Bör ersättningsteologin ersättas?


  • Tobias Hägerland




Should supersessionism be superseded? Noting that supersessionism is routinely dismissed as a detestable error in Swedish public discourse as well as in academic theology, this article aims at providing some deeper reflection on what is denoted by the term supersessionism and what sort of supersessionism is incompatible with the current positions of mainline Christian churches and communities. The study is carried out in critical dialogue with Jakob Wirén's recent important work on supersessionist patterns in spirituality and preaching. It observes that two main types of def­initions of supersessionism exist. On the one hand, the narrow definition proposed by R. Kendall Soulen suggests that the annulment of God's covenant with the Jewish people is a necessary element of supersession­ism; on the other hand, the broader definition associated with David Novak includes both "hard" and "soft" supersessionism, the latter not implying any termination of the covenant with Israel. The supersession­ist patterns identified by Wirén in the current hymnal of the Church of Sweden should almost exclusively be categorized as expressions of "soft" supersessionism. As this kind of supersessionism has not been officially rejected by mainline denominations such as Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Roman Catholic Church, it should not be put on a par with "hard" supersessionism, which is indeed rejected. The article calls for a more cautious handling of the concept of supersessionism in academic theology with the hope of curbing its frequent use as an invective in public dis­course.