Emmet E. Eklund



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The life of Jonas Swensson (1828-1873) presents a reversal of the common notion that sons of famous fathers often live in the shadow of their fathers’ fame. For Jonas Swensson was overshadowed by the fame of his illustrious son, Carl Aaron. Both the fame of his son and his own early death, at age forty-five, have tended to obscure the noteworthy accomplishments of Jonas Swensson. Yet Swensson played a significant role in the shaping of the Augustana Lutheran Church in the last half of the 19th century. His contributions to parish and higher education, mission, congregational life, and the theology of Augustana were considerable. It is to this end in part that this book has been written: to identify the significant contribution Swensson made to the formation of the unique character of the Church which he served as pastor, secretary, member of the catechetical committee and as president for the last three years of his life. As such, the book is also an important record of the early Augustana years. It is hoped that a measure of justice may be done to Jonas Swensson’s memory by the publication of this book.

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgements / Introduction / Early Life and Education (Jonas’ Ancestry, Childhood and Youth / Theological Education / Studies at Bredaryd / Studies at Jönköping / Studies at Växjö / Studies at Uppsala / Notes) / His Ministry in Sweden (His First Pastorate / The Man Who Left Sweden / Notes) / First Parish in the United States (“Culture Shock” / The Community and Swensson’s Ministry to its People / The Formation of a Constitution to Establish Order / Swensson’s Pastoral Contributions in the Hessel Valley/Jamestown Area / Notes) / Jonas Swensson’s Ministry in Andover, Illinois (A Comparison Between Hessel Valley/Jamestown and Andover / Swensson As Parish Pastor in Andover / Hard Work, Hardships, Heartbreaks / Parish Controversies of the Sixties / The Central Thrust of Swensson’s Parish Ministry in Andover / Notes) / Jonas Swensson, Churchman at Large Prior to 1870 (Notes) / Jonas Swensson as President (Main Decisions of 1870 / Other Issues President Swensson Confronted / Notes) / The Summation of a Life (The Contributions of Jonas Swensson / The Last Months of Swensson’s Life and His Death / Notes) / Appendix I / Appendix II / Appendix III / Appendix IV / Bibliography / Index



Publication Date



Augustana Historical Society


Rock Island, Illinois


Lutheran churches, Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.)


History | Religion | Scandinavian Studies


Digitized in memory of Lloyd and Olive Schwiebert.

His name was Jonas: a biography of Jonas Swensson



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