Teologinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • 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.
  • Nurminen, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Tutkimuksen hypoteesina on, että vanhoillislestadiolaisuudessa on 1970-luvulla erotettavissa kaksi toisistaan niin paljon poikkeavaa vanhurskauttamiskäsitystä, että käsitysten on sanottava olevan erilaiset. Tutkimus on tämän hypoteesin testaamista. Tutkimustehtävänä on siis osoittaa, että vanhoillislestadiolaisuudessa esiintyi 1970-luvulla kaksi vanhurskauttamiskäsitystä, ja että ne poikkeavat toisistaan niin paljon, että niiden ei voi katsoa esittävän samaa vanhurskauttamiskäsitystä. Menetelmänä on systemaattinen analyysi. Käsityksiä ei istuteta olemassa oleviin vanhurskauttamisopin malleihin vaan struktuurit nousevat lähteistä. Tutkimuksessa hypoteesin mukaisia käsityksiä nimitetään armolinjaksi ja pyhityslinjaksi. Linjat ovat tähän tutkimukseen luotuja käsitteitä, jotka kuvaavat lähteissä näkyviä ajattelurakenteita, eivät olemassa olleita rintamia. Lähteinä ovat SRK:n (Suomen Rauhanyhdistysten Keskusyhdistys) 1970-luvun julkaisut. Päälähteenä ovat saarna- ja hartauskirjat mutta myös muut painotuotteet, kuten viikkolehti Päivämies. Tutkimus osoittaa, että vanhoillislestadiolaisuudessa esiintyi 1970-luvulla kaksi vanhurskauttamiskäsitystä ja että ne poikkeavat toisistaan niin paljon, että niiden ei voi katsoa esittävän samaa vanhurskauttamiskäsitystä. Teologian erot syntyvät jo vanhurskauttamisopin edellytyksissä, erityisesti käsityksessä synnistä, Kristuksen työstä ja ihmisen ratkaisuvallasta, ja ne näkyvät koko teologian läpi. Armolinjalla kristityn vanhurskaus on yhtäältä yhdistymistä Kristuksen kanssa niin, että ihminen pysyy kokonaan syntisenä mutta on Kristuksessa kokonaan vanhurskas. Tämä vanhurskaaksitekeminen ei ole kehittyvä prosessi. Kristuksen vanhurskaus säilyy koko ajan vieraana vanhurskautena, joka ei muuta kristityn substanssia ja jota hän ei saa hallintaansa, mutta joka toisaalta uskossa on kokonaan kristityn. Toisaalta kristityn vanhurskaus on Kristus-yhteyden vuoksi myös Jumalan kokoaikaisessa anteeksiantamuksessa ja suosiossa elämistä. Pyhityslinjalla näkyy Jumalan ja ihmisen yhteistyöhön perustuva käsitys, jossa Jumala lahjoittaa pelastuksen välineet mutta ihmiselle jää pääpaino sekä pelastuksen valitsemisessa että sen säilyttämisessä. Siten pyhityslinjalla vanhurskauttaminen kääntyy kristityn omassa varassa olevaksi "armon" käyttämiseksi eli itsensä pitämiseksi vanhurskaana anteeksiantamuksen avulla.
  • Soukka, Pirkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Abstract Pirkko Soukka From Anxiety to Faith: Eugen Drewermann and the Depth Psychological Interpretation of the Christian Faith The aim of this study is to analyze and evaluate Eugen Drewermann`s concept of birth of faith (fides qua). My research question is, what new does Eugen Drewermann contribute to the theological concept of birth of faith as he applies depth psychology to it, and what is the theological significance of this application? I analyze Drewermann s concepts of being without faith, finding God s revelation, the contents of this revelation, and the birth of faith. I employ concept, proposition, argument, structural- and requirement analyses. I also evaluate some of the discussions stirred by Drewermann s thinking. I have used Drewermann´s hermeneutical and dogmatic studies as my sources. According to Drewermann, every human being is under the condition of existential and psychological anxiety from which the only rescue is faith. God reveals himself to everybody s inner being. What we see in the Bible is this revelation as reflected by man s inner being. The revelation can be found in the unconscious mind and in the mental images brought forth by biblical texts. Everyone can discover these images by letting the texts of the Bible become alive to them. Drewermann suggests that the meaning of these images is best explained by the analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. Revelation is essentially about finding God and finding ourselves. Faith is born when the loving spirit, which Drewermann calls the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, awakens the images of the unconscious. God calls forth faith in man s inner being through this spirit and by means of these images. Faith causes the anxiety to vanish and man is able to find his true self. Integrating depth psychological contents into theology is the leading principle in Drewermann s interpretation of the birth of faith. This has yielded some theologically important results as well as those that are theologically disputable. These outcomes can be seen, for instance, in Drewermann s concept of anxiety, in his understanding of God s self-disclosure in creation, and in the way he suggests God is found, all of which are essential to his thinking. His concept of anxiety accurately expresses the holistic character of human experience. On the other hand, his idea of an inner image as the foundation of revelation is not depth psychologically correct. Moreover, Drewermann s view that revelation can be found in the Bible from behind the text is difficult to prove psychologically. Also his view of the contents of revelation is theologically narrow and the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth as a theological concept is vague. Drewermann correctly emphasizes that the birth of faith is an experience both existential and psychological. His idea of faith that is free from anxiety is, however, theologically unusual and psychologically unrealistic. Nevertheless, my study proves that Drewermann´s interpretation of the birth of faith gives new perspectives to the theological interpretation of the birth of faith. He is a pioneer in applying depth psychology to theology.
  • Kemppainen, Lauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This compilation dissertation is a study in intellectual history. Using the methods of systematic analysis, it evaluates the modern Anglo-American theological discussion of a Christian ontology of peace as opposed to a secular ontology of violence. This discussion represents an intellectual movement sometimes called new theological traditionalism. Characteristic of the new traditionalism is a critique of modernism, liberalism, and secularism. The purpose of the dissertation is to identify and evaluate metaphysical and epistemological concepts, argumentation, and presuppositions that permeate the discussion: What is meant by the ontologies of peace and violence? On what basis is one called a Christian, and the other secular? What role do ontological assumptions play in theologians socio-political stances? The analysis reveals that the concept ontology is used in a sense akin to worldview. At stake in this discussion are the metaphysical foundations of being. Ontological convictions flow into (and spring from) rational and moral convictions. Human action, too, springs from ontological foundations, however implicit. This in turn impacts political decision-making as well. According to John Milbank, the founder of Radical Orthodoxy, the theological trend most relevant to this study, modern and postmodern ideologies that favor secularism are based on metaphysical assumptions of an ontology of violence. In this model, chaos, otherness, and difference are locked in ontological combat against order, sameness, and identity. The Christian vision, per contra, represents an ontology of peace, with goodness, truth, and beauty at the foundation of being. The four articles that form the main body of this dissertation serve as case studies, so to speak, of Milbank s portrayal of the ontologies of violence and peace. They can be roughly divided into two sets. The first two articles, Radical Orthodoxy and David Bentley Hart s Rhetorical Ontology of Peace, focus on ontology. The last two, Licence to Kill? Just War and Christological Pacifism in Light of the Ontology of Peace and Godless Leviathan or a Guardian Liberty? Theological Perspectives on Political Liberalism, step into the realm of politics. The case studies begin as analyses of Radical Orthodoxy and then turn towards its implications in the political sphere. It can be shown that, however clear and even unconditional the ontology of peace is assessed, both philosophically and theologically, putting it into practice is more problematic. Metaphysical-philosophical discussion is one thing; but in real life, the line between the ontologies is more porous. This is not unlike the line between meta-ethics and normative ethics. People with largely divergent worldviews can take shared courses of action. By contrast, people with shared ontological assumptions sometimes draw diverging practical conclusions. Calling a given ontology Christian does not make foreseeing its practical conclusions easy. However, a Christian ontology of peace necessarily rules out certain options, such as nationalism and egoism that idolize state or self. A Christian ontology of peace thus serves to counterbalance societal secularism.
  • Töyräänvuori, Joanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation examines the political use of the ancient North West Semitic myth of divine combat between the Storm-God and the Sea. The myth originated with the rise of the Sargonic Empire and was disseminated across ancient Near Eastern polities during the Amorite Kingdom period. Vestiges of the myth have also been retained in the Hebrew Bible. The aim of the study was to demonstrate how the myth was used in ancient North West Semitic societies to resolve the crisis of monarchy through appeal to numinous legitimacy, and how reading a selection of Biblical texts in the framework of the tradition confirms the use of the myth in the same context in the emergent Palestinian kingdoms of the Iron Age. As methods, the study employs form- and tradition-criticism, as well as the comparative/contrastive analysis of Ugaritic epic poetry, Akkadian diplomatic correspondence and royal inscriptions, and Hebrew poetry. A new method of textual triangulation has also been devised in an attempt to use the hypothetical convergence of traditions to approximate what of the mythology would have been known in ancient Palestine, from which few textual sources remain. Most of what is known of Israelite kingship and the monarchic institution is largely based on later and ideologically slanted material. This makes the comparison of Biblical texts to their antecedents necessary. The structure of the dissertation is three-pronged, beginning with the texts from ancient Mari, comparing them with witnesses from Ugarit, and finally contrasting them with the traditions of the broader Near East. The references to the myth in the Hebrew Bible are discussed in connection with the relevant witnesses from these traditions. The different examples of the tradition witness to the continuation, longevity, malleability, and the capacity of the myth to transform to suit changing historical realities. The investigation concludes that a myth of symbolic combat between the Storm-God and the Sea was likely used as a foundational myth by the mostly polytheistic Pre-Exilic kingship in Palestine. In contrast to previous research, the study demonstrates three distinct sources for the Biblical traditions in addition to living local iterations of the myth. In addition to vestiges retained in the Hebrew Bible, based on the analogy of preceding, concurrent, and continuing traditions in the shared cultural sphere, the accumulation of mythic traditions suggests that it was used in the Palestinian kingdoms to resolve the crisis of monarchy and to legitimize sovereign political rule. After the end of the Jerusalem monarchy, the myth was democratized and reforged to legitimize the existence of the people.
  • Poutanen, Heikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    ABSTRACT Heikki Poutanen: Mass with Choral Focus in the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church 1990─ 2004. Doctoral dissertation. In this investigation mass with choral focus is intended to signify choral mass and Gregorian high mass in which the choir plays a central role . Choral mass is a significant form of composition in the Western Church and in the entire cultural history of Europe. Amongst others the masses of G.P. da Palestrina, J.S.Bach and W.A. Mozart are cornerstones in the history of Western music. In this investigation I have studied the suitability of chorally focussed mass to church services and to concert life in the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. All parishes (578) received a questionnaire to which 222 church musicians responded (38.4%). In the cross-section year 2002, 14.4% of parishes were active parishes where chorally focussed mass was performed liturgically. A survey was made of reasons influencing the performance of the masses. Church musicians reported the favourable attitude of the clergy as a positive factor (18.5%). One factor especially mentioned as obscuring the performance of the chorally focussed mass was a lack of education (33.3%). In the period 1990-2002 chorally focussed masses were used in one way or another in 121 parishes (54.5%). Thus it is possible to say that over a long interval of time they have been used quite extensively in the parishes which responded. The scale of the masses performed is wide ranging from Gregorian to modern. The work most performed was Franz Schubert s German Mass. Church musicians were asked how this mass was suited to church services and to concert life. Church musicians would prefer to allocate it to a concert (81.1%). 69.8% of church musicians supported Sunday evening liturgical performance. On the other hand only 31.1% supported the usage of chorally focussed mass in the morning service. Organists based their unfavourable stand on the fact that parishioners could not sufficiently take part in the service. Another part of this study was feedback from eight different mass performances in connection with which parishioners responded to questionnaires (N=546). In investigating the liturgical performance of chorally focussed mass one can state that respondents would rather allocate a mass with choral focus to a Sunday evening (79.3%). This positive stand was based particularly on variety and aesthetic factors. 63.9% would allocate it to the Sunday morning service. 69.0% of respondents supported the partial use of chorally focussed mass in the Sunday morning service. Rather surprising is the fact that only 71.1% would allocate mass to a concert in spite of the Finnish tradition of performing choral masses in concerts. The eight case-studies carried out in the Helsinki region act as direction-finders for the rest of the country.When combining the answers of church musicians and parishioners (N=768) it is to be noted that chorally focussed mass is best suited to be performed in concerts (76.1%). Its liturgical per¬formance on Sunday evening also gains a lot of support (74.6%). A little less than half support the performance of chorally focussed mass in the Sunday morning service (47.5%). 67.9% support the partial use of chorally focussed mass in the Sunday morning service. On the basis of this study one can state that chorally focussed mass is well suited to Finnish church services and to concert life. Respondents support its performance above all in concerts.
  • Huhtanen, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The present study analyses the concept of revelation in the theology of Walter Kasper (b. 1933). The method of the study is systematic analysis, which focuses on ascertaining the commonalities, characteristics and possible inconsistencies in Kasper's thought. The sources for this study consist of works pertinent to the subject in the corpus of Kasper's writings from 1965 to 2015. In order to offer a full account of Kasper's understanding of revelation, this study analyses the philosophical and theological background of his thought. The present study outlines and discusses Kasper's interpretation of the doctrine of revelation, his understanding of how the Bible should be interpreted and his dogmatic method. This study also discusses Kasper's understanding of the meaning of revelation in the modern era. In line with previous studies of Kasper's theology also this study concludes that the three influences that have most affected Kasper's thought are: German idealist philosophy, the Tübingen School and the Second Vatican Council. This study argues that Kasper's conception of revelation is dynamic and dialogical. With the help of the concepts of German idealist philosophy, especially that of F.W.J Schelling, Kasper sketches a model of revelation theology based on the idea that, precisely because the human being is finite, he is able to conceive that there must lie an infinite ground that is the ground of being of all reality. In the meaning event (Sinnerfahrung) the human being realises that his or her ground of being must lie in infinite reality. The human being s true freedom can only be fulfilled in connection to God, who is himself perfect freedom. This study argues that this basic philosophical framework can open possibilities for dialogue with other world views as well. Kasper argues that the Trinitarian God abides in relation (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit), and the immanent reality of the Trinitarian God is thus reflected in the Creation. As God's creation and God's image, human beings are intended to be in dialogue, both with God and with other human beings. In his self-revelation God gives his promise: he will be with his people always. In the Exodus narrative this promise culminates in the event of the burning bush, in which God gives his Name to Moses (Ex 3,14). In the New Testament literature the promise finds its fulfilment in the Incarnation. The title of this study is Event of the Radically New. The most important observation concerning the modern, post-Vatican II Catholic understanding of theology of revelation is that revelation consists not only of information but rather that it is primarily an event. It is an event in which God reveals himself anew in each particular historical era. It is radical in the sense that it brings something completely new and completely transforming to our reality. As well, it is radical because it reflects the eternal spirit of the Gospel, the roots (radices) of Christian faith. Thus, paradoxically, revelation is at the same time radically eternal and radically new, open to the future. Kasper's theology of revelation culminates in Christology. The truth of the Christian faith, the truth that shapes and renews our reality, is the incarnate Word of God, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. In Christ's full humanity the mystery of the meaning of being human is solved once and for all. Christ is God's freedom, love and mercy incarnate. He is the answer to all search for meaning. In him, reality is interpreted in a completely new, illuminating light. In Christ the majestic quality of God's being (grace, Gnade), appears in human history as mercy (Barmherzigkeit). In Jesus Christ, Christians find the fulfilment of their yearning for a new, meaningful experience: a fulfilment that modern man so determinedly, but in vain, tries to find in immanent reality. Keywords: Walter Kasper, revelation, faith and knowledge, atheism, freedom 
  • Heikkilä, Jelisei (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The revolutionary reforms of Peter the Great in 1721 radically changed the whole Russian State. The changes which affected the Church's canonical and juridical status for the entire Synodal period during the early twentieth century s social and church-cultural metamorphosis, raise significant questions from the viewpoint of Orthodox canon law regarding marriage and divorce. The study's main focus is how were these questions treated during the Pre-Conciliar period and in the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918. The All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918 was in many ways a unique and unparalleled phenomenon in the Russian Orthodox Church, State and in Russian social history. The Pre-Conciliar movement of the early twentieth century in Russia included the first and only experience in the Russian Orthodox Church of an open discussion with elements of dialogue touching all sides of Church life. The sources of this study, the documents and decrees of the Holy Synod and the preparatory bodies of the general Council of 1917- 1918, raise the following questions regarding marriage and divorce: 1. How did the Russian Orthodox Church understand the state law in relation to its own ecclesiastical law? 2. How was the ancient canonical tradition concerning matrimonial issues interpreted in Russia? By examining the canonical views of matrimonial matters in the Russian Orthodox Church in the early 1900s, especially through secular laws and canonical commentaries, it is possible to create a picture of a canonical marriage model eventually formed in the Russian Orthodox Church after the General Council of 1917-1918. The bureaucracy appeared to be a permanent barrier between the Church and the people, as well as between the Church and the State. Ecclesiastical regulations were joined to civil law, creating norms of marriage law that conformed to the State s viewpoint. This led to a situation before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution where divorces were difficult to obtain. Eventually, the religious institution of marriage, which had been protected by the Russian judiciary from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries, was destroyed by the Revolution. Animosity towards traditional Christian family values began to pervade the social climate in Russia after the Revolution, and the laws of the Russian Orthodox Church came to reflect this. The study argues that after the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918, a new divorce model of the Russian Orthodox Church appeared. The Orthodox Church did not immediately abolish its previous bureaucratic model, especially when resolving the divorce cases in the Soviet State in 1918, but new pastoral aspects nevertheless were incorporated. The form of a petition was retained: one of the approved reasons for divorce had to be stated, as well as a detailed and correct statement of the circumstances under which the collapse of the marital union took place. The canonical spirit and the norms established in the Pre-Conciliar period were retained in this matter. Thus, any reasons that were not justified by the canons and their authoritative commentaries were not accepted as lawful causes for ecclesiastical divorce. However, the final resolution concerning the grounds for the dissolution of marriage appear as if the Council expected the Church to remain as it was in the past, namely with complete jurisdiction over marriage.
  • Eklund, Dan-Johan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study is a critical examination of the views about the voluntary aspect of religious faith in contemporary analytic theistic philosophy of religion. The background of the question is the variety of opinions regarding the voluntariness or involuntariness of religious faith. The study examines different propositional attitudes, such as belief, hope, and acceptance, which are taken to be involved in the cognitive-epistemic aspect of religious faith. Another important theme concerns the practical dimension of religious faith and the attitudes it involves. Questions having to do with the emotional and evaluative features of religious faith are also touched upon. In addition, certain traditional theological topics pertaining to voluntariness of faith are addressed. Apart from the critical evaluation, this study develops one view of faith, that is, faith as propositional hope. The method used is philosophical conception and argumentation analysis. In the first chapter I analyse the general views of analytic theists on the nature of faith and propositional belief. In the second chapter the central topic is how beliefs relevant to faith are acquired and the implications this issue has for questions about voluntariness of faith. Richard Swinburne s and Alvin Plantinga s accounts of faith are the main focus of this chapter. The third chapter is chiefly concerned with the possibility of believing without sufficient evidence; the permissibility of such believing is also addressed. Views elaborated by John Bishop and Jeff Jordan are central in this chapter. In the fourth chapter I analyse views which claim that faith need not entail belief and the impact of these views on issues concerning the voluntariness of faith. The chapter consists of views put forward by Robert Audi, William Alston, Louis Pojman, and J. L. Schellenberg. This chapter also includes the view of faith I defend, that is, faith as propositional hope. The voluntary aspect of religious faith has been understood in different ways. The overall conclusion of this study is that the cognitive aspect of faith is in the main involuntary, though volitional acts can have some effect on it. The same goes for the emotional and evaluative aspects of religious faith. On the other hand, the practical dimension of faith seems to be largely a matter of voluntary choice and behaviour. These insights imply that from a philosophical viewpoint whether people perceive a given religious faith as a worthwhile and meaningful worldview is due to other factors than their direct voluntary choice, but it is their decision whether they commit themselves to the faith in question.