“The forest is calling” is a series of conversations, interviews, and films in which we reflect on our contemporary relationship with nature based on a clear art and culture perspective. Selected Nordic guests, representing various branches of art and culture and in particular Sami art and culture, will join us in these discussions.
Our first guest is a historian of the religion of the kingdom of Sweden, Professor David Thurfjell, who, to coincide with the launch of his book Granskogsfolk – hur naturen blev svenskarnas religion (People of the pine forest – how nature became the Swedes’ religion), is interviewed by Finnish cultural journalist Marit Lindqvist. The book is about our relationship with the nature we love and are a part of, but which we are also constantly trying to dominate or distance ourselves from. Thurfjell interviewed more than 70 Swedes, and these interviews form the core of the book.
Thurfjell is a historian of religion and a professor of religious studies at Södertörn University in Stockholm. His research centres on religion and secularisation in modern-day Sweden. He has also written about Islam, Muslim minorities, and religion among Roma. His book Granskogsfolk was written as part of an international research project on perceptions of nature and secularisation. Granskogsfolk was nominated for Sweden’s biggest prize for non-fiction literature, the 2020 Stora Fackbokspriset.
Marit Lindqvist is literature editor at Svenska Yle and enjoys long walks in the forest.