13. Raising and Schooling Children in the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church: The Swedish Perspective
Liselotte Frisk† [+]
Dalarna University, Sweden
Sanja Nilsson [+]
Gothenburg University, Sweden
This chapter discusses the upbringing and schooling of children in the Exclusive Brethren in Sweden, based on field work, interviews and archival material. An important religious principle for the Brethren is the principle of “separation” from the world. The paper will discuss the consequences of this principle from the perspectives of members of the church as well as from the perspective of contemporary society. It further discusses how the children are socialized into a religious perspective and form their identity as Brethren, and what the principle pf separation means in terms of schooling. In Sweden, there is one free school, the Labora School, where the about 50 pupils are members of the Brethren. Since the school opened in August 2007, after being turned down twice by the Swedish school authorities, it has been widely criticized in media. The second part of this chapter outlines the history of the Labora School in Sweden, and places its existence in the wider debate about confessional and non-confessional free schools in one of the most secularized countries in the world.