SEGERSTEDT, Torgny

SEGERSTEDT, Torgny. Karlstad 1.11.1876 — Göteborg 31.3.1945. Swedish Journalist and Historian of Religion. Son of Albrekt S., teacher and publisher, and Fredrika Sofia Bohman. After school in Karlstad studied theology at Lund, kand.teol. 1901. Continued studies at Uppsala,brief periods also at Berlin and Rostock,and presented his diss. in 1903. Docent of Theology(“religionshistorisk theologi”) at Lund 1904-12. Never took ordination.Dr.theol. 1912. The attempts to create a chair for him at Lund failed because of heavy orthodox opposition, instead he becameProfessor of History of Religion at Stockholm Högskola (later university) in 1913-16, beside started his career as journalist. From 1917 editor of the Göteborgs Handels och Sjöfartstidning, in Göteborg also took some important public offices, especially in education. Under his editorship the daily took a consequently liberal view. Married 1905 Augusta Wilhelmina Synnestvedt (d. 1934) from Norway, their son was philosopher Torgny T. S. (1908–1999, Professor at Uppsala).

As a scholar Segerstedt was independent, even quarrelsome. His was the first dissertation in history of religions in Sweden. In theology he was liberal, criticized by conservatives (who succeeded in impending him from getting a docentship at Uppsala and thus forced him to return to Lund), but praised by —> Söderblom. He left scholarship in 1917, but was very active in other fields. In the 1920s he criticized Communism, but soon also Fascism and then Nazism, of which in the 1930sand during wartimehe was the leading and most implacable critic in Sweden.

Publications: Diss. Till frågan om polyteismens uppkomst. 128 p. 1903; Den religiösa sanningsproblemet. 297 p. Stockholm 1912; other books on religion and history of religions.

– “Les Asuras dans la religion védique”, RHR 57:2-3, 1908, 157-203; “Buddhistiska paralleler till evangelierna”, Kristendomen och vår tid 4, 1909, 199-207; “Själavandringslärans ursprung”, MO 4, 1910, 43-87, 111-184 (The origin of metempsychosis).

– Numerous newspaper articles and several books not relevant here.

Sources: Jarl Torbacke, S.B.L. 31, fasc. 155, 2002, 777-787 (with list of publications and photo); Wikipedia with photo (much more in Swedish version, with several references to Swedish sources).

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