Archbishop of Sweden: 'We Need Education of the Mind and the Heart'

Rev. Dr. Antje Jackelén, archbishop of Sweden, speaks at Augustana

Rev. Dr. Antje Jackelén, archbishop of Sweden, discussed "Reformation and Responsibility in the World" on Wednesday, Nov. 29, in Augustana's Chapel of Reconciliation as part of the University's celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Jackelén, who made history in 2014 after being elected the first female archbishop in the Church of Sweden’s history, focused her discussion around five points: education, freedom, fear, understanding and hope.

On education, Jackelén said knowledge and faith need each other.

“We need education of the mind and the heart,” she said, calling education a prerequisite for being a good citizen of the world.

On freedom, she outlined “four dangerous ingredients” affecting major areas of the world: polarization, populism, protectionism and post-truth.

Christian freedom, she said, involves standing up to fear and maximizing the resources at hand.

“Faith should be shouted from the rooftops — not only from pulpits and lecterns but, today, from the World Wide Web."

"(The internet) is the printing press of our time.
(Martin) Luther had Gutenberg; we have Google."

— Rev. Dr. Antje Jackelén
Archbishop of Sweden

Understanding, she said, is connected to responsibility.

“Responsibility … is a response to a question. If you want to give the right answer, you better understand the question,” she said.

All “four dangerous P’s,” Jackelén said — polarization, populism, protectionism and post-truth — are an expression of a lack of hope.

“The biggest challenges facing human beings (today) call for hope,” she said. “Neglecting the spiritual dimension is detrimental to the individual and to the society.”

Watch the Lecture


About Archbishop Antje Jackelén

Rev. Dr. Antje Jackelén was ordained as a priest in the Stockholm diocese in 1980. After serving as a pastor for parishes in Stockholm and Lund, she went on to earn her Ph.D. in Theology from Lund University in 1999.

After teaching and serving in directorship positions for the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley, California, and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, she was named bishop of the Lund diocese in 2007.

In 2014, she was named the first female archbishop for the Church of Sweden, an Evangelical Lutheran Church with more than 6 million members.

Since 2010, she has served as a council member in the Lutheran World Federation.

In collaboration with the Lutheran World Federation, Archbishop Jackelén was instrumental in inviting Pope Francis to Lund, Sweden, for a service in October 2016 initiating the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

The visit by Pope Francis marked the first papal visit to Sweden since Pope John Paul II visited in 1989.

A published author and renowned scholar, Archbishop Jackelén has presented and lectured at institutions around the world, including Yale Divinity School, Oxford University, the University of Pisa (Italy) and the University of Edinburgh (Scotland).


Kelly Sprecher
Director of Media Relations
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