Hale, Frederick

Norwegian Religious Pluralism a Trans- Atlantic Comparison
1992 0-7734-9217-8
This is a historical study of religious transition in Norway and among Norwegian immigrants in the United States and southern Africa. It traces the domestic and Anglo-American factors which by 1900 had changed Norway from a society almost uniformly Lutheran by law and deeply-rooted tradition into one in which many people had only tenuous ties to their established church while tens of thousands of their countrymen became members of nonconformist denominations. These copiously documented findings challenge assumptions which have been axiomatic among historians of Norwegian immigration throughout the twentieth century. They also undermine unproven generalizations about immigrant religiosity made by such prominent historians as Oscar Handlin and Timothy Smith and reproduced uncritically by many of their colleagues.