Old Religion, New Spirituality: Implications of Secularisation and Individualisation in Estonia


Volume Editor:
Estonia is often described as one of the most secularised countries in the world in terms of de-institutionalisation and de-Christianisation. Old Religion, New Spirituality: Implications of Secularisation and Individualisation in Estonia, edited by Riho Altnurme, starts with the question: what are the historical reasons for Estonia to be so secularised? The decisive factor in the diminishment in the importance of Christianity was the overlap between social classes and ethnicities. The national identity of Estonians became disconnected to any religion.
Second, what are the consequences? How are the secularity of Estonia and the picture of individualised religiosity in this country linked? This book provides fresh results from surveys, archival work and analysis by a group of Estonian researchers.

Contributors include: Riho Altnurme, Lea Altnurme, Priit Rohtmets, Indrek Pekko, Toomas Schvak, Ringo Ringvee, Alar Kilp, and Marko Uibu.

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Riho Altnurme, Ph.D. (2000), University of Tartu, is Professor of Church History at that university. He has published articles and edited volumes on society, state and churches in the contemporary history of Estonia, including History of Estonian Ecumenism (University of Tartu, 2009).

List of Tables and Maps

Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction
  Riho Altnurme

2 The History of the Marginalisation of Christianity in Estonia (1857–2017)
  Lea Altnurme

3 The Lutheran Church in Estonian Society: The Impact of Secularisation and Religious Change
  Priit Rohtmets, Indrek Pekko, and Riho Altnurme

4 The Orthodox Church in Estonia: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives in the Context of the 2011 Population and Housing Census
  Toomas Schvak

5 Secular Society, Secular State: Egalitarian Legislation on Religion?
  Ringo Ringvee

6 The Influence of the European Union’s Liberal Secularist Policy on Religion upon Religious Authority in Estonia Since 2004
  Alar Kilp

7 The Religious Turn in Estonia: Modern Self-understanding in a Flood of Esotericism
  Lea Altnurme

8 The Spiritual Milieu in Estonia: Challenges and Opportunities for Studying Contemporary Forms of Religion
  Marko Uibu

9 Similarities and Differences between Estonia and the Other ‘Most Secular’ Countries
  Riho Altnurme

  Riho Altnurme



Post-graduate students, researchers, university lecturers, and everybody interested in the interaction of secularisation and religiosity in contemporary society.
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