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Lyckans betydelse : sekularisering, sensibilisering och individualisering i svenska skillingtryck 1750–1850


Summary, in English

This dissertation takes its departure from the methodology of German Begriffsgeschichte and sets out to explore the use of the concept of happiness in Swedish chapbooks (skillingtryck).The period considered, 1750-1850, frames the transition from early modern to modern society, a time that has often been labeled Sattelzeit or Schwellenzeit. The aim of this thesis is to study how the concept of happiness was used in the chapbooks and how it changed during this period. The empirical analysis of the first fifty years shows that the concept of happiness was firmly rooted in Lutheran cosmology and anthropology. In this worldview happiness (lycka) was a central concept alongside providence, world/worldlyness and heavenly bliss. The concept of happiness was first and foremost used to illustrate the ups and downs of worldly life.The dichotomy between worldly happiness (lycka) and eternal bliss (lycksalighet) was often a theme in the songs of the 18th century chapbooks, where the the eternal life in heaven was depicted as the total absence of pain and misery and worldly happiness, although sometimes pleasurable, was seen as mixed with misfortune, grief and calamity. The organizing principle of 18th century cosmology was time. Time was understood through the salvation history where everything proceeded towards eschaton, the ultimate days.

The cosmology underwent considerable changes in the chapbook songs and texts of the early 19th century. It was increasingly seen as a more subjective and emotional phenomenon. The sharp distinction between happiness (lycka) and bliss (lycksalighet) faded and happiness gradually became synonymous with well-being (vällust), felicity (sällhet) and blessedness (salighet). Happiness was now associated with emotion and with the human psyche and thereby lost its previous importance within the frame of cosmology. Central concepts can be identified that show a shift towards a more neoplatonic cosmology, often associated with Romanticism. The allure of truth and beauty is for example apparent in the 19th century chapbooks. Happiness and felicity became temporaly secularized and were seen as a goal for the worldly future, while eternity gradually lost its significance. Happiness transformed from being an external circumstance, impervious to man, into something emotional and subjective and became something for the individual to search for within him- or herself. The collective perspective of eternity that characterized the old order disappeared and in its place we can distinguish a new secularized and individualized concept of happiness.









Agerings bokförlag


  • History


  • sensibilitet
  • sensibilisering
  • sekularisering
  • förnöjsamhet
  • dygd
  • lycklig
  • lycksalighet
  • lycka
  • anthropology
  • cosmology
  • chapbooks
  • begriffsgeschichte
  • conceptual history
  • individualization
  • sensibilization
  • sensibility
  • secularization
  • moral
  • religion
  • virtue
  • blessedness
  • felicity
  • happiness
  • bliss
  • individualisering
  • begreppshistoria
  • Koselleck
  • skillingtryck
  • kosmologi
  • världsbild
  • antropologi
  • människosyn




  • Lyckans betydelse. Sekularisering, sensibilisering och individualisering i svenska skillingtryck 1750-1850.


  • ISBN: 978-91-86119-14-0


10 februari 2012




Sal 3, Historiska institutionen, Magle stora kyrkogata 12, Lund


  • Håkan Möller (Professor)