En historia om andlig otrohet

Tänkaren Siri Zöller och den boströmska filosofin


  • Inga Sanner Stockholms universitet


Siri Zöller, C. J. Boström, philosophy, religion, idealism


The Swedish philosopher C.J. Boström played a dominant role in Swedish university philosophy during a large part of the nineteenth century. His philosophy was highly idealistic, and it has been described by scholars as a conservative, airy-fairy philosophy, mainly suitable for academics and civil servants of the era who defended Sweden’s traditional social order. In the present essay, this picture is problematized through reflections on the life and thinking of Siri Zöller (1845–1896). During a considerable part of her life, she was significantly influenced by Boström’s thinking. Most importantly, it was Boström’s criticism of established Christianity that inspired Zöller in draughting an alternative Christian faith. The essay describes Zöller’s intellectual wrestling with Boström’s philosophy and its crucial consequences to her unconsummated marriage to the German engineer Egon Zöller. Her intellectual development and creativity is a compelling illustration to the widely neglected but important role of Boström’s philosophy in the transition from traditional Christianity to alternative beliefs in Sweden during the late nineteenth century.