Teologinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Alanne, Merja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Abstract The city of Dan, which is mentioned 21 time in the Hebrew Bible, was identified with Tell el-Qaḍi (Tel Dan) already in the 19th century. Tel Dan is located in northern Israel, in the Upper Jordan Valley at the foot of Mount Hermon. It has been one of the most important archaeological site in Israel since 1966, when excavations began at the site under the direction of Avraham Biran. The aim of this study is to examine the history of the city of Dan from the point of view of both the archaeological and the biblical evidence, and to re-evaluate the earlier reconstructions of its history. An essential question is: how do the biblical texts that mention a city of Dan relate to the historical reality of the Iron Age, and to the archaeological data from Tel Dan? The methods and results of both archaeological and biblical studies are utilized, with the aim of promoting discussion between the two fields. However, it is first necessary to study the archaeological and textual evidence separately in order to evaluate them. Avraham Biran represents the so-called school of biblical archaeology, which emphasized the significance of the Hebrew Bible as a source for the history of Israel during biblical times. As a consequence, the archaeological remains and the settlement history of the biblical sites were interpreted with the help of the biblical texts, without a critical reading. This has led to misleading historical reconstructions, as is also the case for Dan. The final excavation reports on the Iron Age period at Dan have not yet been published. However, the preliminary reports and a few new articles by the current excavators of Dan, show that the material culture of Tel Dan has both northern (Syro-Mesopotamian) and southern (Megiddo, Hazor, and Samaria) features. This study demonstrates that the biblical passages concerning the city of Dan are scarce, and that they belong to a rather late compositional stage of the Hebrew Bible. Thus, they tell us very little about the reality of the Iron Age IIB city of Dan, and instead reflect the theological and ideological thinking of the post-monarchic Judahite community. Most of the biblical stories are situated in the central hill country of Samaria and Judah, and the northern sites such as Dan are not frequently mentioned. The archaeological evidence and the biblical texts do not self-evidently link the city of Dan to the kingdom of Israel. It is probable that the Israelite monarchy did not continuously extend its reach as far north as Tel Dan during the Iron Age II period, but rather only occasionally during the 9th‒8th centuries BCE. The biblical phrase from Dan to Beersheba most probably represents an ideal of the Judahite community of the post-monarchic period, used to define the limits of the land of Israel.
  • Salminen, Joona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This dissertation explores early Christian asceticism. The study consists of introduction and five articles examining ascetic ideals and practices in early Christianity and analysing the question of early Christian lifestyle within the context of city life in Late Antiquity, with particular emphasis on Clement of Alexandria. The dissertation also clarifies the role of Clement and his work Paedagogus practical instructions in the development of Christian asceticism. The introductory article of this study is entitled Polis, Philosophy, and Perfection. The introduction sketches Clement s view on Christian lifestyle, after which the philosophy of city life in the Greco-Roman world is discussed. The article then turns to methodological questions and issues regarding identity. The article approaches asceticism as a contextual phenomenon, and the main aim of the article is to highlight the importance of city life in order to clarify what Christian asceticism was in its very early stages. The first article of the collection, From City to Desert, and back again: the Social Function of Early Christian Asceticism, discusses early Christian city life with respect to the later ascetic tradition. By comparing two works, the Paedagogus of Clement of Alexandria and the Vita Antonii of Athanasius of Alexandria, the article illustrates that early Christian asceticism before the desert movement of the fourth century originated in the ordinary city life of educated people who were part of the urban social elite. This article also discusses the history of ascetic practices and their place in ancient philosophy, especially in Platonism and Stoic thought. The major contribution of the article is to suggest demons and demonology as the link between city and desert asceticism and to discuss the social function of ascetic lifestyle and practices. The second article, From Symposium to Gymnasium: Physical and Spiritual Exercises in Early Christianity, discusses the relationship between sport and asceticism. In historical terms, the link between the two is essential, because the Greek verb askein was an athletic term before it was transformed into a monastic concept. The article focuses on specific virtues and pays attention to how physical ascetic performances take place in different contexts. The article also highlights the continuity between ancient popular philosophy and Christian thought in Late Antiquity. In addition to such sports as walking, ball games and wrestling, the article pays attention also to gender roles within the context of sport. Traditions of spiritual exercises in ancient philosophy are of fundamental significance for Christian asceticism. Third, the article The City of God and the Place of Demons: City Life and Demonology in Early Christianity discusses demonology, an important aspect of asceticism, and links it to the concept of spatiality. The article presents demonology as a point in which the city becomes an essentially important environment, even in monastic asceticism. Even though many fourth-century ascetics decided to withdraw from city life, the city, with all its temptations, followed them into the desert. Demonology plays a major role in this dynamic: because of demons the former life of the ascetic was constantly present in his new life, providing material for ascetic formation. This formation of identity took place in specific concrete surroundings. The fourth article of the study, Clement of Alexandria on Laughter: A Study on an Ascetic Performance in Context, discusses one specific aspect of Christian lifestyle. Although laughter became an emergent theme in Christian asceticism, one of the earliest systematic treatises on the topic was not written in a monastic context but for city life in an Egyptian metropolis. The immediate context for Clement s instruction were the symposia of the upper class, whose social and historical aspects have been carefully analysed in previous scholarship. Clement s view becomes understandable in the context of his theory of emotions and deification, themes on which he elaborates extensively in his writings. Excessive laughter should be avoided, whereas Clement considers moderate laughing to be a sign of self-control. The fifth article of this work, Clement and Alexandria: A Moral Map , brings together different aspects of city life through the cohesive framework of a moral map. Ancient Alexandria was a centre not only of early Christian thought but also was a cradle of asceticism. It provided Christians and other city dwellers not merely with an impressive metropolitan milieu, but enriched their lives with its intellectual traditions and social activities. In this regard, Clement, who taught in Alexandria in the late second century, gives an intriguing account of the morality of his surroundings. What does Clement say about baths, parties and pagan temples, or why should Christians be careful when walking the streets of the city? Through the concept of the moral map this article seeks to demonstrate that Clement held an ethical theory of city life and that for him, Alexandria served as a pedagogical platform: a moral map.
  • Siljanen, Esko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    ABSTRACT Siljanen Esko: Judeans of Egypt in the Persian Period (539-332 BCE) in Light of the Aramaic Documents This study aims at finding out what kind of picture the Aramaic documents found from Egypt present about Judeans of Egypt in the Persian period (539-332 BCE). The main research questions are: (1) What picture do the Aramaic documents discovered from Persian-period Egypt provide about the Judean settlement of Egypt during the same period in question? (2) How do these documents present the religion of the Judeans of Egypt? (3) Did the Judeans of Egypt have any knowledge of the texts and traditions included in the Hebrew Bible, especially in the Torah? (4) What kind of picture do these Aramaic documents provide about the administration, military and economic organization of the Persian Empire in Egypt? The data consists of the 1,042 Aramaic documents dating from the Persian period, found from Egypt and published up through the year 2013. Historical analysis is implemented in three phases: source criticism to verify the reliability and validity of the sources, content analysis to analyze the data and interpretative dialogue to understand the findings in relation to the research questions. The vast data complements the picture provided by previous research placing the Judeans of Egypt in the historical context of the Persian Empire. The findings, in relation to the research questions, show that: (1) the Judeans were settled in Egypt mainly in the areas of Elephantine in the South as well as in the region of Memphis in the North. Through this research the picture of the Judean settlement in Egypt in general and of the Judean military garrison in Elephantine in particular becomes clearer. The research confirms the previously suggested theory that the Judean settlement of Egypt was rather old, most probably dating back to the end of the 7th and beginning of the 6th century BCE. Judeans served as loyal subjects of the Persian Empire in the positions of regular soldiers and professional Aramaic scribes. (2) They possessed a religious group identity that was mainly Yahwistic; however, clear evidence also exists to prove their partial religious acculturation, especially with the Arameans. (3) The Judeans of Egypt drew from the same source of religious tradition as the texts of the Hebrew Bible; however, their knowledge of the traditions known from the Torah was limited. They maintained good relationships with the High Priest of Jerusalem, although they did not know about the centralization of the cult in Jerusalem. No copy of the texts of the Hebrew Bible has been found from Egypt. Thus, it is very probable that the religious tradition was passed down to the Judeans of Egypt in oral form. In addition, this study (4) enhances the current understanding of well-organized Persian Imperial administration with an effective economic system, and powerful army that was present and active in Egypt during the first Persian period (525-404 BCE). Its greatest challenges were the peripheral location of Egypt from the heartland of the Empire and the evident corruption of its officials. Since the end of the 5th century BCE, the Persian rule in Egypt began fading, and also the Judeans of Egypt disappeared from the scene. This study enriches recent understanding of the Judean settlement of Egypt through its vast data of Aramaic documents that have been systematically examined. The findings confirm that Judeans had families with them in Egypt, a fact which indicates the long age of their settlement. A novel finding in this study is the fact that the Judeans occupied mainly the positions of regular soldier and professional Aramaic scribe. This research shows that the Judean community of Egypt mainly had a Yahwistic group identity. The greatest token of this identity was their temple of Yahu in Elephantine. Yahwistic names were also still highly preserved by the Judeans of Egypt during the Persian period. Keywords: Judeans of Egypt, Persian period, Aramaic documents, Elephantine.
  • Vanonen, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This study focuses on the Qumran War Text manuscripts, especially those found in Cave 4 (4Q471, 4Q491a, 4Q491b, 4Q492 4Q497). There has been a clear need to study these Cave 4 manuscripts in detail and in their own right, not just as additional evidence of the large and well-preserved War Scroll (1QM) from Cave 1. The study produces a thorough close-reading analysis of these fragments and manuscripts, with a critical evaluation of existing editions, paying attention not only to their contents but also to manuscripts as material artifacts. Consequently, three different types of relationships between the manuscripts are distinguished. First, it can be said that some manuscripts are literarily dependent on each other. When comparing 1QM 14 17 and 4Q491a, it is demonstrated that the author/compiler of 1QM has used the text known in 4Q491a, modified it (in the case of battle instructions) and sometimes largely reworked it (in the case of encouragement speeches). It is not clear whether the author/compiler of 1QM actually had the exact manuscript 4Q491a in front of him but he clearly knew its text and used it, aiming at preserving its style and its main content. Second, it is discovered in the analysis that there are manuscripts that were produced in the process of producing another manuscript. When comparing 4Q492, 1QM 12 and 1QM 19, it is demonstrated that 4Q492 probably is a draft version used in order to modify the text of 1QM 19 to fit in 1QM 12. Third, there are manuscripts that are not copied from each other but that yet have much in common and have probably been somehow related, at least on the level of common themes. For example, 4Q493 and 1QM may have been developed without any direct literary dependence but similar themes interested the authors of both texts and the author/compiler of 1QM probably knew a text or texts that at least resembled that of 4Q493. The titles given to the texts indicate that both authors clearly thought to represent one Milhamah-tradition, but they also felt free to modify it for their own purposes, their own audiences which probably were different. After that, the manuscripts are discussed together, focusing particularly on similarities between them and asking which subgenres of the War Texts were actively transmitted and to what extent it was possible to change them. Battle instructions and encouragement speeches are shown to be the two main subgenres. The battle instructions were carefully transmitted whereas speeches offered a place for literary creativity and provided an opportunity to add new elements to the text. The study demonstrates that in addition to a traditional chronological literary-critical model, other models to explain the relationships and meanings of the manuscripts are needed. In the case of the War Texts, at least liturgical use and study purposes may have created needs for producing different manuscripts that were simultaneously important. Also, through a constant writing of structured war visions, their main message everything is in God s hands was made real and more convincing to new audiences.
  • Köykkä, Arto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This thesis studies how Pentti Saarikoski has chosen and used religious language and what this language tells about his thoughts related to his worldview and religion. My point of view is not restricted to Christianity, although Saarikoski emphasized the importance of the church Bible from 1938 for his work. I analyze books that Saarikoski meant to be published during his lifetime. Diaries are not part of my essential source material, but I use them when they contribute toward understanding my actual research material. Of the diaries examined, the most meaningful are those of adolescence, which illustrate his religious period and the literary favorites of his adolescence. Various interpretative methods need to be applied to my heterogeneous and multigenre source material, depending on the text being studied. Religious allusions in the texts are sorted in accordance with the strategies of comparative literature, especially an intertextual approach. Furthermore, I analyze this material using methods of systematic analysis. I look for permanent thought structures and study how they are related to religious and even philosophical paradigms. Linguistics and exegetics are used when needed. At the same time I take into account that everything said by Saarikoski does not need to be understood as his own thoughts. Two kinds of religious language are perceived in his works: on the one hand, there is language that originates from religion, but does not editorialize the content of the language; in other words, language whose religious origin is seen only etymologically. On the other hand, there is religious language proper that has an existential and subjective dimension. Manifestations of religious allusions were investigated in Saarikoski s works of different periods. In the first three poem collections Runoja, Toisia runoja and Runot ja Hipponaksin runot there are only a few religious allusions. In these collections, Saarikoski is consciously building his image and parting from his adolescent religiosity. In the collection Mitä tapahtuu todella? expressions drawn from the church Bible show up visibly in his text, and after that they are strongly present in all of his works. During his period in Sweden, poems become more abstract. On the other hand, his description of religious experience becomes more concrete in the radio drama series Köyhyyden filosofia that is set at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. People living frugally do not just use a language of religious origin etymologically, but they express their life experience through religious language, existentially. Allusions of religious language are grouped in the study, according to their reference texts and how the allusions are used. From the books of the Bible, Saarikoski is especially interested in the Book of Genesis and the Gospels. Theology and the doctrines of Paul are more unfamiliar to him. While making allusions to the Gospels, he avoids narrations that are scientifically suspicious. I also show texts in the works of Saarikoski, where he refers to the Book of Psalms , to adolescent language of the congregation, or to non-Christian religious material. Mostly he enriches his writing with a language of religious origin , but within his works there is also an abundance of texts where he modifies his thoughts and comments on the religious world and its phenomena. In an excursus on the Gospel of Matthew that Saarikoski translated I make comparisons to allusions in his texts drawn from the church Bible. Here I shows comprehensively that, even after translating the Gospel, the allusions Saarikoski uses are always to the church Bible, and not to his translation. Analysis of Saarikoski s political texts showed that communism was a structure good to think with that mostly substituted his religious ways of thinking. Saarikoski elevates the historical person of Jesus among the greats of humanity, but in his works he is not especially interested in the significance of the teachings of Christ, only in his rebellion and humanity. Saarikoski depicts the members of his personal communistic person-gallery with means of religious language. He especially admires Lenin in this sense. The naming of things and phenomena is important to Saarikoski. This shows, for instance, in how he speaks about God. When he refers to God in the upper case initial, he is always referring to the Christian God. The lower case initial shows that the text refers to a false god, or to a degenerated Christian god that does not deserve the name of God. I also show that Saarikoski sometimes uses religious expressions in a way that resembles performatives. For example , when his literary self blesses everything he sees on a sea shore. My analysis shows that the antipathy Saarikoski feels towards the Church and its clergy is based primarily on the thought that one should not speak about things that cannot be spoken about. Saarikoski has thoroughly absorbed the final sentence of Wittgenstein s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. It reflects Saarikoski s own thoughts about the limits of language. He veils his God-related thoughts to concepts like dark and fog used in Apophatic theology. It cannot be proven that he was really familiar with Apophatic theology. But both his residence at the Greek Orthodox monastery of Valamo in central Finland and his translations of J. D. Salinger s Franny and Zooey, related to the prayer of Jesus, have undoubtedly influenced his orientation toward theology.
  • Tynjä, Tuula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    All research is bound to be selective about what to include in a study. The archaeological record is inherently only partially preserved due to the effects of ancient discard patterns and natural phenomena over time. These natural and anthropogeneous formation processes have been studied, but the consequences of research-based selections have been largely ignored. I investigated the impact of a deliberately designed archaeological retrieval strategy on the resultant artifact assemblage, both as to its size and quality. By retrieval strategy I mean the criteria that are used when deciding which material is to be kept from all the excavated material. The material that is discarded during fieldwork is typically dumped at the excavation site, and its contextual information is lost. Therefore, the discarded material is reduced in quality to that of stray finds. The recovered and kept material undergoes another selection process when only a part of this assemblage is selected for further, more detailed study. Even though archaeological reports only present a fraction of the recovered material, the criteria used in this material selection are constantly absent from archaeological reports. Ceramics typically constitute the majority of finds, and are usually reported as a typology. However, without knowing the selection process that the material went through to form the typological assemblage, our confidence in the final results is reduced. My typological analysis of the Tel Kinrot pottery attempts to overcome this challenge by presenting the selection process in detail. I have compared materials from two projects at Tel Kinrot, Israel. The first project took place in 1994 2001, and the later in 2003 2008. The excavated areas of the two projects are adjacent to each other, and the primary formation processes can be assumed to be very similar. This situation, combined with the introduction of changes in the retrieval strategy for the pottery from 2003 onwards, enabled me to assign the differences in the pottery assemblages to the research processes themselves with minimal confusing factors. As the result of my comparison, it is clear that the research-based differences in the materials are strong. Therefore, the retrieval strategies and other selection processes made by the researchers should be explicitly stated in their reports. The retrieval strategies at Tel Kinrot can be divided into two phases: the earlier strategy was used in 1994 2001, and can be described as intuitive selection. This meant keeping material that was considered diagnostic from loci that were considered important. Material was considered diagnostic if its chronological period or function could be identified. This resulted in an over-representation of small containers and lamps, and an under-representation of the most common vessel groups of bowls and cooking pots, in the pottery assemblage. During the later excavations by the Kinneret Regional Project in 2002 2008, an intensive retrieval and keeping strategy was conducted in two newly opened excavation areas. In these two areas, all rim fragments and an informal selection of body sherds were kept. In areas that had been excavated already in the 1990 s, the retrieval strategy followed the earlier practice of informal selection. However, the discarded material from these areas was documented in more detail than the discarded material was documented during the earlier excavations, providing the reader with an improved ability to evaluate the reliability of the results. As a result of the intensive retrieval practice, the pottery assemblage from the newly opened excavation areas is representative of all excavated pottery and therefore statistically sound. The assemblage is quantitatively larger than that from the other areas. Qualitatively, the intensive sub-assemblage in more varying: it includes well preserved vessels, but also a host of small rim shards that are hard to identify as to their function or chronology. Because the researcher-based bias is eliminated, the material of the intensive retrieval phase is better suited to assessing the pottery used and discarded by the ancient population. This constitutes a strong argument for the wide adoption of intensive retrieval strategies.
  • Ojanperä-Samulin, Helena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The telephone counselling service Palveleva puhelin was founded to help people at risk for suicide. The purpose of this study is to find whether suicide prevention remained the main purpose of Palveleva puhelin or if changes took place during the years 1969-1995. The study is based on the assumption that if suicide prevention was a central part of Palveleva puhelin's service, this would have been reflected in the practical arrangements of the service, the distribution of information about the service, the training of the listeners and in the help provided. This study adopts historical and qualitative perspectives. I used Palveleva puhelin's documentation to identify who used the service and how the service and practices were developed. I used communication materials to find the nature of the help offered and the recipients of the service. The content of the training provided to the listeners was used to discover what sort of topics were expected to arise in the phone calls and how the listeners were trained. The norms of Palveleva puhelin and the training programmes and materials provided us with information on the nature of the help that was provided. The study shows that Palveleva puhelin s customer base changed over the years. During the first years, marriage and alcohol problems were prevalent topics in the conversations. However, in subsequent years, the most central topics included loneliness, religious questions, mental health issues and depression. Suicide came up as a topic in approximately five per cent of the telephone conversations during the period studied. The aim was to organise the practices of Palveleva puhelin in a manner that would make it easy for people to phone in and that enabled help to be available throughout the country to a similar extent. Suicide as a topic was permanently present on every level of listener training. However, in the communication and advertisements, the topic was not particularly prevalent. Advertisements were directed mainly to people experiencing loneliness, and the opportunity to talk to someone was emphasised. An interesting question is whether people who would have wanted to discuss suicide were able to find the Palveleva puhelin service. Palveleva puhelin was the first organised form of suicide prevention in Finland. Even though the topic did not arise in the phone calls very often, it is possible that the people who phoned Palveleva puhelin for help may later have found themselves at risk for suicide if they had continued to experience the issues they did for a longer period of time and had not sought help. During the period studied, Palveleva puhelin also received a number of calls from people in need of urgent care. In these cases, immediate help was sent to the callers.
  • Auvinen, Risto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The aim of this study is to compare philosophical and exegetical traditions in the writings of Philo of Alexandria and in the Valentinian sources. Although Valentinus's fragments contain some Philonic themes, the closest parallels with Philo come from section C (chapters 43.2-65) in the Excerpts from Theodotus by Clement of Alexandria, which parallels teachings of Ptolemy's disciples attested in Irenaeus Valentinian account in Iren. Haer. 1.1-7. I will argue in this study that Valentinian theology in these sources cannot be properly understood without recourse to Philo's inventions in the allegorical exegesis of the Book of Genesis. On the one hand, the Valentinians elaborated the allegories attested to in Philo's writings in the light of the myth of Sophia. On the other hand, the Valentinian theologians reformed the preceding Gnostic myth in the light of teachings that they found in Philo's writings. The Valentinian protological model system developed on the grounds of a Platonizing interpretation of the prologue of the Gospel of John. The Valentinian teachers twisted the semantic and logical structure of the prologue of John's gospel in a way which indicates that they also knew some of Philo's protological innovations. In the Valentinian accounts, Wisdom has manifold associations, which are related to the dyadic and monadic aspects of the divine world. These associations are found in an initial stage in Philo's texts. Philo and Valentinians were also dependent on the ancient theory of diakrisis according to which cosmic matter was divided into four cosmic elements. Taking into account all these protological and cosmological parallels, it is reasonable to suggest that the Valentinian teachers were working in the allegorical tradition in which many of Philo's interpretations were adopted, rejected and reformed. In anthropology, Philo and Valentinian teachers were dependent on the Middle Platonic anthropological theories, which formed the philosophical background for the allegorical interpretations of Gen. 1:26-27 and Gen. 2:7. The closest parallels with Philo are found in the anthropological interpretations of Genesis, which form the basis for soteriology and ethics. The allegory of Israel and the allegory of Cain, Abel and Seth attested in the Valentinian sources were derived from Philo's works. On the grounds of this study, it is reasonable to suggest that there was a historical relationship between Philo and the Valentinians. The relation was restricted, however, to one group of Valentinians whose teachings go back to the school of Ptolemy in Alexandria and Rome. This study shows that it is probable that some Valentinian teachers belonged to the circle of Alexandrian Christian Platonists who saw Philo's works as valuable and preserved them after the revolt, that is, before they became the property of the Alexandrian Catechetical School at the end of the second century.
  • Karimies, Ilmari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The aim of the dissertation is to investigate and clarify Martin Luther's understanding of faith and of reality in his biblical lectures between the years 1513 and 1521. The method of the study is systematic analysis. With regard to its content the work can be seen as an investigation of the history of ideas or dogma. The general context of the study is the examination of the cognition of God in terms of knowledge of acquaintance, as in the tradition of divine illumination. The specific background is the understanding of faith as union with Christ in the Finnish School of Luther research. The study first examines Luther's understanding of reality and then Luther's understanding of faith, as the two are connected. With regard to Luther's understanding of reality, the nature of God, the universe and the human being are examined. Central to the understanding of God is the eternal birth of Christ seen through the concept of the highest good, the idea of God as light, and the divine as uniting contraries. With regard to the universe, the creation as a sign of God, the distinction between the visible and the invisible world, and their coming together in Christ and the Church are examined. With regard to the human being, the distinction between the tripartite and the bipartite anthropologies is analyzed. In them the spirit is the highest part of the human being, capable of grasping God. In the carnal person the spirit is dead and empty. It is made alive by faith. However, the natural capacities cannot grasp the content of faith. Therefore, there is a cognitive and affectual conflict between the flesh and the spirit in the Christian person. With regard to the understanding of faith, Luther's relation to divine illumination is examined. Luther's reading of Ps. 4:7 represents a realist, Augustinian view of illumination. For Luther, the divine light by which the soul knows the true good is precisely the light of faith. Luther defines faith as actual and immediate cognition of God. In relation to God, with regard to the intellect, it is an incomprehensible, captivating light. With regard to the affect, it is a light which grasps God as the highest good, creating joy and delight. In relation to the universe, faith is a light of understanding (intellect) in which all things are seen as related to God. It is also a light for the affect that directs through tribulations, towards good thoughts and actions. Faith is distinct from the heavenly vision because it is only partial possession, it is commixed with the human nature of Christ, and it is made enigmatic by sin. Luther understands the cognition of God through the concept of infused faith. Acquired faith (dogmas or trust) is secondary, but plays a role in tribulations, in which God is not yet perceived as the immediate content of faith. Luther's understanding of faith thus follows in its general form the theory of divine illumination. Luther attributes this illumination to the light of faith, which becomes the true theological intellect. Luther's early theology as a whole can be seen as a continuation of the theology of the medieval Augustinian School. The centrality of faith, seen in interpretation of the divine light precisely as faith, guards the sola gratia principle fundamental to Luther.
  • Häkkänen, Martti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    My thesis aims to open, clarify and explore the scientific bases of Peter Biehl's symbol pedagogical thinking and his symbol theory. In the study we look at the key concepts of Biehl's symbol pedagogical thinking and the resulting conclusions. The study explains what theological, philosophical and psychological starting points were key to the theory and which made the theory critical in relation to other symbol pedagogical interpretations. As a research method I use systematic analysis, which in this study means the theoretically oriented conceptual specification, interpretation and evaluation of written material. The aim is to identify the underlying factors and their interactions affecting the phenomenon under study. The study aims to find the general principles that are able to determine Biehl's theory and relate it to broader contexts. One of the study s fundamental questions is why did Biehl develop the critical theory? What was his aim in presenting his theory s criteria and in considering its practical application with symbols? In the study we also assess whether the basic ideas of his theory are relevant. Biehl's critical theory is based on all components of symbol-based teaching having all the necessary attributes for learning. According to Biehl, a person s basic emotions, experiences and symbols have mutual equivalency at different times. The theory focused on the symbols and their way of working in Christian education and religious teaching. The key factor in Biehl's symbol theory is the dynamic power associated with a symbol, which allows the transmission of the subject matter and its related experience to the learner with the help of a symbol. Biehl's symbol theory is also related to Hubertus Halbfas's understanding of human sensitivity and inner intuition in interpreting symbols. Biehl applied his theory with James Fowler s stepwise model of thinking, in which the religious development of a human is applied to different levels of understanding of the symbol and the development of its various phases. The transmission generated by a symbol centrally affects symbolisation, which means new interpretation and reinterpretation of the matter mediated by the symbol and understanding the message of the symbol in the area of another naivety . The symbol theory also applies the philosophy of Ricoeur, as symbol theory describes doctrine and its related symbols as a whole. Of all the symbols the cross is the centremost and most important of the Christian faith. In addition, the central symbols were metaphor, ritual, sacrament and community feasts, which often also had an eschatological dimension. Biehl's symbol theory enables a creative education alternative that is goal-oriented and respectful of children in day care early education. The application of symbol theory is also well suited to the Evangelical Lutheran Church's early education. Religious education implemented with Biehl's symbol theory is interactive, systematic and goal-oriented education, which also enhances cognitive learning. Symbol-based didactics encourages observations related to the symbol, the development of experiential learning and becoming aware of issues. It gives different students the space to interpret the learned issues in an independent and versatile way. The symbol theory encourages the use of suitable and creative methods and ways of working in religious education. Keywords: symbol, transmission, symbolisation, experience, observation, cross, Bible story, ritual, metapher, sacrament, celebration, doctrine.
  • Nortomaa, Aura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Working as a pastor has become increasingly demanding in an era of boundaryless work and in a landscape of declining institutionalized religion. Amidst these sociological changes, the selection of a new pastor is a challenging task. Therefore, psychological assessments are nowadays frequently used by churches in the recruitment process. This study examined the usefulness of the psychological assessment of applicants to the ministry. Usefulness was approached in three ways: as a subjective evaluation by the applicant, as a subjective evaluation of the church representative, and as predictive validity for career success. The study used psychological assessment data from applicants to the ministry in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland from 2006 2010 (n=718), follow-up survey data from 2012 (n=314), a list of ordained persons from 2014, and qualitative survey data from diocesan chapter members (n=29) from 2014. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed. Neither the ministerial applicants nor the church representatives declared that the assessment results were of personal significance to them. However, both clearly indicated that the assessments are generally necessary. This contradiction is explained with the Self-Determination Theory framework as the protection of one s autonomy. Further, the study found weak and modest predictive connections between the assessment results and career outcomes. In cases where the ordination process had been dropped, the results had played no role. All in all, the findings indicate that the seemingly prominent role of psychological assessment in the transition from education to working as a minister is actually rather small. The study confirmed that the determination of the aspirant is the most essential element in pursuing a ministerial career. The study concluded that the assessment was intended to be a tool for growth, but has instead been experienced as a test to pass. Following the Cognitive Evaluation Theory, the study highlights the importance of clearly communicating the informational (not controlling) nature of the assessment in order to receive the most benefit from the results. In the future, qualitative research on how ministerial aspirants have experienced the assessment process, and how the assessment result and their calling interact, would provide more understanding on the role of the assessment results in the process of becoming a minister. The study raises the question of which characteristics to favor in a new pastor in the current sociological situation. The churches stand at a crucial crossroads: when selecting new pastors, the churches face the choice of whether to recruit personalities who will preserve the church or who will change the church. Selecting a new pastor is, namely, a part of selecting the future of the church.
  • Korpela, Riitta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The journey of ritual objects from original context to museum Trajectories of a selection of ritual objects in the collection of Central African Kuba at the Museum of Cultures This study concerns selected ritual and/or ceremonial objects in the Kuba collection at the Museum of Cultures (NBA, Finland). The aim of the study was to prove the historical importance of ethnographic objects, now in museums, to their original culture. For this purpose the objects primary uses and also their cultural value both for the original society and later in their trajectories needed to be determined. Igor Kopytoff s idea of the social life of things served as the theoretical basis for the study, in which sacral or otherwise special objects are singularized as a group of their own. It was methodically possible to illustrate the changes in the valuation and uses of the objects during their transitional stages. The model reflected the changes in circumstances, the museum being one of the end points. The study shows the gradual adaptation of the tradition to the robust commercial and cultural connections established in the 16th century. Kuba was a Central African domain whose success was based on good governance and strong external links. The organization connecting its diverse peoples was that of sacral kingship, which guaranteed the wellbeing and safety of the community. The domain s esteemed material culture, known even today as Kuba culture, is proof of this. It reflected the importance of the state, the cosmological ideas of the people, and hierarchical values as well. European colonialism greatly affected African societies, and also the western conception of other cultures. Africa was considered a source of raw material and its peoples the objects of civilization efforts, with no regard to the prevailing systems of life. Material culture may not necessarily be history writing; however, it often proves to be the only surviving example of earlier culture, society and religion. The appreciation of the material culture of Kuba during the colonial period shows how a society can survive in difficult times due to its strong culture. The extensive collecting of material culture by westerners meant changes in the trajectory of the objects. Originally parts of rituals, they became ethnographic objects, losing their meaning and purpose, never to be regained. The objects are presented in museums as singular items or grouped in series, and yet they retain some of their original power. It is now the responsibility of the present owners to decide whether the situation requires re-evaluation or the objects be simply forgotten.
  • Pihlava, Kaisa-Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study examines women hosts of early Christian gatherings and the authority they had in their early Christian communities. Although early Christian home gatherings and early Christian women have been studied extensively, women who hosted early Christian gatherings have thus far been given only occasional attention. The aim of this study is to write women hosts into the narratives of early Christian beginnings more fully than has been done before. According to numerous early Christian texts, Christ-believers often gathered at homes. Some of these homes had women heads of households (e.g. Acts 12:12, 16:14-15, 40; Col. 4:15). In addition, some early Christian texts may allude to women hosts of early Christian gatherings (e.g. Ign. Pol. 8:2; Ign. Smyrn. 13:2). Even these few sources imply that gathering at women s homes might have been a more common phenomenon than early Christian writings indicate. This study utilizes social-historical and post-structural approaches. Accordingly, both the social-historical setting and the literary representations of women hosts will be researched. The research discusses various literary and non-literary ancient sources that pertain to early Christian domestic gatherings, non-Christian women heads of households in antiquity, and women benefactors. While even the most extensive usage of diverse sources does not enable a complete portrayal of women hosts, there are more and less credible reconstructions of their activities and of the settings in which they functioned. In addition to analyzing the texts that mention women hosts or possible women hosts of early Christian gatherings, this study includes discussions about early Christian communities and non-Christian women heads of households and patrons. Based on the research, it is argued that because of the domestic setting in which women were heads of their households, they also had authority in early Christian gatherings taking place at their homes. The same applies to the position of non-Christian women benefactors according to whose model Christ-believers understood the position and authority of women hosts of early Christian gatherings. It is argued that women hosts had authority in their early Christian communities because of the domestic setting and the authority that hosts irrespective of their gender had in general. Furthermore, their authority was affected by non-Christian women s comparable roles and their literary and non-literary representations. The authority that women hosts thus gained was not countercultural and was not motivated by a supposed early Christian egalitarianism. There was no striving towards gender-equality in early Christianity. Instead, socioeconomic hierarchy resulted in the authority positions of women hosts of early Christian gatherings. Christian communities started to gain distinct gathering places in the late second and third centuries C.E. and at the same time hierarchical structures continued developing. These trajectories resulted in the exclusion of women hosts from authority roles in mainstream Christianity.
  • Miroshnikov, Ivan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    It is no secret that Christian dogmatic theology adopted a generous number of its concepts from Platonist philosophy; by the time of the Cappadocian fathers, it was customary to talk about divine matters in Platonist terms. It is, however, much more difficult to track the Platonist influence during the formative centuries of Christianity. In the last decades, the academic community has gradually come to realize that research into the Platonizing tendencies of early Christian texts may shed new light both on their meaning and their historical context. This study advances along this path. Its focus is on the Gospel of Thomas, an early Christian sayings collection. The core hypothesis of the study is that Platonism in its “Middle” form had a significant impact on this text. An inquiry into the Gospel of Thomas with this particular viewpoint has not been done systematically prior to this dissertation. At least nineteen Thomasine sayings (i.e. one-sixth of the entire collection) were in some way influenced by the Platonist tradition: ● Sayings 56 and 80 make use of the Platonist notions that the world is a body and that every human body is a corpse in order to express a view of the world that is essentially anti-Platonist: the world is nothing but a despicable corpse. ● The opposition of the body to the soul portrayed in sayings 29, 87, and 112 presupposes a stark dualism of the corporeal vs. the incorporeal and appears to be indebted to Platonist anthropology. ● The Thomasine notion of being/becoming oua (sayings 11 and 106), oua ouōt (saying 4, 22, and 23), and monakhos (sayings 16, 49, and 75) has the closest parallels within Platonist speculation about oneness as an attribute of a perfect human, a perfect society, and God. ● The expression ōhe erat⸗ in sayings 16, 18, 23, and 50 reflects the Platonist usage of the Greek verb ἵστημι as a technical term for describing the immovability of the transcendent realm. ● Thomas 61 appropriates the opposition of being equal (to oneself) vs. being divided from the Platonist metaphysics of divine immutability and indivisibility. ● The imagery of the lion and the man in saying 7 portrays the struggle between reason and anger and is derived from Plato’s allegory of the soul, reinterpreted from a Middle Platonist perspective. ● The notion of the image in sayings 22, 50, 83, and 84 should be interpreted against the background of the Middle Platonist metaphysics, where the Greek term εἰκών came to designate both the model (= παράδειγμα) and its imitation (= ὁμοίωμα). These nineteen sayings and, consequently, the Gospel of Thomas as a whole bear testimony to the fact that, during the nascent years of Christianity, certain individuals acknowledged de facto that the Platonist tradition possessed theoretical principles, concepts, and terminologies that could adequately describe and convincingly explain the nature of ultimate reality. Although the Gospel of Thomas is neither the first nor the only early Christian text with Platonizing tendencies, it appears to be an important witness to the early stages of the process that eventually led to the formulation of Christian dogmas in Platonist terms.
  • Salonen, Anna Sofia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study explores charitable food assistance at the interface between religious organizations and people seeking material assistance. The study aims at understanding the phenomenon from the viewpoint of the food recipients and by taking into account the religious character of the food providers. Against the grain of the ideals of the Nordic welfare state, since the early 1990s, Finland has witnessed the emergence and proliferation of charitable food assistance across the country. In these venues, religious organizations regularly encounter some of the poorest in society. In contemporary society, where religion belongs to the realm of individual choice, people are considered to be entitled to decide whether, where, and to what degree they want to be exposed to religious content and take part in religious practices. Thus, in the context of the last resort material assistance provided by churches and other actors with religious ties, religion has the capacity to promote altruism, but also to provide a source of conflict. The data for this study was collected from four food charity organizations in the city of Tampere, Finland between the spring of 2012 and the spring of 2013. The data consists of observational notes from over seven months of participant observation in four food assistance organizations, interviews with 25 food assistance recipients, and written documents related to the operation of the organizations. The data was analysed with qualitative methods by applying principles of content analysis and grounded theory. The findings of this introductory article are drawn from a meta-analysis of four individual articles that have explored food charity from the recipients perspective, both in terms of religion and with regard to the material and social aspects of the assistance use. The findings of this study portray food assistance as a charitable sphere where assistance is provided only within the available resources, which are disengaged from the needs of the food recipients, and within the terms laid down by the charitable giver, which may include to varying degrees religious participation. The findings demonstrate that food charity has a limited ability to answer the social and material needs of the clients. The additional religious support that some of these organizations offered provided added value for some of the food recipients, but also caused tensions. The recipients of food charity have limited opportunities to influence the activity or to act in a different way, but at the same time their ability to withdraw from participating in the activity is limited. Negotiations over participation in religious activities in the food charity context illustrate these constraints, but also point out the tacit strategies used by the food recipients to voice their views. For the food recipients, religious participation served both as a constraint and as a means to demonstrate agency. The study demonstrates that as food charity providers, religious organizations become actors in the arena of welfare provision, but also in the disposal end of the food system. They engage in an activity that is not only about poverty, but also about the affluence that produces the preconditions of the assistance. Food charity can be regarded as an effort to overcome problems of food poverty and food waste, but it also bears the danger of constructing charity as an appropriate answer to the problems of poverty and of legitimizing the continuous production of waste by routinely turning this excess into a utility of last resort assistance. Emphasizing the provision of religious support over food can be regarded as a way for some organizations to overcome the problems of hands-on material assistance. While the findings indicate that this does not resonate strongly with the wishes of the clients, the religious emphasis of some of the assistance providers could serve as a potential source of religious critique of charitable solutions to food insecurity. The need for food charity is not diminishing, and in the current societal situation in Finland, efforts by non-governmental organizations to help those living in weak social and economic situations are increasingly called for. Therefore, it is important to take into consideration the prevalence of religious actors in this field and the varying ways they manifest their religious identity in their assistance practices. The religiousness of the charity providers influences the practices of the assistance work and adds a layer to the experiences of the food recipients. For religious and other non-governmental organizations participating in charitable food assistance, in turn, the findings provide food for thought in reflecting the multidimensional character of the activity that they engage in, the roles that they assume and are assigned in this field, and the ramifications that their work has for the people whom they aim to serve.