Browsing by Subject "teologia ja uskonnontutkimus"

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  • Paananen, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    A standard approach in historically minded disciplines to documents and other artefacts that have become suspect is to concentrate on their dissimilarities with known genuine artefacts. While such an approach works reasonably well with relatively poor forgeries, more skilfully done counterfeits have tended to divide expert opinions, demanding protracted scholarly attention. As there has not been a widespread scholarly consensus on a constrained set of criteria for detecting forgeries, a pragmatic maximum for such dissimilarities—as there are potentially an infinite numbers of differences that can be enumerated between any two artefacts—has been impossible to set. Thus, rather than relying on a philosophically robust critical framework, scholars have been accustomed to approaching the matter on a largely case-by-case basis, with a handful of loosely formulated rules for guidance. In response to these shortcomings, this dissertation argues that a key characteristic of inquiry in historically minded disciplines should be the ability to distinguish between knowledge-claims that are epistemically warranted—i.e., that can be asserted post hoc from the material reality they have become embedded in with reference to some sort of rigorous methodological framework—and knowledge-claims that are not. An ancient letter by Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150–215 CE) to Theodore, in which two passages from the Longer Gospel of Mark (also known as the Secret Gospel of Mark) are quoted, has long been suspected of having been forged by Morton Smith (1915–1991), its putative discoverer. The bulk of this dissertation consists of four different articles that each use different methodological approaches. The first, a discourse analysis on scholarly debate over the letter’s authenticity, illuminates the reasons behind its odd character and troubled history. Second, archival research unearths how data points have become corrupted through unintended additions in digital-image processing (a phenomenon labelled line screen distortion here). Third, a quantitative study of the handwriting in Clement’s Letter to Theodore shows the inadequacy of unwittingly applying palaeographic standards in cases of suspected deceptions compared to the standards adhered to in forensic studies. Additionally, Smith’s conduct as an academic manuscript hunter is found to have been consistent with the standard practices of that profession. Finally, a study of the conceptual distinctions and framing of historical explanations in contemporary forgery discourse reveals the power of the methodologic approach of WWFD (What Would a Forger Do?), which has recently been used in three varieties (unconcealed, concealed, and hyperactive) to construe suspected documents as potential forgeries—despite its disregard of justificatory grounding in favour of coming up with free-form, first-person narratives in which the conceivable functions as its own justification. Together, the four articles illustrate the pitfalls of scholarly discourse on forgeries, especially that surrounding Clement’s Letter to Theodore. The solution to the poor argumentation that has characterized the scholarly study of forgeries is suggested to be an exercise in demarcation: to decide (in the abstract) which features should be acceptable as evidence either for or against the ascription of the status of forgery to an historical artefact. Implied within this suggestion is the notion of constraint, i.e., such that a constrained criterion would be one that cannot be employed to back up both an argument and its counter-argument. A topical case study—a first step on the road to creating a rigorous standard for constrained criteria in determining counterfeits—is the alternative narrative of an imagined creation of Clement’s Letter to Theodore by Smith around the time of its reported discovery (1958). Concealed indicators of authority, or the deliberate concealment of authorial details within the forged artefact by the forger, is established as a staple of the literary strategy of mystification, and their post hoc construction as acceptable evidence of authorship is argued to follow according to criteria: 1) that the beginning of the act of decipherment of a concealed indicator of authority has to have been preceded by a literary primer that is unambiguous to a high degree, 2) that, following the prompting of the literary primer, the act of deciphering a concealed indicator of authority has to have adhered to a technique or method that is unambiguous to a high degree, and 3) that, following the prompting of the literary primer and the act of decipherment, both of which must have been practiced in an unambiguous manner to a high degree, the plain-text solution to the concealed indicator of authority must likewise be unambiguous to a high degree.
  • Kuivala, Petra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The doctoral dissertation "Never a Church of Silence: The Catholic Church in Revolutionary Cuba, 1959–1986" explores the histories of Catholicism in the Cuban revolution. The research traces both the intra-ecclesial discourse of the Catholic Church in the revolution and the lived experiences of Cuban Catholics in the revolutionary reality. The research addresses a topic scarcely acknowledged in international scholarship: religion in revolutionary Cuba. Among the lacunas in scholarly knowledge are the histories of Cuban Catholics in the revolutionary reality. While preceding scholarship has focused on the institutional histories of Cuban Catholicism, it has placed little attention on the lived experiences and quotidian life of Catholics in the revolution. Correspondingly, many of the social histories of the revolution have also remained silenced by the revolution’s dominant narratives, and hidden from scholars by the silence of the Cuban archives. Drawing on previously inaccessible Cuban primary sources, both documental and oral, the research provides new insights into the dynamics of Catholicism in the revolution and Catholic discourse on the revolution. The research presented here is based on an extensive amount of unstudied documents housed in the archives of the Catholic Church in Cuba. As these sources appear in international scholarship for the first time, they mark a significant step forward in historical knowledge about Catholicism and the Cuban revolution and represent a unique opening into post-1959 Cuban archives. The archival sources are complemented with oral history sources: interviews with Cubans narrating their individual and collective experiences in living the revolution as Catholics. The multitude of new sources both enables the discovery of new histories of Catholicism in the revolution and makes it possible to bridge the more institutional histories of the Catholic Church and the individual, personal histories of Cuban Catholics. While preceding scholarship has predominantly approached religion within the narrative framework of revolutionary historiography, this research analyzes the histories of Catholicism and the revolution pronounced by Cuban Catholic voices. In intra-ecclesial discourse, the sources enable an analysis of a large array of voices: those of the ecclesial hierarchy, clergy, and laypeople discussing and recounting distinctively Catholic histories of the revolution. The overarching conclusions of the research discuss the continuous, multidimensional agency of the Catholic Church in revolutionary Cuba, and consequently, the intrinsically intertwining interplay of religion and the revolution in the experiences of Cuban Catholics. While constructions highlighting the silence and absence of Catholicism in the revolution have previously framed scholarly paradigms, this study presents a more complex and nuanced analysis of Catholic life in the revolution. As a whole, this research provides a new opening for analyzing the Cuban revolution from the perspectives of lived experience, various social actors of the revolutionary society, and histories recounted by voices from within the revolutionary reality. Further illustrating the manifold role of religion in the Cuban revolution is the multidisciplinary nature of this research project. In addition to the study of church history and theology, this work is situated in the field of Cuban studies. It also intersects with Latin American and Caribbean studies, studies of oral history, and the study of lived religion.