My name is Magnus Lundberg and I’m Professor of Church and Mission Studies at the Department of Theology, Uppsala university, Sweden. Though I teach World Christianity and Church History more broadly, my own research is focused on colonial Latin American church history. I have also devoted much time to the study of Catholic traditionalism, especially sedevacantist groups and modern alternative popes (“antipopes”). Recently, however, I have developed a research project on early-nineteenth-century Sweden, focusing on the revival in the south-western parts of the country.

In this blog, I intend to publish research papers and drafts on topics that are of interest to me. Most of the articles will be in English, but some will be written in Spanish or in my mother tongue, Swedish. Some of the texts have already been published elsewhere (as books or articles), but here they will be available open-access. Some is written exclusively for this blog. These latter texts include both more substantial essays and briefer comments.

Contact: magnus.lundberg@teol.uu.se

For more information on my research and publications, see the “about-section”

For my series of articles on the Palmarian church, see the Palmarian page

For my series of articles on modern alternative popes, see the Pope page

For articles and monographs on Latin American church history, see the Church and Mission Studies page

New Book on the Palmarian Church

New Book on the Palmarian Church

My new book on the Palmarian Church is now available.

Lundberg, Magnus. A Pope of Their Own: Palmar de Troya and the Palmarian Church.

Series: Uppsala Studies in Church History, volume 1.

Uppsala: Uppsala University, Department of Theology, 2017.

ISBN 978-91-984129-0-1

Full-text is available here


In 2018, fifty years will have passed since the first reports of Marian apparitions in El Palmar de Troya in Spanish Andalusia. It will also be the fortieth anniversary of the coronation of the seer Clemente Domínguez Gómez as Pope Gregory XVII, and the consequent foundation of the Palmarian Catholic Church. Still, placing the papal tiara on his head was only seen as a human act of confirmation. He asserted that Christ himself had crowned him just after the death of Pope Paul VI.

This book provides a broad overview of the history of the apparitions at El Palmar de Troya and the church that became its main result. It also includes a more systematic analysis of the church’s increasingly unusual doctrines and rituals. Through the study, I try to answer two underlying questions: First, which factors contributed to the foundation of the Palmarian Church?  Second, how has the church survived and developed through its four decades of existence?

Recensioner i Kyrkohistorisk Årsskrift 2014-2016

Recensioner i Kyrkohistorisk Årsskrift 2014-2016

Under det senaste decenniet har jag skrivit en lång rad bokrecensioner i Kyrkohistorisk årsskrift. De flesta av dem handlar om latinamerikansk kyrkohistoria, men några rör Asien och Oceanien. KÅ, som ges ut av Svenska kyrkohistoriska föreningen, är nu inne på sin 116:e årgång, och dess recensionsavdelning har länge varit ett måste för den som vill hålla sig uppdaterad om kyrkohistorisk forskning. På föreningens hemsida är de senaste årens skrifter tillgängliga i fulltext. Där finns också information om hur man blir medlem. Här kan du läsa de elva recensioner jag publicerade i KÅ mellan 2014 och 2016:

Celia Cussen, Black Saint of the Americas: The Life and the Afterlife of Martín de Porres, Kyrkohistorisk årsskrift 116 (2016). PDF

Continue reading “Recensioner i Kyrkohistorisk Årsskrift 2014-2016”

Modern Alternative Popes 24: Argentinean Pedro Segundo

Modern Alternative Popes 24: Argentinean Pedro Segundo

Segundo Ubaldo Rolón (Pedro Segundo, 2007-2016). In some respects this Argentinean papal claimant is a rather typical representative for the mystically elected alternative popes. Marian apparitions played an important role for his claim as well as the assertion that humanity lives in the End Time. He had a clear focus on the events described in the Book of Revelation and their application to the present era. Still, the symbiosis between religion and politics–in this case a form of “Transcendent Peronism”–makes it quite unique.

Continue reading “Modern Alternative Popes 24: Argentinean Pedro Segundo”

Modern Alternative Popes 23: Colombian Pedro II

Modern Alternative Popes 23: Colombian Pedro II

Antonio José Hurtado (Pedro II, 1939-1955) was a Colombian, self-trained dentist. After the death of Pope Pius XI in 1939, he proclaimed himself Pope Peter II, stating that he was elected by God. Hurtado’s claim to the papacy only ended with his death in 1955. Thus, his papal claim had nothing to do with the reforms in the Roman Catholic Church in the 1960s. The following text is not built on a detailed study of primary sources, but mostly relies on secondary material, including some fine articles about this intriguing man (see list of references).

The future pope was born in 1892 in the small town of Barbosa, some 40 kilometers north of Medellín. As a young man he studied at the Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Santa Rosa de Osos, but left when his father died. Hurtado seems to have had great entrepreneurial skills and he was a quick learner. He moved to Bogotá, where he worked in many different areas without having formal training in any of them. Among other things, he became a carpenter, a tailor, a goldsmith and an ambulating photographer.

Continue reading “Modern Alternative Popes 23: Colombian Pedro II”

Modern Alternative Popes 22: Petrus Romanus – The Two Witnesses

Modern Alternative Popes 22: Petrus Romanus – The Two Witnesses


Douglas Kuzell (Petrus Romanus – One of the Two Witnesses, 2007 (2012)–). Little is known about the early life of this Canadian man who claims that he is Petrus Romanus, the last pope in history. However, from 2009 onwards, there is a great abundance of reported celestial messages received by the couple who now are known as the Two Witnesses. One of them is Douglas Kuzell, the other being his wife, Teresa Jackson, now called Mary Romanus.

The messages that the couple claim to have received is collectively known as The Testimony. It is described as the divine Great Warning and as a continuous revelation about and in the End Times, as well as a revelation about the Two Witnesses’ role during that period. Taken together, The Testimony is a very extensive document. A downloaded version (February 2017) would amount to some 1500 pages. The potential source material to this papal claim is thus enormous.

Continue reading “Modern Alternative Popes 22: Petrus Romanus – The Two Witnesses”

Recent Documents by Palmarian Pope Peter III, November 2016-January 2017

Recent Documents by Palmarian Pope Peter III, November 2016-January 2017

There is a Facebook group that I have referred to several times, and which is devoted to critical studies on the Palmarian Church. It provides a forum for ex-Palmarians, others who have been affected by the church as well as outsiders, like myself, who have an interest in this group. Particularly during 2016, when pope Gregory XVIII left the church, the Facebook group  developed into the most important source of information to all things Palmarians, publishing news, images and documents.

Now, they have published another recent document written by Pope Peter III. It’s his fourth Apostolic Letter, dated on December 8, 2016. The letter-here in its English version-contains six pages of information about the histories of three devotions that are important to Palmarians (as well as to many Roman Catholics): The Infant Jesus of Prague, Our Many of Perpetual Succour and Mary Auxiliatrix. Nevertheless, the first two pages of the apostolic letter includes the Palmarian pope’s description of the current situation of the church, the ex-pope and not least diatribes against ex-Palmarians and Palmarians who have contact with such people, providing them with information.

Peter III Apostolic Letter, December 2016

In November 2016, the Facebook group also published a brief papal report about the ceremonies at the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of Palmar on October 12 and 13, 2016. This document is also found here:

Continue reading “Recent Documents by Palmarian Pope Peter III, November 2016-January 2017”