The Preaching Disease: Contagious Ecstasy in Eighteenth-Century Sweden

  • Daniel Lindmark


The opening quotation was written by Olof Celsius, president of the Stockholm Consistory. The Chancellor of Justice had consulted the Consistory concerning appropriate measures to be taken against religious enthusiasm, and at the meeting on 28 May 1776, Celsius read his draft reply to the Consistory, which approved the text without changes. The consultation was motivated by ecstatic religious movements in northern Sweden, but also the general presence of Moravianism, Swedenborgianism and free-thinking. The reply reflected the concern expressed by the Chancellor of Justice and proposed some measures to prevent further contagion; among others, stricter censorship and improved education of the clergy.


Eighteenth Century National Medical Evil Spirit Religious Authority Moral Contagion 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

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  • Daniel Lindmark

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