Understanding Literacy in its Historical Contexts (Hardback)
Socio-Cultural History & the Legacy of Egil Johansson
For nearly 30 years the work of the Swedish Lutheran pastor and pioneering social historian Egil Johansson astonished the international scholarly world. Working initially with parish registers, especially examination registers, from northern Sweden, Johansson discovered the extraordinary usefulness of these documents to detail the history of universal literacy in Sweden. In this book a group of renowned scholars review and explore the possibilities for the wider circulation and broader application of central dimensions of the early literacy studies. The active thrust and exceptional growth in historical literacy studies over the past two decades has propelled the subject into a new prominence that has come to be the legacy of Egil Johansson's path breaking discoveries. Literacy in Sweden occurred well before any other European nation, despite the fact that Sweden was industrialised about 100 years later than the European norm. Egil Johansson also developed imaginative data analysis techniques that help historians around the world to better picture the complete human cast of the past. With the help of numerous contributors Johansson founded a giant data base of church records and other information, which now can help the understanding of pre-industrial society. Johansson's work spans over many aspects of literacy and social history and their respective relation to religion and gender. The contributors to this volume are influential academics in disciplines such as social history, history of literacy and gender research, and they work in all parts of the world - Australia, Great Britain, Scandinavia as well North America.