, the Danish-made Copenhagen-set The Killing, which ends this weekend, is shot almost wholly at night….

…the most striking commercial success in novel writing in the past five years has come from Marxists who write of people beset with misery who either commit or must deal with acts of extreme sadistic violence. It is not a development that a publisher or an agent would naturally have arrived at as a formula for success. So what explains its extraordinary appeal?

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Books, Denmark, Europe, Norway, Sexuality, Sweden, Theodicy, Theology, Violence

(Guardian) Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Assange has been fighting extradition since he was arrested and bailed in December. He has consistently denied the allegations, made by two women in August last year.

Howard Riddle, the chief magistrate, delivered his ruling at a hearing at Belmarsh magistrates court in London. It is unlikely to be the end of the matter, however, because an appeal is expected, which would delay the final decision until the summer at the latest.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Sweden

(BBC) Stockholm blasts: Sweden probes 'terrorist attack'

Two explosions in Sweden’s capital Stockholm are being investigated as a “crime of terror”, officials say.

A car blew up in a busy shopping area on Saturday afternoon, followed moments later by a second explosion nearby.

Witnesses said a man found dead after the second blast had been carrying an explosive device. Two people were hurt.

PM Fredrik Reinfeldt said the attacks were unacceptable in Sweden’s “open society”, which he said was a democracy that respected different cultures.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Sweden, Terrorism

Britain Arrests WikiLeaks Founder in Sex Inquiry

In the latest twist in the drama swirling around the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group, British police officials said on Tuesday they had arrested Julian Assange, its beleaguered founder, on a warrant issued in Sweden in connection with alleged sex offenses.

Mr. Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, was arrested by officers from Scotland Yard’s extradition unit when he went to a central London police station by prior agreement with the authorities, the police said. A court hearing was expected later.

In a statement, the police said: “Officers from the Metropolitan Police extradition unit have this morning arrested Julian Assange on behalf of the Swedish authorities on suspicion of rape.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology, Sweden