Faculty of Theology


Recent Submissions

  • Hynninen, Mika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The main research question of this study is to examine the formation of Christian anti-Judaism, and in particular the claim that the Jews murdered Christ in the light of the evidence preserved in the Gospel of Peter. The text of the Gospel of Peter is analyzed through source and redaction criticism. It is concluded that a literary dependence of the Gospel of Peter on the canonical gospels is the most plausible explanation for the existing evidence. The cumulative evidence of unique features of the canonical gospels, verbal agreements, inconsistencies in the narrative and the redaction of the author of the Gospel of Peter explain the similarities and the differences between the Gospel of Peter and the canonical gospels. The redaction critical analysis shows that the author of the Gospel of Peter solves problems within and between the canonical gospels in such an insightful manner that it requires a profound knowledge of their content. The redaction critical examination of the evidence also demonstrates a consistent apologetic and polemical redaction of the author of the Gospel of Peter. This redaction critical analysis provides evidence for a hypothesis that the Gospel of Peter was written in a social context where Christians were engaged in verbal disputes with Jewish critics of Christianity. The hypothesis that the Gospel of Peter was written in a social context that included verbal disputes between Christians and Jews is examined by comparing the apologetic redaction of the author to the criticism of early Christianity. This comparison demonstrates that the apologetic redaction of the Gospel of Peter responds to criticism that is preserved in the sources of the first two centuries. These sources attribute this criticism consistently to Jewish critics of Christianity. A distinction between the historical situation and the rhetorical situation provides a solution to the debates of previous scholarship on the social context and purpose of the Gospel of Peter. The author of the Gospel of Peter responds to Jewish criticism of the Christian community, but his response is directed to the members of the Christian community. This solution explains the connection between the apologetic redaction of the author of the Gospel of Peter and Jewish criticism, and the polemical description of the Jewish people and leaders in the Gospel of Peter. The social identity approach is applied to analyze the identity construction of Christians in the face of the above-mentioned challenges. The social identity approach explains the intergroup interaction and particularly the intergroup discrimination between Christians and Jews. This approach explains why Christians constructed a self-conception of their own group as loyal followers of Jesus in relation to the Jewish group, who are represented as demonic murderers of Jesus. This polarized Christian identity is seen as a norm that governed the community’s orientation in a complex social reality where divisions between the respective groups were not clearly defined.
  • Wagner, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study compares and analyses the epicleses in the liturgies of four Western Churches, namely in the Roman Catholic Church, the Swiss Reformed Church (German speaking), the Evangelical Church in Germany and the Lutheran Church of Finland. The overall research question is ‘What is the presupposed and hoped-for effect and work of the Holy Spirit in the Eucharistic liturgy?’ This question takes a two-fold form; firstly, how the desired effect of the Holy Spirit is verbalised in the Eucharistic epiclesis and secondly, what are the commonalities and differences between the epicleses in these various church traditions. The methodology constitutes a systematic analysis employing several related methods of textual analysis. The main emphasis of the textual analysis concerns the use and meaning of key terms. These are examined through the lenses of linguistic analysis and liturgical analysis of the prayer. The linguistic analysis has three steps: firstly, the qualitative and quantitative analysis of verbs related to the Holy Spirit used in the prayers; secondly, the linguistic analysis of the key term of giving; and thirdly, the comparison of the results drawn from the second step in relation to the theology of giving. The liturgical text analysis concentrates on the two classical themes of the epiclesis: consecration and communion. The text sources used in this study are the liturgical books of the forementioned Churches, namely, the Catholic Missal, Liturgie Band III Abendmahl, Evangelisches Gottesdienstbuch and Jumalanpalvelusten kirja. The study is structured as follows; an introduction (chapter one) followed by two chapters summarising the theory (chapters two and three), chapters four and five concentrating on the analyses as described above and a conclusion, followed by the bibliography. Information about the liturgical books and the epicleses used in the study are found in chapter two. In chapter three these are compared with their predecessors in the former liturgical books. Chapter four contains the linguistic analysis consisting of three steps as explained above. The liturgical text analysis is examined in chapter five. This study concludes that there are internal discrepancies within epicleses stemming from the same Church tradition. This is true in particular with the epicleses of the Evangelical Church in Germany and the Swiss Reformed Church (German speaking). One possible explanation for this is the high variance of the epicleses in the liturgical books of these Churches. Another cause for the noted discrepancy could be the historical development of the liturgical books in question. In these epicleses, as linguistic analysis seems to point out, the Holy Spirit occupies a lesser role than could be assumed from the Trinitarian theology of these Churches. The range of verbs referring to the work of the Holy Spirit is wider than the range of verbs related to the invocation of the Holy Spirit but also richer than expected as based on the classical themes of consecration and communion. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the study shows that the epicleses of the four Churches are closer to each other linguistically than expected in relation to the Eucharistic theologies of these Churches. Keywords: Eucharist, Prayer, Liturgy, Holy Spirit, Ecumenics, Linguistics
  • Tucker, Miika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation comprises a translation technical study of Septuagint Jeremiah (Jer LXX) for the purpose of characterizing the translation. Though modern scholars mostly agree that the translation follows its Hebrew Vorlage very closely, it contains several indicators of free and less formal equivalence. In addition, discrepancy between certain renderings within chapters 1–28 (Jer a’) and chapters 29–52 (Jer b’) have borne debate regarding the unity of the translation, particularly whether these differences reflect the work of multiple translators, a later revision, or the peculiarities of a single translator. The study of translation technique constitutes a comparison between Hebrew words and expressions and their Greek equivalents, and it is the primary means by which to identify the different factors that influenced the product of translation. Three factors need to be taken into account when evaluating a translation in the LXX: the syntax and grammar of the Hebrew Vorlage, the requirements of the Greek language, and the individual translator’s own peculiarities. This type of analysis provides answers to questions regarding the nature of Jer LXX as a textual witness to the Hebrew text, the development of the Greek text of Jer LXX, and the translation character of Jer LXX. The method is applied to the renderings of Hebrew words and expressions for which a difference between Jer a’ and Jer b’ has been identified. This choice of material has been made in order that the issue regarding the bisectioning of Jer LXX can be addressed to the fullest possible extent. Since the question of a revision in Jer LXX revolves around the translation differences between Jer a’ and Jer b’, the character of these differences are delineated in relation to the character of the kaige tradition, an exemplar of early jewish revision that is universally accepted as such. This comparison allows a further differentiation of the characteristics among the differences that can be categorised as revisional in nature and those that cannot, which in turn enables a more precise placement of Jer LXX within the history and development of the LXX as a whole. The conclusions of this study draw from the different types of changes that occur between Jer a’ and Jer b’. Certain differences between the two reflect the revisional characteristics of the kaige tradition, which suggests that they were produced by a reviser who was invested in a revisionary tradition similar to kaige. This correlates with earlier suggestions that Jer b’ contains a revision. A number of the differences indicate that the character of the revision is not as developed in its system and consistency as are the later exemplars of the kaige tradition. This distinguishes the revision in Jer b’ from other known revisions and allows its placement as prior to the later kaige revisers. Third, certain differences constitute a change toward more natural Greek expression, which is the opposite of what one would expect from a revision since Greek idiom usually does not reflect the formal characteristics of Hebrew. These differences are to be understood as reflecting a change towards more intuitive use of the Greek language by the first translator of Jer.
  • Urponen, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines the dimensions and position of religious music in Finnish-language textbooks for religious (Evangelical Lutheran) and music education in grades 1–6 in basic education. These textbooks have been published to comply with and implement the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education 2004 (POPS 2004). The texts and songs published in the textbooks are approached through the following questions: In what manner is religious music examined in texts? What aspect(s) transform a song into a religious song? (Cf. Smart 2005, 13.) How does a religious song materialize? Which religious songs along with which characteristics have been published? Is religious music, with a special focus on religious songs, appreciated? The current research utilizes a qualitative approach that fits the task, the research design, the development of the data corpus, and its analyses. This is an empirical and practically oriented study of the field of religious education. The material of the study is retrieved from a total of 24 (N) textbooks of four ME and three RE (Evangelical Lutheran) textbook series published in Finnish between 2004 and the summer of 2012. The research material was compiled from these textbooks, from which the corpus of the actual material was further compressed. Content analysis and classification based on the sources were used as methods of analysis. The textbook texts were subjected to two separate analyses. The first analysis was applied to outline the main themes of the textbook texts associated with religious music, and the second analysis was used to structure their expressions. The textbook songs were scrutinized from the following perspective: signal-word analysis focused on existing expressions of linguistic material, that is, religious language. In examining the dimension of religion, Ninian Smart's Seven Dimensions of Religion model was used as a theoretical background to structure the dimensions that emerged from the studied topics. The songs were also categorized using the song-collection source. Finally, the key themes of the lyrics were examined. Religious music can be organized into nine means of expressions from the texts in the textbooks, which are as follows: object, actor, action, environment, time, instrument, source, attribute, and argument extractions. The textbook texts primarily describe official 6 religious music based on the Christian tradition and the church institution. Three components were identified as useful criteria for a religious song: signal words, the seven dimensions of religion according to Smart, and the source. The empirical structuring of vocal material using the criteria currently described demonstrated the diversity of religious songs and the plasticity of their boundaries. Based on the textbook song analysis, thirteen different types of religious-related songs were identified, five of which can be defined as religious songs. Others include religiously themed, religious overtones, spiritual overtones, secularized religious, and other songs. The RE and ME textbooks contained a total of 231 different religious songs. They have 24 common religious songs among them. Based on their main themes, religious songs can be divided into celebration songs, nature and seasonal songs, national songs, ethical songs, Bible songs, general sense of security songs, prayer songs, Christian community songs, and songs about the afterlife. Most of the songs are related to celebrations. Religious music and religious songs have a place in the textbooks of RE and ME published during the years 2004–2012. Traces of religion can be seen in both song lyrics and textbook texts. However, the textbook texts often refer to religious music only in random fragments that appear in different occasional contexts. In the 21st century, the role of religion and religious culture in basic education has been regularly combined in hymns. However, from the perspective of religious education and its subject matter, this hymn debate has appeared to be one-sided and from the perspective of religious singing, narrow. In Finnish religious education, there has been little consideration of religious music as a subject, the pedagogical possibilities of music in religious education, or correspondingly, the place of religious topics in music education. In the tradition of hymnological research, on the other hand, no attention has been paid to the precise definition of the key concepts. The present research thus opens the way for both music-oriented religious educational research and empirical-based hymnological conceptual research. Keywords: basic education, hymnology, religious education, religious music, religious song, textbook
  • Urvas, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study focuses on theology of sin and evil in Classical Pentecostalism. After the introduction (chapter 1) it contains three chapters. Chapter 2) is a journey through history of theology focusing on the themes of sin and evil. Additionally, it includes a summary of findings from the Classical Pentecostal sources, primarily from Global North region. Subsequently, two main sources, Amos Yong and Opoku Onyinah, are used as case studies. They are presented in chapters 3) and 4). Chapter 5) provides conclusions. These case studies are selected to exemplify voices of Pentecostalism which are not from the context of Global North, even if their academic scholarship is closely related to that cultural sphere. Furthermore, Yong and Onyinah can be regarded as innovative and important writers in Pentecostal theological academia, and, who have touched on the themes selected for this study. They do not represent a denominational theology as such, but rather their own, which reflects either their cultural background (as it is the case with Opoku Onyinah and his setting within Ghanaian Pentecostalism) or a chosen theological location (as with Amos Yong, who writes in dialogue with science and contemporary philosophy). The themes of sin and evil are limited and focused on theological anthropology in relation to hamartiology, and metaphysics and agency regarding the theology of evil. The following questions are central. First, in relation to the concept of sin: 1) the nature and characteristics of sin, 2) the Fall and the origin of sin, and 3) the sinful nature in the human constitution. Secondly, in relation to the concept of evil: 1) the nature of evil, 2) Satan, the devil and demons, and 3) relationships and interactions between evil spiritual beings and humans, including exorcism and possession. These questions are chosen because of the goal of the task to begin with but, equally because of the nature of the main sources and the conversations they offer and elaborate on. Amos Yong approaches his theology of sin and evil principally from the perspective of theological anthropology, keeping the humanity, as observed by the scientific data, as the starting point. This can be argued based on the influence of emergent anthropology, which ties the ontology of demons to the reality of humanity. The sociality of sin and its collective manifestations are central, which situates the relational view of sin as essential in the argument. However, individual sin is not neglected. Yong argues that human sinful activity is a primal and essential aspect to correctly understand the demonic realm, both on the metaphysical level and functionally. He introduces a new category, religious cosmology, which recognizes the human experience of destructive powers and the source of horror. It does not serve as an explanatory category but rather as a comparative one for a metaphysical cosmology based on human experience. It provides a frame to understand human agency within the realm of spiritual cosmology and agency. Opoku Onyinah approaches the theme of sin and theological anthropology via the concept of witchcraft due to the study he conducted as his doctoral research project. The concept of sin is tied and built securely around the elaboration of humanity, and the essence and functions of human constitution. Onyinah underlines the importance of the concept of flesh which he interprets metaphorically, instead of literally or materially. Additionally, he does not regard the diabolic figures or demonic forces as primary causes for sin and evil. However, Onyinah reflects the evil powers and their role and potential continuously within the elaboration of sin, for example, through the concept of strongholds. Central themes in general are the human fallenness, weakness of the human nature, and function of the flesh as a weakness in human temperament. Social relationships and communal aspects are vital perspective flowing from Onyinah’s cultural background, the Akan tradition and Ghanaian Pentecostalism. Therefore, Onyinah perceives sin as a destructive force destroying the community as well as a problem in individual’s life. The latter perception is rooted in the holiness tradition which is significantly present in Onyinah’s perception as the ideal of Christian life. He regards soul and flesh as responsible for sinful behaviour. Onyinah’s central goal to examine and explore the themes of Satan, demons and evil forces is to create healthier and safer interpretation of these forces for the life of his community and church. Communal perspective with a goal for healthier communities is similarly present in Yong’s thinking as a focus but also in his hermeneutical system. The central findings of this study do not construct a new Pentecostal theology, because such theology is created within the communities in their contextual settings together with academic scholars who live in close relationship with their worshipping communities. However, this study demonstrates that the interaction between communities and scholars is vital to construct healthy and living Pentecostal theology. Therefore, the central findings presented in this study, regarding the themes of sin and evil, are necessary to be acknowledged in Pentecostal communities.
  • Jämbäck, Eija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The dissertation studies the Association Activist Tilma Hainari (1861–1940) and her attitude towards moral reform and eugenics in the Finnish context. Her thinking about moral reform and eugenics and her activities in these fields are, furthermore, reflected in terms of her strongly held Christianity. Her attitude towards moral reform aimed primarily at building society upon a morally virtuous, Christian base. The core idea behind her attitude towards eugenics was to improve the quality of future generations. Positive eugenics was therefore thought to be a supportive measure for those whose genetic heritage was considered of high quality. In negative eugenics, reproductive isolation, marriage prohibition, sterilization, and castration were used to prevent the reproduction of individuals classified as biologically unfit. Reproduction regulation was, moreover, at the heart of eugenics. Broadly speaking, this dissertation studies why Hainari aligned herself with moral reform and eugenics and how her thinking and activities reflected these ideologies. In addition, the quality of her religiousness and its manifestations are studied. The research also focuses on the relationship between religiosity and eugenics, where religion lay at the heart of Hainari’s life and activities. Her religiousness was multidimensional and her concept of God had two elements. On the one hand, God was seen as a judge who punished sins. Hainari used the term ‘sin’, however, solely for sexual offenses. On the other hand, God was a good father who protected and guided all things. The religious justification for moral reform for Hainari was the notion that only a person purified by religion met the high standards of chastity. Moral reformist and eugenist Tilma Hainari considered her actions as purifying Finland in three ways. First, at the state level, she strove to change the laws on moral issues. Secondly, she dictated moral rules to renew social morality. Third, Hainari was active in the fight against indecency. The effects of the environment, the ideas and challenges of the time, and internal development combined in making Hainari a social influencer. As the chairwoman of the Committee on Chastity in the Finnish National League for Women, she became a guardian of morals in the country and the spokesperson and main figure in chastity work. Hainari held senior positions in society, disseminated doctrines, outlined work, and directed the discussions on the issues of morality and eugenics. Under her leadership, the Committee on Chastity addressed and commented on issues such as prostitution, sex crimes, marriage law, the treatment of the feeble minded, as well as the care of ill-mannered children. As a social influencer and opinion leader, Hainari had the rare opportunity as a woman of her time to gain widespread visibility for her message. Tilma Hainari’s moral reform activities intertwined eugenic ideas with traditional Christian-centred charity thinking. The transition from the control of chastity to that of eugenics was, for Hainari, a complementary issue, in the sense that eugenics was one way to realise the goals of chastity. In particular, Hainari supported and promoted the activities of negative eugenics, including the isolation, sterilization and marriage bans of the feeble minded, and for individuals having certain illnesses, and the castration of pathological sex offenders. Hainari also supported, to some extent, positive eugenics, in promoting support for families and improving their living conditions. In the eyes of the state, Hainari held a prestigious position as a qualified authority in the field of eugenics. In the new Marriage Law, she publicly emphasized the eugenics dimension of the law and her actions affected the implementation of the Sterilization Act. The Finnish government sent Hainari to the United States as a representative to study how the country took care of their feeble minded. Hainari was elected as the only female member of the Prohibition Law Committee. In this case, the hard measures that she often favoured, had not worked, and Hainari had to give up supporting the Prohibition Act. Hainari’s ethical justification for negative eugenics was above all the moral obligation of the society to protect its citizens from degeneration. She considered eugenic measures to have a healing effect on their target population and prevented their offspring from suffering. Hainari saw the actions of eugenics as a part of the efforts of do-gooders and thought that her actions had pure motives, good intentions and served an altruistic purpose. For Hainari, children were the vital core of the nation and the apple of its eye. The relationship between mother and child was sacred. The mother also occupied a societal dimension to care for the weakest members of the nation. It was also possible to fit eugenic maternity into the models of maternity that Hainari favoured. A mother gave birth and raised anew, brave generation. When choosing the groom, the future mother had the responsibility to ensure the good hereditary qualities for her future children and, as the caregiver and educator, she was in charge of the child’s living environment. In sum, religion and eugenics went hand in hand in Hainari’s view of life, sometimes overlapping, most often simultaneously in their own corners of her mind. Their coexistence was neither problematic for her nor for most other Christians in the Finland of her time. The common goal of Hainari’s religiously motivated work on moral reform and her efforts at implementing eugenics was the nation’s morality, which aimed at promoting the best of both the fatherland and the nation. Nationality was thus at the heart of these moral issues. In the field of Finnish eugenics, Hainari was one of the few active, respected key players among women. Not only did she promote the idea of eugenics, she also excelled as an executive. Her overall importance to the Finnish eugenics’ movement was therefore quite remarkable.
  • Snellman, Lauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The problem of evil is usually understood to concern the existence of God in a world, where there is evil. In fact, the problem of evil and the problem of intelligibility are closely linked together. The problem of evil is the question: does God exist and can there be intelligibility and meaning in the world that allows for moral action if there is evil? The problem of intelligibility is a family resemblance of questions concerning the relationship of rational thought and the world: is there a rational order in the world, how are concepts possible, and how do they link with the world? The core of the work is to develop a philosophical grammar for examining the conceptual links between the problem of evil and the problem of meaning, and using the grammar of these links to dissolve the problem of evil with a grammatical metacritique. The investigation proceeds through four main research questions: 1. What are the general logic and the presuppositions of the problem of evil? 2. How can the problem of evil be called into question and how can one develop grammatical methods and philosophical tools to build a successful antitheodicy? 3. How can one develop a grammatical metacritique of the presuppositions of the problem through a philosophical grammar of the underlying language/world and being/meaning-links? 4. How can the grammatical approach to metaphysical questions and to the metacritique of the presuppositions of the problem of evil be used to analyse religious and worldview questions, and articulate ways of existential, humanistic and religious sense-making that overcome the problem? The method used in the work is the systematic analysis of religious views and philosophical arguments. I develop a method of philosophical grammar or relational metacriticism to approach philosophical problems. Philosophical grammar involves investigating the meaning of an expression by locating it in relationships of use, and relational metacriticism develops an overview of a phenomenon by charting its underlying relationships. The problem of evil is at bottom an existential one: how can the world have meaning and how is moral action possible, if there is pointless evil without morally sufficient reasons? The problem of evil is then associated with theodicism: God or the meaning of the world exists only, if all evils have (morally) sufficient reasons. The problem has four key presuppositions: the fact/meaning, fact/value and appearance/reality conceptual gaps and the Principle of Sufficient Reason. The problem arises, when one tries to unify facts with meanings and values by appealing to God or some Arche that establishes a system of sufficient reasons. The appearances of evil present an anomaly or a problem to such attempts to locate meaningfulness and intelligibility in the world. The theodicy debate in the philosophy of religion is just a special case of the general problem, as J. L. Mackie’s, Alvin Plantinga’s and William Rowe’s classic articles work with the Leibnizian problematic of God’s metaphysically constrained choices for the best vs pointless evils. Antitheodicies can be divided into moral and conceptual ones. A conceptual antitheodicy attempts to dissolve the conceptual presuppositions of the problem of evil. A moral antitheodicy extends the rejection of the world order to the activity of issuing reasons itself. I argue that moral antitheodicies cannot stand on their own and end up in question-begging and secularist moralism if they are not supported with other arguments, because the moral rejection of the practice of giving reasons for evil presupposes that there are no such reasons and ends up as groundless moralizing if there are. Therefore only conceptual antitheodicies can work. There are three traditions of conceptual antitheodicy: Kantian, Jamesian and Hamannian antitheodicies. Kantian antitheodicies argue that theodicism oversteps the limits of moral and theoretical human reason. Jamesian antitheodicies emphasize that God and the world order must be reinterpreted in terms of practical and moral action and from a pluralist perspective that can account for experience and moral effort. Hamannian antitheodicies hold that the dualisms and the rationalisms underlying theodicy debate are speculative metaphysics that can be overcome through philosophical grammar. I then argue that Hamannian antitheodicies can be used as metatheories for Kantian and Jamesian ones, because they allow for the critique of reason as a critique of language and avoid the residual dualisms in Kant’s account, and the grammar of language use and religious stories allows for incorporating James’ appeal to practical meanings and to a God who defeats evil. Philosophical grammar gives a ground for examining the presuppositions of theodicy. It examines the use of language by describing the rules of language-games and the relationships underlying them. It also describes the logic of our language by describing conceptual connections in language use and locates abstract concepts like the categories of being in linguistic and communicative relationships. The grammatical approach then investigates the necessary conditions of linguistic relationships to expose unfounded abstractions in metaphysics like dualisms. Language-games are categories in the metaphysical sense. They constitute the structure of uses of language for describing objects and thus give a foundation for ontological classifications and describing objects in terms of abstract concepts. The grammatical method of relational metacriticism then offers a ground for criticizing the metaphysical presuppositions of theodicy, because they cannot go against language use or its necessary conditions. Facts and meanings cannot be separated, because states of affairs and objects are identified by interpreting them against the background of a language-game and its underlying system. The identification of objects requires both a grid of coordinates or a logical space for facts, and narrative principles of continuity that reveal its causal, social and other functional roles in its contexts. Then the narratively identified logic of functioning in a context or system is intertwined with the facts: the functions and stories are realized through the facts, and the facts get a role in the interaction of objects and contexts by having a role in functions and stories. Thus facts and meanings are intertwined, and facts are also seen-as objects by using narratives to identify objects in and through the facts. The Principle of Sufficient Reason forms the link between the problems of evil and meaning. The problem of evil searches moral meaning in morally sufficient reasons or purposes and questions whether being = right or moral reason, as the metaphysical foundations debate questions whether being = reason by investigating the applicability of categories and the existence of rational grounds in reality. However, there is no need to account for the meaning of the world in terms of sufficient reasons for facts, because the fact/meaning split is itself groundless. Moreover, the Principle is inherently ambiguous. The concept of a reason makes sense only against the background of a language-game, and there are systems that have structures that do not amount to sufficient reasons. There are many kinds of sufficient reasons, like logical, moral and causal ones, and distinctions between them prevent running them all together by invoking the PSR. Moreover, the concept of being, and the various essences and logical spaces for being are located in language-games, their underlying systems and the language/world-encounter. Therefore one cannot identify reality itself with rational conceptual structures, because reality and encounter with it is prior to conceptual structures, and conceptual necessity depends on linguistic practices. The concept of a virtue overcomes the fact/value gap. If the concept of good is associated with virtuous practices for moving from an evil present situation into a situation fulfilling the telos, then virtuous habits for realizing human nature intertwine facts and values. Virtues and other humanistic meanings are realized through actions in a context, and the actions are then shaped and chosen by reference to the virtues, human practices and the goods the virtues are used to pursue. Moreover, the world cannot be determined by Arches and sufficient reasons if the grammar of virtues is to work, because they collapse the distinction between the actual world and the possible telos. The grammar of salvation in religions of the sick soul is isomorphic to the grammar of virtues as well: God or the Way are said to be good, because they rescue from the evil situation into a state where the telos is reached. Moreover, such descriptions of religious stories and practices give the use of the word “God” and thus the categories for describing Him and his properties, like goodness and omnipotence. Then one can formulate a consistency proof by using the idea of God as a chessmaster. God is good because He wins when the world succeeds, and He is omnipotent because He has a winning strategy to defeat evil, and both can hold even if the world includes pointless and horrendous evils. Keywords: theodicy; antitheodicy; metacriticism; dualism; meaning; language-games; metaphysics; philosophy of language; philosophy of religion, facts and meanings; facts and values; principle of sufficient reason
  • Haataja, Heikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The objective of this research was to explicate Urho Muroma's understanding of regeneration and sanctification. The study afforded special attention to the part the human will plays in regeneration and sanctification. The research method was systematic analysis. The study demonstrated that Muroma's soteriology is structured by his interpretation of God as “righteous love”, who, on the basis of original sin (peccatum originale) does not condemn anyone to perdition. God gives everyone the possibility to accept salvation or to reject it. In Muroma's opinion, since all do not receive this option during this life, God will arrange this opportunity for these people in the life hereafter. According to Muroma, regeneration does not take place in water baptism. It is only through spiritual awakening (vocatio et illuminatio), conversion (conversio), and justification through faith (iustificatio per fidem) that we reach the experience of regeneration (regeneratio), which enables sanctification. Muroma thinks that without a free decision of the will no one can be saved. In the Fall, people did lose the freedom of the will (liberum arbitrium), but during “a time of visitation” people receive a free will (liberatum arbitrium = the freed will). Conversion is an act of the will involving free choice and “unconditonal surrender”. Through the decision of the will, people are capable of “opening up to God's influence.” This then resolves the salvation of a person – not God's choice. Thus, Muroma's soteriology is left with a synergistic feature. Justification is a prerequisite for receiving the Holy Spirit and takes place through concious faith (fides directa) “side by side with regeneration.” Sins are not reckoned to those who believe in Christ, but Christ's righteousness is accounted to them (favor, iustificatio forensis). Muroma joins together the aspects of forensic and effective justification (iustificatio forensis et effectiva). Both “Christ for us” (Christus pro nobis) and “Christ in us” (Christus in nobis) is justification for the sinner before God (coram Deo). When Christ enters into the hearts of believers through the Holy Spirit (donum), they will be regenerated (regeneratio) “as new creations” in Christ. Per Muroma, regeneration means becoming a participant in the “divine nature” and the renewal of the image of God (imago Dei). The divine nature is Christ Himself (Christus in nobis). Muroma argues that regeneration is a unique event (regeneratio momentanea), the “basic experience” in which people are transferred from the realm of Satan to become the children of God. Muroma states that sanctification (sanctification) is the prerequisite for ultimate salvation. God has determined to make each and every regenerated person “into the likeness of Christ”. Yet Muroma affirms that most believers have become stalled in their spiritual growth “at the level of a carnal Christian”. While on the one hand he emphasizes sanctification as the prerequisite of salvation, on the other hand he, under pressure, teaches – in the manner of the Keswick Movement – that “even carnal” Christians, provided they remain in faith to Christ, will ultimately be saved, even though sanctification had not materialized in them in the way God willed. The role of Christ is emphasized in Muroma's understanding of sanctification. “Entire Christianity” aspires to the likeness of Christ. Nonetheless, he emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit gains “an absolute hold” on believers, He will mold them into the likeness of Christ. This is why being filled with the Holy Spirit is the necessary prerequisite of sanctification. In Muroma's theology, “being filled with the Holy Spirit” requires “total surrender” – an act of volition. First, those who are not regenerated must “surrender themselves totally to the Lord” in order to be born again. After that, those born again are to “decisively surrender themselves to the Lord” in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Muroma seems to have adopted the emphasis typical of the Keswick Movement, where the volitional act of “total surrender” is a prerequisite for a higher level of a life of faith. Regenerate persons in “total surrender” give themselves and their will to Christ. It is “a crucial step” and “a decisive act”, the result of which is that believers are filled with the Holy Spirit. For Muroma, even though changing into the likeness of Christ remains for most people weak and defective in their lifetime, there are Christians whose Christlikeness is unusually manifest. They are filled with the Holy Spirit, reflecting the mind, humility, courage of faith and strength of Christ. Nevertheless, Muroma stresses that these very people themselves feel they are more deficient than any other Christians. While Muroma contends Christians do not free themselves from sin in this life, they are nevertheless not supposed to live as if “the flesh” had control over them. Christians are to be repeatedly filled with the Holy Spirit whereby “the flesh” remains crucified. Salvation is only fully realized when Christians themselves become freed from “this body of sin”, which is when they will understand why they had had so much tribulation in life. These too have been necessary in order that they might grow into the likeness of Christ.
  • Ikonen, Marko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In my doctoral thesis I emphasize Clinical supervision. The purpose of my study is to clarify the pattern on the systematic structure and the interaction between the supervisor and the supervisee. I pay attention to their interaction – how they interact together and individually. The studies carried out previously have been fragmentary. Universal Clinical Supervision is used to support professional work in many contexts,and they are even more perplexed. The components of this activity is very difficult to shape and perceive and there exists disagreement as well. There are plenty of conceptual viewpoints for this action and the theories are attributable to them. The professional guidance is internationally construed in an incoherent way. As a result of these ambiguous concepts, these aspirations have resulted in irresolvable dissolution. There is no particular theory for Clinical Supervision. Furthermore, Practices of Clinical Supervision and Työnohjaus are different around the world and the scientists ́ perception of the system of concepts are incoherent. Therefore the study is being progressed slowly. The analyses made during the last decades have maintained or even increased disparity and discrepancy. My study has three objectives.1) First I want to demonstrate that the previous approaches are incomplete to clarify these problems in professional guidance. Thus I declare why these viewpoints are confusing and have retained these problems. 2) Secondly I substantiate that all kind of guidance is constructed with a model of fixed composition and permanent elements. 3) Last but not least l will demonstrate how I will be able to formulate this broader conception. My analysis is derived from the dialogue between the structures and elements connected with philosophical literature. I explicate how the supervisor and the supervisee act individually and together. The structural study complies with the objectives mentioned above. The material for my study consists of articles written in the international nursing magazines and published in Finnish literature of Työnohjaus. In the essential literature published in the 1980’s, there is a lot of debate on its purpose and conceptions to be clarified. My study is to interconnect philosophical literature in connection with human intentional conduct and interaction. As a supervisor I take advantage of my practical experiences in my doctoral thesis. Every sort of guidance is composed of the fundamental norms and they are fixed universally applicable elements. Therefore the supervisor is able to maintain the acceptable supervision praxis. If the patient is not willing to take professional assistance, the guidance is meaningless. Furthermore, the supervisor is compelled to accept conditional premeditated aspirations. The guidance is constructive and efficient if the supervisor takes all these aspects into consideration. Especially if the supervisor attaches importance to preconditions that make individual and social behavior possible. With the help over the structure, the supervisor is to maintain the substance of guidance. The praxis - empirical co-operation - engages both supervisor and supervisee and gets them involved in interaction. After reading my study the supervisors will be able to comprehend and analyze this conduct profoundly. Therefore my thesis gives the tools to develop international study and improve supervisor’s professional praxis.
  • Kalliokoski, Taina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This doctoral dissertation studies the meaning of communality both as a concept and as a phenomenon. Taking various meanings of the Finnish word for communality, yhteisöllisyys as a starting point, I explore the conditions of how communalities take a form and dissolve, and the relationship between different forms of the human good and communality. The research applies and develops further three theories: Raimo Tuomela’s collective action theory that distinguishes the we-mode collective action from I-mode collective action, Christian Smith’s theory of basic human goods, and Russell Hardin’s theory of trust as encapsulated interests. The methodological approach is philosophical conceptual analysis, which I have used to analyze the meanings of concepts, to create definitions of community and communality, and to formulate the ethical implications different meanings of communality have in terms of the human good. The research clarifies the meaning of community and communality and the relationship between these two concepts. The conclusion of the analysis is a definition of community comprising of five conditions called the group condition, the recognition condition, the interaction condition, the ethos condition and the continuity condition. Communality as a phenomenon is defined as human dynamic interaction processes which interacting agents experience each in their own way. Community as a social formation may exist even if there is no experienced communality between community members. The conditions of how communality as a phenomenon takes place are analyzed on three levels: level of preconditions, level of action, and level of experience. Formation of communality presupposes that it is possible for a person to recognize their co-agency in collective action, and that no external or internal conditions are inhibiting them from participating in collective action. Forms of communality based on we-mode collective action will not develop if agents do not recognize each other as co-agents, if they do not recognize a common interest, and if they do not commit themselves to pursue the common interest. Functional communality becomes continuous only if agents commit themselves to each other, to the aim of the collective action, or the ethos that emerges from the committed collective action. After the commitment, the prerequisites for trust as encapsulated interests are met and trust may evolve between co-agents. Agents may assess their experiences of collective action as either positive or negative. The basic human goods defined by Smith are 1) bodily survival, security, and pleasure, 2) knowledge of reality, 3) identity coherence and affirmation, 4) exercising purposive agency, 5) moral affirmation, and 6) social belonging and love, which when pursued all together may lead to human flourishing. In the third part of the research, I examine these basic goods as interests pursued as the goals of action, and as the states of affairs that are realized and maintained by private and collective action. By analyzing the basic goods and their opposites the non-goods, the research clarifies how communality that develops and maintains in the collective action process either fosters or prevents the realization of human good. The success or failure of collective action depends on the ability of co-agents to make positive and negative evaluation about the social and teleological content of collective action both in the I-mode and in the we-mode. Communality may become symbiotic, in which case the I-mode agency of a person weakens or vanishes, and communality becomes intrinsically destructing. Communality may enhance or destroy the basic human goods on different grounds: as an environment that does not enable the co-actors to pursue human goods, on the grounds of the nature and identity of the community, for functional reasons, or for normative reasons that depend on the relationships between the goods of community and the basic human goods. In order to develop and enhance communality that strengthens the human good, the community ethos has to include an idea of practicing criticism. This means that the community ethos needs to protect the members’ ability to evaluate the collective action and the ethos. Community needs to have accepted means to criticize community practices and ethos, and measures with the help of which to take the criticism and revaluation seriously.
  • Pulkkinen, Marika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines how Paul uses psalms and how this is related to the uses and status of the psalms in the late Second Temple Judaism. The study focuses on clusters of explicit and subtle references to psalms in Paul’s Letter to the Romans and his First Letter to the Corinthians. Furthermore, the study covers the psalm quotations paired together or with another scriptural text and a selection of four individually occurring quotations from a psalm. The following questions are answered in this study: What was the status of psalms within Jewish scriptures for Paul? What does their use as different clusters tell us of the source of Paul’s citations and exegesis of the psalms? How do the individually occurring quotations from psalms differ from quotation clusters or pairs of quotations? What kind of scriptural texts does Paul combine when quoting from or referring to the psalms, and which interpretive technique enables him to do so? Paul probably made excerpts from scripture when he had access to the written form of scripture; these excerpts may have aided him when he composed his letters. However, in this study I demonstrate that Paul did not rely on earlier formatted clusters of quotations, as has been claimed in previous studies. Rather, he compiled and modified the quotations to fit into their new literary context. Regarding the individually occurring quotations from psalms, this study shows that, in a similar manner as the Pentateuchal or the prophetic texts, Paul does likewise use psalms on their own to foster or to prove his argument (Rom 8:36; 15:3; 1 Cor 10:26; 2 Cor 4:11). Hence, Paul considers the psalms as enjoying authoritative status, and his use of them also strengthens their authority among the community reading Paul’s letters. Since previous research has often presumed that Paul studied the text of the psalms in a synagogue setting by reciting them, their possible attestation in such gatherings is discussed in chapter 3. Although the knowledge of liturgy of the late Second Temple period is sparse, prayer is largely attested in written documents (literary depictions, papyri, inscriptions, DSS manuscripts), and hence it can be concluded that it played a central role both in private and public piety. Furthermore, psalms were employed in various functions in the late Second Temple period: in addition to their use in private and communal devotional life, psalms were read, cited and interpreted as carrying a prophetic message for the contemporary reader. Moreover, psalms were used to study the history of the interpretive community. This study shows that Paul’s use of psalms reflects these varying uses of psalms during the late Second Temple period. In conclusion, this study confirmes the earlier notion that the tripartite division of the Hebrew Bible was not yet established at the turn of the Common Era. Since it is uncertain when the psalms gained authoritative status in Jewish communities, Paul’s use of the psalms sheds light on the matter: Paul seems to hold the psalms as authoritative by quoting from them in a similar manner as he does from the Pentateuchal and prophetic texts. Paul uses the psalms for legal exegesis and instruction for the right way to live, functions that were reserved only for the interpretation of the Torah in later rabbinic Judaism. However, this tradition obviously developed after Paul, since he uses non-Pentateuchal texts as sources for legal exegesis as well.
  • Nurmi, Suvielise (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation examines the idea of relationality as a feature of moral agency and analyses the implications of such an idea in ethical theories as frameworks for environmental ethics. The thesis fills the gap in academic philosophical discussion concerning the relationality of the operations of moral agency. The idea of relationality, although being quite used in characterising (human) nature in environmental philosophy, has not been scrutinised as constitutive for moral operations. The thesis starts by analysing the concepts of moral agency in the three distinguished strategies of environmental ethics: the modernist one, which is used as the reference line, evolutionary naturalism and ecofeminist constructivism. The latter two take a critical stance towards the first, but from philosophically opposing directions. It is shown that these criticisms parallel each other and are directed towards a converging idea of ecologically relational agency. The thesis continues by constructing the idea of ecologically relational moral agency pointed to by the parallel lines of thought in evolutionary naturalism and ecofeminist constructivism as they are represented in environmental ethics. The concept is sketched through interdisciplinary support from the natural sciences, psychological and philosophical anthropology, epistemology, and philosophy of mind and action. It is argued that a currently plausible scientific notion of moral agency challenges the view widely presupposed by modern moral philosophy. According to the analysed sources, human mental processes, knowledge and value formation included, are extended to the environments of the individual mind, relationships providing knowledge, experience and intention are mutually interactive, and even intentional activity is mainly a non-individual issue. Research on these features refer to environmental relationality of mental operations. Relational agency fulfils the environmentalist’s quest for a plausible notion of agency. However, to consider moral identity, as well as knowing, reasoning and acting as ecologically relational challenges common conceptions of moral autonomy and rationality. Question is raised whether this compromises the autonomy and authority of ethics. The philosophical implications of the conceptual relational shift are analysed in contexts of moral naturalism and moral constructivism in order to clarify the implications of relational moral agency for environmental ethics. Implications of ecologically relational notion of agency are considered in Humean naturalism, neo-Aristotelian naturalism (especially Martha Nussbaum) and neo-Kantian constructivism (especially Christine Korsgaard). Korsgaard’s theory is proposed to offer a mediating tool to reconcile relational explanation with normative authority. It is argued that the relational approach to ethics can survive also the environmentalists’ quests for moral realism, although it challenges the usual restrictions of metaethical categories and points towards a modest, relationally realist ethics. With regard to normative ethics, relationality implies that the material as well as social relationships can be normatively binding for the reasons derived from the nature of morality itself. Keywords: relational agency, moral agency, ethics, environmental philosophy, philosophical anthropology, environmental ethics, naturalism and constructivism, relational realism
  • Nissinen, Vesa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    MODERNEJA TEOLOGISIA TULKINTOJA KOSMISESTA EVOLUUTIOSTA JA MAAN ULKOPUOLISEN ÄLYLLISEN ELÄMÄN MAHDOLLISUUDESTA Olemmeko yksin maailmankaikkeudessa? Tämä kysymys nousee nykyään usein esiin. Scifi-tuotanto on jo pitkään esittänyt skenaarioita Maan ulkopuolisista elämänmuodoista. Nykyään tuo kysymys esitetään yhä useammin myös luonnontieteiden piirissä. Tämä johtuu erityisesti siitä, että tähtitiede on löytänyt tuhansia planeettoja eri tähtien ympäriltä. Lisäksi tiedetään, että maailmankaikkeudessa on kaikkialla samat luonnonlait ja samoja alkuaineita. Ovatko luonnonvakiot sellaisia, että alkuaineet ajan oloon sopivissa olosuhteissa prosessoituvat elämäksi ja ehkä myös älylliseksi elämäksi (ETI, extra terrestrial intelligence) Maan ulkopuolella? Yhä useammat tutkijat pitävät todennäköisenä sitä, että jonkinlaista elämää on myös muualla. Tällainen näkökulma synnyttää myös maailmakatsomukseen ja uskontoon liittyvää pohdintaa. Kysymystä Maan ulkopuolisesta elämästä on pohdittu jo vuosituhansia. Erityisesti filosofit ja teologit ovat sitä harrastaneet. Kun uuden ajan luonnontiede alkoi kehittyä, teologia on vähitellen jäänyt tällä alueella yhä enemmän syrjään. Nyt on kuitenkin tultu tilanteeseen, missä teologisen tutkimuksen on syytä reagoida uusiin tähtitieteen löydöksiin. Voisiko olla niin, että Jumalan luomistyön seurauksena elämä onkin maailmankaikkeuden yleinen ominaisuus? Voisiko olla niin, että ihmisten lisäksi Jumala on luonut myös muita älyllisiä olentoja, joilla mahdollisesti on omat kulttuurinsa, uskontonsa ja jumalasuhteensa? Voiko ETI olla ”Jumalan kuva” kristillisen teologian näkökulmasta? Tällaisten kysymysten äärellä joudutaan pohtimaan, miten esimerkiksi kristilliset ajatukset ilmoituksesta ja pelastuksesta ovat sovellettavissa Maan ulkopuoliseen todellisuuteen. Näyttää siltä, että modernilla teologisella tutkimuksella on kykyä reagoida näihin haasteisiin. Tälle näkemykselle ovat luoneet pohjaa lukuisat merkittävät ajattelijat. Erityisen haastava on sellainen näkökulman muutos, missä ihmistä ja Maata ei enää nähdä maailmankaikkeuden ja luomistyön keskuksina. Skenaario siitä, että ihminen jonakin päivänä kohtaa vierasta elämää, haastaa pohtimaan tähän liittyviä eettisiä kysymyksiä. Koska tietoa mahdollisen ETI:n luonteesta ei ole, soveltuvan etiikan pohtiminen on varsin haasteellista. Teoriassa ETI voi olla paljon ihmistä älykkäämpi ja hyväntahtoisempi. Toisaalta se voi olla myös Alien-elokuvien kaltainen brutaali olio. Sopivien tulkintojen ja työvälineiden löytämiseksi on suotavaa, että luonnontieteet, filosofia ja teologia tekevät yhteistyötä ETI-kysymyksessä.
  • Ahonen, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Finnish Mental Health Policy – Public Authority Governance in Protecting the Human Rights of Those with Mental Health Disorders. Following international examples, Finland began to dismantle psychiatric hospitals in the 1980s. Changes relating to the treatment of mental health disorders were influenced by many different ideas and objectives influenced by them. These trends led to a political decision to dismantle hospital institutions, which was justified as strengthening the human rights of the seriously ill. The aim of this research is to examine how public authority, in carrying out its mental health responsibilities, has sought to secure the fundamental and human rights of its citizens. Following five research questions were formulated: 1) What has been the political governance guiding the implementation of Finnish mental health policies? 2) What values and norms do the mental health policy governance documents contain? 3) How is mental health work understood and perceived in such mental health policy documents, what objectives do they set, and in which direction have they steered the development of mental health practices? 4) Which mental health-related aspects have been left out of or received little attention in the mental health policy documents? 5) How have Finnish mental health policies influenced the safeguarding of the fundamental and human rights of citizens with mental health disorders? The research methodology utilized in this study is systematic concept analysis. The research material includes primary sources and secondary sources. The primary sources consists of public policy documents describing the objectives, phenomena, and ideas that are then examined with the help of secondary sources which make up the research literature for this study. Examining mental health policy governance in Finland from 1970 to the present leads to the following observations: 1) The first documents governing mental health policies written in Finland clearly include concepts that concern the protection of the fundamental and human rights of seriously ill citizens. In the following decades, such objectives no longer appear in the written documents governing mental health policies. 2) The focus of mental health policies changed from protecting the fundamental and human rights of seriously ill citizens to the management of the mental health and wellbeing of the entire population. 3) The Finnish mental health policy focuses on the promotion of health, preventive care and development of a service system as part of welfare state policy. Because the objectives have been extensive and by their nature abstract, it has been impossible to form effective policy governance to achieve them. 4) It has not been possible to ensure the fundamental and human rights of seriously ill citizens with a development process focused on the service system. The concepts and paradigms utilized in the development process documents have directed the focus away from the questions relating to the realization of fundamental and human rights. 5) The ethos of wellbeing and preventive healthcare has steered attention away from the improvement of the position of the seriously ill. Public authority’s definition of a good life as well as the central focus of mental health governance in the development process of the service system has resulted in the seriously ill being forgotten in seemingly inclusive outpatient care. Key words: Mental health policy, human rights, mental disorders, public authority, service systems, agency
  • 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.
  • Anton, Emil (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This dissertation explores the thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI on the theology of religions and interreligious dialogue. It consists of an introductory overview and four peer-reviewed articles. With a systematic analysis of key concepts, structures, and arguments, the dissertation contributes to a better understanding of a less appreciated area of Ratzinger’s theology. The two events that dominate commentaries as well as popular imagination on Ratzinger/Benedict’s contribution to the theology of religions and interreligious dialogue are the publication of Dominus Iesus in 2000 and the 2006 lecture at the University of Regensburg, both of which caused an uproar. More attention should be paid to Ratzinger’s personal theology of religions as expressed in his books, as well as to the 188 texts from Benedict XVI’s pontificate that relate to interreligious dialogue. Contrary to those who have tried to portray Ratzinger as a soteriological exclusivist, I argue that he is an optimistic restrictivist inclusivist, allowing for the salvation of a great number of non-Christians while not considering other religions instruments of salvation as such. Ratzinger’s inclusivism is structured around an objective and a subjective aspect, the vicarious representation of Christ and the Church (Stellvertretung) and some sort of a pistis or openness to God in the subject. A reinterpretation of purgatory provides the final solution to the salvation of “the many”. Ratzinger’s opposition to John Paul II’s interreligious Assisi meetings and his negativity about the Asiatic religions have also been exaggerated. Despite a strong juxtaposition between the theistic and mystical paths in the world of religions, Ratzinger hopes for an integration of the best elements of the mystical religions, and while cautious about multireligious and interreligious prayer, he provides criteria for their right realisation. A contradiction seems to emerge between Ratzinger/Benedict’s emphasis on truth as the ultimate goal of interreligious dialogue and his apparent endorsement of the idea that interreligious dialogue, or theological dialogue, is actually impossible. At the end of his papacy, Benedict maintains that interreligious dialogue does not seek to convert another, even though it should always aim at drawing closer to the truth. Pope Benedict XVI’s most central message to representatives of other religions concerns peace and non-violence, coupled with a call to a common witness to spiritual values in a secular society. Religiously motivated violence remains a central challenge for interreligious dialogue.
  • Hynynen, Tuomas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study describes the nature of teaching, doctrine, faith and approaches to ethical issues in the ethical statements of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. The research material consists of seven ethical or ethics-related statements approved by the bishops, a committee of the General Synod, or the Church Council between 2005–2010. These statements treat questions related to family ethics, medical ethics, treatment of asylum seekers, homosexuality, ethical investment, global responsibility and climate change. The study begins with a description of doctrine, faith, ethics, teaching, the nature of ethical statements and the general situation of the Church of Finland in 2005–2010. The main part of the study consists of analysing the seven statements. The analysis is conducted first studying each statement by itself (chapters 3–9) and then all seven together (chapter 10), resulting in an overview of the teaching, doctrine, faith and approaches to ethical issues, together with some critical observations. The ethical teaching of the Church of Finland is based on the Golden Rule and the dignity given to every human in Creation. The seven statements analysed differ from one another in their use of the Bible and their references to the teaching, faith, and previous ethical statements of the Church of Finland. Some statements rely on arguments based on the Bible and Church teaching. Others build their arguments on human rights and assumed consequences on those affected. The research material contains very few references to the Ten Commandments, the Lutheran Confessions or the Catechism of the Church of Finland approved by the General Synod in 1999. The ethical statements seem to form a tradition or continuum of teaching. This tradition is not as authoritative as the doctrine or the Catechism of the Church. Yet the clergy and other employees of the Church are to some extent expected to commit to the teaching outlined in these statements. The ethical statements analysed build their arguments on consequences on those affected, stakeholders or the Created world, rather than the experience or expectations of those affected. Christian faith is described in the statements as a source of motivation to ethical action. Some statements encourage Christians to take active role in ethical action. Global trends or the example of other churches are portrayed as sources of motivation in these statements. Other statements outline what should or should not be allowed in the Church or the Finnish society. These statements portray the teaching of the Bible and the Church as normative. The statements are formulated in a way that portrays the Bible, Church teaching, the nature of mankind and good consequences all pointing to the same ethical conclusions in harmony. This harmony is achieved by making compromises in the way each is portrayed. The statements analysed emphasise careful situational ethical reasoning, yet the teaching expressed in the statements is based on a tradition of Biblical teaching, Church documents and ecumenical interests. It is possible that some ethical statements are also used to build ecumenical relations or the position of the Church in the Finnish society. The statements are written in the middle of a tension between different ways to interpret the Bible, Church teaching and different expectations. Each statement draws arguments from different sources that support the position taken by the authors of the statement. Based on the research, the ethical reasoning of the Church contains and combines a number of different methods, arguments and conclusions, and therefore it is not possible to draw a uniform picture of the nature of these statements.
  • Kaira, Terhi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This doctoral dissertation in the sociology of the church examines strategic thinking in the Evangeli-cal Lutheran Church of Finland since the turn of the millennium. The dissertation answers the following research questions: What kind of strategic thinking can be seen in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland? How has this strategic thinking evolved? What are the opportunities for and obstacles to strategic thinking? The research material comprises 39 approved strategy documents of the church and aggregated survey data from two parish vicars. The study focuses on the church as a whole, its areas of work, dioceses, and parishes. The study adopts a classical strategy theory approach. Particular attention is paid to the strategies’ content. The study’s results present a material analysis of the characteristics of the church’s strategic thinking as a whole, consisting of 29 different elements. Each element of strategic thinking describes the church’s identity, strategic choices or strategy processes. The results show that the church is striving through its strategies to justify, reinforce, and maintain the essential features of its community identity. Through its visions and choices, the church’s strategic thinking attaches itself to an understanding of the dynamism and emergent causes of reality. In making its strategic choices, the church appears to be following its own timetable and seeking reform. The study suggests that the church’s strategic thinking is characterised by trust in leadership and protection. There is a hopeful attitude concerning the future. Strategy processes have evolved over the reviewed period in a more open direction. The church’s common strategy serves as a framework for other church administration strategies. Although a common strategy clearly guides its overall planning process, the church’s strategic thinking is characterised by each actor’s freedom and a broad strategic leeway. The study reveals that the church’s strategic thinking not only evinces a strongly classical approach to strategy but also a processual, systemic, and evolutionary approach. The study therefore reinforces the notion that strategy-theoretical approaches do not appear to be distinct, but rather blend with and complement one another. Keywords: strategic thinking, the church’s community identity, future work, vision and choices, change.
  • Jankko, Eriikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    “The Child in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland” The aim of this study was to examine what it is to be a child and to be like a child and how to become like children according to the normative texts that direct the faith and the actions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF). I used social ethical conceptual analysis as a method to develop a tool that helps to make conceptual distinctions that clarify the concepts, conceptions and discussions of being a child. This conceptual tool can be useful in improving co-operation with children in the Church as well as in society. In addition, I investigated what child theology is in the context of ELCF. The sources of this study are the Bible, the Book of Concord (BSELK) and the liturgical and juridical texts that direct the faith and the actions of the ELCF. The normative bases of these texts differ from each other. Therefore, I analysed how child-related concepts and conceptions in the different sources impact the discussions on being a child, the varieties of goodness with being a child, and co-operation with children. I searched for child-related concepts and conceptions and analysed them. The lexical analysis of the term lapsi (child) showed that the concept of “child” is twofold. First, being a child is an age- and development-based concept, that is, it is related to the stage of life called lapsuus (childhood; German: die Kindheit). Secondly, the concept “lapseus” (childship; German: die Kindschaft) refers to a relation-based idea of being a child. The English term “childship” refers to the relation of being a child, but the term is seldom used. Additionally, the metaphors of being a child structure both individual and collective identity. By means of this conceptual analysis I identified the varieties of children’s “goodness” that are aimed at and how the value of the child is justified through using different child- and childhood-related conceptual systems of the normative texts. There is a rich store of child-related concepts, though underutilized. There are tensions between the different conceptions of children and different ideals of their agency. The conception of being a child is narrow or out of date in many texts. The different conceptions of being a child can be clarified by making use of conceptual distinctions and recognizing the sociocultural context of the texts. It is possible to observe the development of child-related conceptions in the sources. For example, the inclusivity of child metaphors has increased. The child-related conceptions identified in the source material offer insights into social and theological conceptions of being a child. Jesus’ and Martin Luther’s conceptions of children differed from their contemporary religious and cultural ideas. They refused the conventional religious hierarchy and set the child as an example for adults and told the adults to become like children. Martin Luther emphasized the spiritual vocation of a child and of family life in his catechisms. The study shows parallels between being a child on the social level and on the theological level. In the Book of Concord, being a child (childship; German: Kindschaft) is a theological term that describes the core identity of a human being in the relationship with God. The term is a conceptual innovation of Luther’s and it is utilized in the Book of Concord and in the liturgical metaphors. It neutralizes the gender-based religious language and enables inclusive expressions that support a shared identity of being a child. It binds the agents together on both a social and theological level. The use of the relation-based term “childship” is rare in the English language. Therefore, there is a risk that the age- and development-based conceptions of children predominate, as English is widely used in the field of Childhood Studies. Being a child is a theological core identity in the Church. The theological child-related concepts can strengthen the value of being a child and the interdependence between human beings. They enrich the societal discussion on being a child. The theological metaphors and the ideals of agency related to being a child have an impact on the recognition of children. Therefore, the risks of irresponsible, narrow or totalitarian use of child-related concepts must be recognized and corrected. The nuanced store of child-related conceptions in the normative texts that direct the confession of the Church is an underutilized resource in the Church. The exemplarity of being a child could be used to represent both an ideal of lifelong learning and our ontological dependence on other human beings, creation and God. The language of being a child enriches the Church’s conceptions of God and human beings. Being a child is a social and theological basic relation of human beings. The ideal of being a child leads us towards other people, since every human being shares being a child and therefore the mutual relation-based idea of childhood. Keywords: child, childhood, childship, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, theology, social ethics, childhood studies
  • Tekoniemi, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study examines and reconstructs the textual history of 2 Kings 17 both in light of the preserved textual evidence and in light of the literary-critical method. The analysis of textual differences between Septuagint (LXX), the Old Latin (OL), and the Masoretic text (MT) and the reconstruction of the oldest text attainable forms the backdrop to the more hypothetical aspects of text-historical study. The text-critical study of the Greek and Latin witnesses shows that the Old Greek (OG) version of 2 Kings 17 was translated from a Hebrew Vorlage often even radically differing from the MT. In most cases it can be shown that the MT in fact exhibits signs of later editing. Many of the cases have both historiographical and redaction critical repercussions. Literary critically, LXX can help us reconstruct multiple text-historical layers otherwise out of our reach. Many of the proto-Masoretic changes can likely be dated to the Hellenistic period or even later. The literary critical study of the chapter proves in many ways more complex than the comparison of many of the text-critical variants. It can be concluded without a doubt that the text has grown through the centuries even in passages where there is no text-critical evidence of this growth. However, the methodological limitations of literary criticism become clear when discerning such a complex chapter as 2 Kings 17: in many cases the textual evolution may have happened in multiple different ways. Furthermore, differing conclusions on certain text-critical cases can have far-reaching consequences on the literary-critical analysis. Thus, as supposed by the literary critics for well over a century, the textual data shows beyond doubt that there has happened vast editing and rewriting of 2 Kings 17 even at a very late date. Text-critical considerations are therefore not only useful, but likely invaluable to all scholarly work on 2 Kings 17, and Books of Kings as a whole.

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