Stefan Gelfgren

Stefan Gelfgren

Associate professor, Director
Phone: +46 90 786 50 87
Twitter: @stefangelfgren



Stefan is the current director of Humlab and Associate Professor in Sociology of Religion at Humlab, Umeå University. He has a PhD in the History of Ideas from Umeå University, an MPhil in the History of Christianity from Birmingham University, UK, and a BA in construction engineering.

His PhD thesis deals with the Swedish confessional revivalist movement Evangeliska Fosterlands-Stiftelsen (EFS - approx. The Swedish Evangelical Mission Society) between 1856-1910. The tension between revivalism and secularisation are concepts used to interpret what happened during the period. Today he works with more contemporary issues.

Stefan's primary research interest is the relation between social and religious transformations - today and throughout history. When moving through different time periods it is intriguing to notice how historical processes influence contemporary society.

The last years he had done some case based research studies on the use and effect of digital media within primarily Christian institutions of different characteristics. He is interested in digital and social media in relation to the Churches and their institutions and representatives, but also in relation to power and institutional structures overall. During 2016 and 2017 he will be working within "Experiences of disabilities in life and online: Life course perspectives on disabled people from past society to present", a project led by professor Lotta Vikström.

Between 2010 and 2013 he was working within the project Pinocchio goes to Church: The religious life of avatars (financed by the Swedish Research Council), dealing with churches in virtual worlds and how religious practices and holiness are created in these worlds. 

He is still interested in the field of Church history (and occasionally working within it), and he is a member of the steering group for the research network "Religious History of the North (REHN), at Umeå University.

Another interest lies in pedagogy in relation to digital media, and how to enhance learning experiences through digital tools. He represents the Faculty of Arts in Umeå University's steering group for Interactive Environments, and he chairs the steering group for ICT at the Faculty.

Stefan had taught courses within Church History, Digital Humanities, History of Technology, History of Ideas and Religious Studies.

He has published books, articles in books and journals, mainly on the relation between social and religious changes within the Christian sphere from the 16th century until today, and also published on revivalism, adult education, pedagogy and digital media. See my list of publication below.


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