Church, migration and populism in Norway: four discursive strategies

Article by Kjetil Fretheim in Practical theology.

When migration is high on the political agenda, religious communities are challenged in terms of their identity, formation and public witness. In this article I draw on official documents and public statements from the Church of Norway as well as examples of preaching practices in the context of increased numbers of refugees and asylum seekers and populist/far-right politics. The aim is to discuss the implicit and explicit ecclesiological and political positioning of the church in its various responses. I identify four discursive strategies: Political participation, Religious identification, Biblical witness and Self-critical assessment.