Jonas Ideström, researcher

Jonas Ideström is a researcher at Church of Sweden Research Department. His research field is ecclesiology with a focus on themes such as local church identity, church as welfare actor, church i the suburb, church in rural areas, ethnographic ecclesiology and action research.

About me, Jonas

I´m interested in how church, faith and theology is embodied in practice and how such expressions can be studied theologically. In my research projects I try to combine the study of a particular phenomenon with an explorative search for useful theories and methods. At the moment I’m exploring participatory approaches, eg action research. Theopolitical issues and the relationship between social theory and theology are also themes that I keep coming back to.


Ecclesiology, practical ecclesiology, ethnography, welfare, rural studies, professionell learning, action research.

  • Jonas  Ideström

    Jonas Ideström



  • Editor for the the peer-reviewed book series Church of Sweden Research Series 2018
  • Associate professor in ecclesiology at Uppsala universitet 2016
  • Co-chair in Ecclesial practices group at AAR 2012
  • Researcher at the Church of Sweden research department 2012
  • Lecturer in Church and missionstudies at Uppsala universitet 2010
  • Phd in Ecclesiology at Uppsala universitet 2009
  • Minister in the Church of Sweden 1999

My current research

Pastoral learning in practice

The projekt is a colaboration with reserachers from Denmark and Norway and the purpose is to study professional and pastoral learning with ministers in the three Scandinavian folk churches. Based on a socio-cultural understanding of learning we follow and study newly ordained ministers during their first three years in service.  Two limited pilot studies were conducted with students during the final semester of training in the spring of 2018...

Tracing church – approaches in ethnographic ecclesiology

The aim of the project is to develop and articulate constructive approaches in ethnographic ecclesiology. The work will result in a book published in english. My point of departure is experiences I have made through earlier projects and I develop ecclesiological approaches in dialaouge with sociologists and philosophers such as Bruno Latour and John Law.  

Teologi i rörelse (Theology in motion)

This is a theological action research project in collaboration with the diocese of Linköping and the parish of Vadstena. In focus is a confirmation and youth ministry in the parish. The questions we raise concern understandings of what it is to be church and how a particular ministry can influence understandnings in the parish as such.

My publications

With co-author Tone Stangeland Kaufman. ”Why Matter Matters in Theological Action Research: Attending to the Voices of Tradition.” IJPT 22, no 1. (2018) 84-102.

With co-editor Tone Stangeland Kaufman. What Really Matters. Scandinavian Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2018.

”Faithful Participation – Engagement and Transformation in Ethnographic Ecclesiology.” In What Really Matters. Scandinavian Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography, edited by Jonas Ideström and Tone Stangeland Kaufman, 58-76 Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2018.

With co-editor Gunilla Löf Edberg. Att öppna ett slutet rum. Själavård och ecklesiologi  [To open up a locked room. Counseling and ecclesiology]. Stockholm: Verbum, 2018.

With co-author Stig Linde. Det här är någonting vi måste göra. Ett teologiskt aktionsforskningsprojekt med Svenska kyrkan i Mölndal [This is something we must do. A theological action research projekt with Church of Sweden in Mölndal].” Uppsala: Svenska kyrkans forskningsenhet, 2017.                

”Mediators of Tradition: Embodiment of Doctrine in Rural Swedish Parish Life.” Ecclesial Practices. Journal of Ecclesiology and Ethnography 3, no. 1 (2016) 55–69.

Co-edited with Sune Fahlgren. Ecclesiology in the Trenches. Theory and Method under Construction. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2015.

”It is that Loving Gaze.” Ecclesial Practices. Journal of Ecclesiology and Ethnography 2, no. 1 (2015) 108–19.

Spåren i snön. Att vara kyrka i norrländska glesbygder [The Tracks in the Snow: Being Church in Rural Northern Sweden]. Skellefteå: Artos & Norma, 2015.

Folkkyrkotanken – innehåll och utmaningar [Folk Church thinking – Content and Challenges]. Svenska kyrkan, forskningsenheten: Uppsala, 2012.

Editor. For the sake of the world. Swedish ecclesiology in dialogue with William T. Cavanaugh. Church of Sweden, Research Series 3. Eugene: Pickwick, 2010.

Lokal kyrklig identitet. En studie av implicit ecklesiologi med exemplet Svenska kyrkan i Flemingsberg [Local Church Identity. A Study of Implicit Ecclesiology with the Example Church of Sweden in Flemingsberg]. (Phd) Skellefteå: Artos, 2009.