The Salvation Army in Sweden and the Making of Gender — Conversion Narratives 1887–1918



This article discusses how Swedish Salvationists wrote about femininity and masculinity in conversion narratives during the period 1887–1918; the “breakthrough” of modern Sweden. Through their religious conversion female Salvationists adopted a femininity that demanded the same right to participate in religious life as men. In a similar manner, men in the Salvation Army achieved a changed masculinity through conversion, which allowed them to express feelings and cry in public. Doing so, these Salvationists expressed an unconscious or conscious criticism towards the prevailing values about gender in society.