Weary and grateful: The power of expressed emotions on the internet among Conservative Laestadians

Meri-Anna Elina Hintsala


Emotional expressions have been interpreted as a social glue and as a vital foundation for active internet discussions. In this article I will show that emotions have great significance in ordinary religious life and effect a change of religious interpretation in an individual’s life in the Conservative Laestadian (CL) revival movement in Finland.  Through content analysis, this article illustrates that emotions as social reactions are constructed in connection with two aspects, religious and the secular. Three different positions of emotional reactions – believers, doubters and surrenderers – were formulated in terms of CL vis-à-vis secular society, everyday religiously motivated choices and the theological tradition of the movement. The findings also illustrate the intersectionality between the concepts “digital”, “emotion” and “religion”, in which the gendered emotional expressions are constructed.


religion, digital, internet, gender, emotion, the secular, Conservative Laestadianism

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