Caroline Gustavsson

Caroline Gustavsson

Associate professor

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Works at Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education
Telephone 08-120 768 16
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 20 A, plan 3,4,5
Room P321
Postal address Institutionen för de humanistiska och samhällsvetenskapliga ämnenas didaktik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

My name is Caroline Gustavsson. I am associate professor in religious education and, since 2017, lecturer and researcher at Stockholm University. In my research I am particularly interested in young people’s meaning-making and in teaching the subject of religious education in a time characterised by religious change. I am also interested in conceptualization and have been working with the understanding of concepts such as “worldview”, “participation” and “vocation”.


I am responsible for religious education for those who are becoming teachers in SO grade 4-6 and for supervising students preparing essays on HSD at advanced level.


I completed my PhD at Stockholm University in 2013, entitled: Existential Configurations. On how an Understanding of Life Is Constituted in a Social Context. In the study, I investigated how young adults between 19-29 years of age describe and understand their lives, which existential issues are central to young adults, and the importance of the social and cultural context for their meaning-making (Gustavsson 2013).

In recent years, I have been interested in, and have written about, how younger people today talk about belief and religion, and what significance it may have for the subject of religious education in the Swedish school.

Between 2013 and 2015, I worked on a project as a researcher at the Swedish church research unit. The study is reported in the book: Inclusion. An Educational Challenge for the Church Service (Gustavsson 2016). In the study, choral singers aged 19-40, as well as priests and church musicians in four different congregations in Sweden, were interviewed. The study addresses questions about the meaning of the concept of inclusion.

Since September 2017 (25%), I have received funding to study the priority of worship as conducted in the Asarum pastoral ceremony in Blekinge. The overall aim of the research project is to investigate how different aspects of inclusion are challenged, shaped and changed in the practice of worship during the ongoing work in the congregation.

Since spring 2018, I have been conducting a project about learning and teaching in my role as researcher in the Swedish church in Västerås. The aim of the project is to investigate how the understanding of learning and teaching is shaped and changed in the ongoing work on a document called Pastoral for teaching

Together with the sociologist of religion Anneli Winell, I also run a project on the validity of the concept “vocation” in a time of religious change. The overall purpose of the study is to explore and deepen the understanding of how those who are becoming priests and pastors today describe their calling, identity and future tasks within the Church of Sweden and Equmenia Church, and how one can understand these descriptions at a time of religious change.

Last updated: November 9, 2018

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