Browsing by Subject "RELIGION"

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Now showing items 1-13 of 13
  • Mikkola, Satu Virpi Eliisa (2021)
    This article discusses how women in Finland, the happiest country in the world in 2019, use new spiritual services and angels to cope with everyday life. Should not the high living standard and level of happiness decrease spirituality, as Norris and Inglehart suggest? The research material was collected using questionnaires in talks given by Irish mystic Lorna Byrne in Helsinki in 2011 and 2015. For the women studied, angels offer support and bring enchantment to their lives in a way institutionalized religion does not. While the high level of existential security decreases their religiousness, it opens these women up to other alternatives for new spirituality.
  • Czimbalmos, Mercédesz; Tuori, Riikka (2022)
    The article examines the Finnish branch of Chabad Lubavitch as a fundamentalist and charismatic movement that differs from other branches of ultra-Orthodox Judaism in its approaches to outreach to non-observant Jews. Whilst introducing the history of Chabad Lubavitch in Finland and drawing on historical and archival sources, the authors locate the movement in a contemporary context and draw on 101 semi-structured qualitative interviews of members of the Finnish Jewish communities, who either directly or indirectly have been in contact with representatives of Chabad Finland. The material is examined through the theoretical concept of 'vicarious religion'. As the results of the article show, whilst Chabad very much adheres to certain fundamentalist approaches in Jewish religious practice, in Finland they follow a somewhat different approach. They strongly rely on people's sense of Jewish identification and Jewish identity. Individuals in the community 'consume' Chabad's activities vicariously, 'belong without believing' or 'believe in belonging' but do not feel the need to apply stricter religious observance. Whilst many of them are critical of Chabad and their activities, they do acknowledge that Chabad fills the 'gaps' in and outside the Jewish Community of Helsinki, predominantly by creating new activities for some of its members.
  • Launonen, Lari (2021)
    Justin Barrett and Kelly James Clark have suggested that cognitive science of religion supports the existence of a god-faculty akin to senses divinitatis. They propose that God may have given rise to the god-faculty via guided evolution. 'phis suggestion raises two theological worries. First, our natural cognition seems to favor false god-beliefs over true ones. Second, it also makes us prone to tribalism. If God hates idolatry and moral evil, why would he give rise to mind with such biases? A Plantingian response would point to the noetic effects of sin. Such a response, however, would have to assume that God is restoring the minds of believers. This paper considers empirical reasons to doubt that such a process is taking place.
  • Remmel, Atko; Sillfors, Mikko (2018)
    The recent "nonreligious turn" in studies of secularity has changed the focus from what secularity lacks in comparison to religion to what it offers as an alternative. Various forms of nonreligion have been studied extensively in recent years, yet mostly in the contemporary Western societies. This article shifts the context more to the east and also towards the history by comparing two instances when meaning-making gained a central position within an atheist tradition. For our first example, we examine the appeal to spirituality in the period of late Soviet atheism; the second comes from contemporary Western "atheist spirituality". By studying the publications by relevant authors, the article explores what can be learned about atheism and spirituality from this comparison, how atheism and spirituality are understood and combined, and the reasons for the sudden emphasis on existential questions within an atheist tradition.
  • Aitamurto, Kaarina (2019)
    Transnational Islam is increasingly presented in the Russian political rhetoric as a security threat. Therefore, Russian politicians and authorities attempt to support indigenous or national forms of Islam. Similar policies are implemented in several western European countries. Yet they tend to disregard the heterogeneity of the Muslim community, they create exclusions and they are often conceived as imposing outside evaluations and interpretations on Islam. This contribution analyses initiatives intended to develop a national Islam in post-Soviet Russia. While the aims, methods and problems in different countries are often quite similar, the values and norms underlying these initiatives vary and reflect the societies from which they emerge. This contribution argues that since the 1990s, the changes in the political line of the Kremlin have impacted the project for a ‘national’ Islam by placing less emphasis on liberal values and more emphasis on adherence to loyalism and political conservatism.
  • Stenlund, Mari; Slotte, Pamela Paulina (2018)
    Human rights theory generally conceptualizes freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief as well as freedom of opinion and expression, as offering absolute protection in what is called the forum internum. At a minimum, this is taken to mean the right to maintain thoughts in one’s own mind, whatever they may be and independently of how others may feel about them. However, if we adopt this stance, it seems to imply that there exists an absolute right to hold psychotic delusions. This article takes the position that this conclusion is ethically problematic from the perspective of psychiatric treatment and the rights of persons with psychosis. The article reflects on this particular challenge and sets forth an understanding of freedom in the forum internum that might apply to situations where for various reasons it is not, necessarily accurate to maintain that persons have an absolute right to their own thoughts. For the purpose of proposing such an understanding, the article engages with current debates within human rights theory and political philosophy and analyzes discussions about psychotic delusions and the way in which involuntary treatment is justified. Based on this analysis, this article in turn conceptualizes freedom in the forum internum as ‘negative liberty’, ‘authenticity’, and ‘capability’. This article suggests that when forum internum is redefined as encompassing a right to certain internal capabilities, the right remains meaningful for persons with psychotic delusions as well.
  • Kletter, Raz (Finnish Exegetical Society, 2020)
    Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society
    At the core of this article stands the issue of identifying mortuary/funerary rituals and ideology from material remains. Case studies discuss biblical rituals and their possible / assumed relations to material remains from Iron II tombs in ancient Judah and Israel, such as lamps and headrests.
  • Lizotte, Christopher (2020)
    Laicite, France's idiosyncratic form of secularism, is a complex concept that is dense with historical genealogy, practical contradictions and - crucially - political geographies. In particular, contemporary Laicite is characterized by a state-sponsored model of universal citizenship that regards French Muslims' identity claims with mistrust. This tension, always latent, was brought to the fore by a series of attacks perpetrated self-styled jihadists in January 2015, centered on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo notorious for its provocations against Islam. The attacks and their aftermath also highlighted a key space where conflicts over Laicite often play out: the French public school, the ecole republicaine. This institution was conceived in its modern form as a mechanism to assimilate through laique pedagogy. Today it is a highly visible space where the optics of race and gender contribute to a narrative of Muslim communautarisme, a willful and defiant communalism that rejects the republican community of citizens. Following a handful of incidents in which students refused to participate in a moment of silence for the victims of the January 2015 attacks, the Ministry of Education undertook an initiative involving disciplinary and pedagogical supports for Laicite in the schools, called the Great Mobilisation for the Republic's Values. Like other past interventions in this area, it operationalizes an assimilating vision of Laicite to bring recalcitrant peripheries into compliance with republican norms. At the same time, though, it reveals the agency of the peripheries to negotiate the terms of Laicite according to local knowledge and needs. On the basis of interviews with educators serving in schools where elements of the Grand Mobilisation were carried out, I show how they push back against the overarching narratives that characterize the initiative and in so doing construct localized and nuanced understandings of the laique social pact.
  • Botez, Andrei; Hietanen, Joel; Tikkanen, Henrikki (2020)
    In this study, we critically examine the ongoing adoption of various posthumanist influences into the fields of marketing and consumer research from a theological perspective. By conducting a theological-historical assessment, we propose that it is not posthuman notions of human/technology relations, nor their broader context in the emerging non-representational paradigms, that mark radically new disruptions in the continuing restructuring of the disciplines of marketing and consumer research. Instead, we argue that what is taking place is an implicit adherence to a contemporary form of age-old Christian dogma. As a radical conjecture, we thus propose that an identification of certain similarities between Christian dogma and the grounds for various posthumanist frameworks suggest that posthuman thought may well herald the global dissemination of a far more elusive, authoritarian, and hegemonic system than that which posthumanists typically claim to have abandoned. Consequently, we elaborate on implications to developments in marketing thought.
  • Benjamin, Saija; Salonen, Visajaani; Gearon, Liam; Koirikivi, Pia; Kuusisto, Arniika (2021)
    Initiatives for preventing radicalization and violent extremism through education (PVE-E) have become a feature of global educational policy and educational institutions across all phases, from early childhood to universities, also in Finland. If schools may be regarded as safe spaces here for identity and worldview construction and experiences of belonging, the specific subject matter of PVE-E is also dangerous territory. Not least because of PVE-E’s focus on radicalization, but above all because of perceptions of schools being used as an adjunct of governmental counter-terrorism policy. We argue that understanding young people’s views on issues related to radicalization and violent extremism is critical in order to develop ethical, sustainable, contextualized and pedagogical approaches to prevent hostilities and foster peaceful co-existence. After providing some critical framing of the Finnish educational context in a broader international setting, we thus examine young people’s views (n=3617) in relation to the safe spaces, through online survey data gathered as a part of our larger four-year research project Growing up radical? Specifically focused on Finland but with potentially wider international implications, more understanding about the topic of PVE-E is needed to inform teacher education and training, to which our empirical data makes some innovative contribution.
  • Polynczuk-Alenius, Kinga (2022)
    Polynczuk-Alenius's article contributes to a better understanding of the racist moment in Poland that began in the aftermath of the 'refugee crisis' in 2015. It does so by zooming in on Christian far-right discourse and reconstructing a cognitive map of the social world manufactured therein. To this end, it analyses the blog of the former Catholic priest Jacek Miedlar, now a far-right activist and one of the leaders of the anti-refugee movement. In doing so, the article relies on two compatible bodies of research that have rarely been used together. Theoretically, the article approaches Christian far-right discourse as an articulation of the paranoid style and concentrates on its conspiratorial aspect. Analytically, it uses the fourfold model of authoritarian communication developed by the Frankfurt School to dissect systematically the conspiratorial tale expounded on Miedlar's blog. Accordingly, the empirical analysis of 116 blog posts treats the following themes: 1) the discontent diagnosed by Miedlar (anti-Polonism, epitomized by the suppression of nationalist and Christian values in favour of European universalism); 2) the alleged operators of anti-Polonism (the Jewish-orchestrated conspiracy bent on dominating the world and its puppets); 3) the movement that will rise up against this cabal (namely, the Polish Catholic nationalists armed with conservative values); and 4) the leader of the struggle (Miedlar himself as a Christ-like martyr figure). The article concludes that the anti-Muslim discourse, premised on an appeal to racist sentiments, served as a gateway into the conspiratorial, deeply antisemitic world-view of the Christian far-right milieu. In Poland, as elsewhere, such a world-view, stored and transmitted through the fringe far-right discourse, usually seems to gain traction in wider society during times of crisis.