Teologinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Alstola, Tero (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Judeans in Babylonia: A Study of Deportees in the Sixth and Fifth Centuries BCE The dissertation investigates Judean deportees in Babylonia in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. These people arrived in Babylonia from Judah in the early sixth century BCE, being but one of numerous ethnic groups deported and resettled by King Nebuchadnezzar II. Naming practices among many deportee groups have been thoroughly analysed, but there has been little interest in writing a socio-historical study of Judeans or other immigrants in Babylonia on the basis of cuneiform sources. The present dissertation fills this gap by conducting a case study of Judean deportees and placing its results in the wider context of Babylonian society. The results from the study of Judeans are evaluated by using a group of Neirabian deportees as a point of comparison. The sources of this study consist of 289 clay tablets written in Akkadian cuneiform. The texts are legal and administrative documents such as promissory notes, leases, receipts, and lists. The texts are rarely isolates and normally they can be connected to larger private and institutional archives. Analysis of the source texts as part of larger archives significantly contributes to our understanding of the socio-economic framework of these texts and the people attested in them. Babylonian sources rarely make the ethnic or geographic origin of people explicit, and naming practices are the most important method to identify immigrants in cuneiform texts. Yahwistic theophoric names – that is, names which refer to the god Yahweh – can be used to identify Judeans in Babylonia. The dissertation shows that most Judeans and other deportees were settled in rural communities according to their geographic origin and integrated into the land-for-service sector of Babylonian agriculture. The deportees were given plots of land to cultivate, and in exchange they were obliged to pay taxes and perform work and military service. Some Judeans were able to profit from the system by working as middlemen between the royal administration and their fellow landholders, while other Judeans worked as minor officials in local administration. Nevertheless, the majority of small farmers lived at a subsistence level. Not all deportees were settled in the countryside, as their labour was also needed in cities. Foreign craftsmen, merchants, and soldiers worked in royal service, and a number of deportees made their way to local and regional administrations in Babylonia. Members of foreign royalty were deported to Babylon, and the Judean king Jehoiachin and his retinue were held hostage there in order to prevent rebellions in the vassal state of Judah. A relatively small number of deportees were turned into slaves or temple dependants. The Babylonian practice of settling deportees in ethnically homogenous rural communities supported the survival of their culture in the countryside. Although the deportees were integrated into the Babylonian economy, there is less evidence of social and cultural integration. Adoption of local culture was faster among those deportees who lived in cities and were in regular contact with the native population. Very little can be said about Judean religious practices, however. The available sources hardly ever touch upon this issue, and naming practices only indicate that the worship of Yahweh probably continued in some form in the late fifth century BCE.
  • Posti, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This dissertation is a historical and a philosophical study concerning the doctrine of divine providence, as it was understood in Latin academic theology in 13th and 14th centuries. The method of the study is systematic analysis. The aim of the study is to understand the meaning and the doctrinal value of divine providence for some of the most important authors in the era, and analyse philosophical and theological problems that these authors considered important. The dissertation consists of four chapters. In the first chapter, the historical background of the Christian idea of a provident God is traced from Plato and Aristotle and the Hellenistic schools of philosophy to the late ancient Christian authors Augustine and Boethius. Particular attention is paid to the nascent Platonic and Aristotelian traditions of understanding providence. In the second and third chapters, the ideas that a number of medieval authors held on providence are analysed. Some of the most important authors in chapters 2 and 3 include Thomas Aquinas, Siger of Brabant, Matthew of Aquasparta, Peter Auriol, Robert Holkot and Thomas Bradwardine. The fourth chapter focuses on a relatively unknown 13th century work Liber de bona fortuna, attributed to Aristotle. Liber de bona fortuna, consisting of Latin translations of chapters found originally in Aristotle’s Ethica Eudemia and Magna Moralia, asks whether good fortune ought to be attributed to nature, intellect or god. A number of medieval authors, including e.g. Thomas Aquinas, Giles of Rome, Henry of Ghent, John Duns Scotus and Peter Auriol, became highly interested in Liber de bona fortuna. They provided original explanations of the phenomenon of good fortune, ranging from Henry of Ghent’s providential model to Giles of Rome’s naturalistic and Peter Auriol’s psychologizing explanations. This study shows that the central philosophical questions regarding providence, considered important in the ancient era, were inherited and adopted in medieval theology. These questions include most importantly 1. Whether divine providence is reconcilable with freedom of the will and contingency in general; 2. Whether divine providence is concerned with all particular beings, or exclusively with species of beings; and 3. Does divine providence cause its effects immediately or through the mediation of a chain of secondary causes. A special theme regarding the first question is how divine providence may be reconciled with evil and sinful actions committed by rational agents. I argue that two different strategies of treating these questions may be distinguished in the philosophical thought of the 13th and 14th centuries. According to the accidental strategy of reconciling divine providence and evil, evil results accidentally from God’s good providential plan. While evil is not part of divine providence qua evil, it comes under the influence of providence by receiving a just punishment. In contrast, the instrumental strategy of reconciling divine providence and evil treats evil as an instrument used by God for advancing his good plan for the creation. While evil remains evil considered from the created perspective, considered from the divine perspective it has an instrumental function. It is noted that while some authors display a clear preference for one of these strategies, other authors employ them side by side.
  • Mikkola, Sini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This doctoral dissertation examines Martin Luther’s view of the human being during a decade of ecclesiastical, social, and political turmoil. The vital perspectives in scrutinizing Luther’s anthropology are gender, bodiliness, sexuality, and power. The study first asks how gendered bodiliness was treated in Luther’s discussions on femininity and masculinity, and, consequently, in what way he constructed proper feminine and masculine ways of being and developed the gender system. Under scrutiny are the ideals, norms, and expectations that he framed on the grounds of the gendered body. Thirdly, it is asked whether Luther’s views varied according to historical and textual context, and especially if there are differences between his views of female and male ways of being that are presented in theory, on the one hand, and in practical situations, on the other. The most important contextual factors that set the background for analyzing Luther’s viewpoints are, by and large, the debate on the proper kind of Christian life—whether it should be lived in the cloister or in matrimony—and Luther’s changing personal situation from Augustinian friar to husband and father. The time frame of the study is set from 1520 to 1530—a decade that is less studied in modern research from the viewpoint of gender than, for example, the following one. The structure of the study is thematic, yet it follows a loose chronology. It is thus easier to explore a possible chronological shift in Luther’s language and thinking, and especially whether changes in his personal life or in church and society somehow affected his views concerning the body, gendered ways of being, and the gender system. Many of the key concepts of the study—such as gender and the gender system, power, authority, and otherness—have been adopted from gender studies. Methodologically, the texts are examined through a close critical reading and content analysis of the sources to discuss both the explicit and the implicit dimensions of Luther’s discussion. Texts from the Weimarer Ausgabe (D. Martin Luther’s Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe) are used as the source material. The study shows that Luther formulated his views on gender and the gender system firmly on the basis of human bodiliness. The penetrable theoretical idea that Luther deducted from gendered bodiliness was gender hierarchy: the woman’s subordination and otherness, and the man’s normativity and dominion. Luther participated in the reconstruction of femininity and masculinity in close interaction with the past and the present: he was in several ways affected by and bound to his medieval heritage and to the views of his contemporaries. Furthermore, the study proves that overall, Luther’s thinking concerning the gender system did not undergo major changes during the 1520s, but instead involved smaller adjustments. The analyses of real-life situations reveal that Luther could be flexible in his viewpoints concerning the limits that one’s gender constituted—he allowed different rules especially for himself, for instance. However, in many cases regarding his fellow men and women he applied his theoretical views in practice in a very strict sense. Therefore, it is not the difference between theory and practice per se that is pervasive in Luther’s texts. The study proves that the difference between Luther’s practical views and theory is chiefly dictated by subsidiarity. The two core ideas are: (1) the closer to Luther, the more special the case, and (2) the more strategically important for Luther, the more special the case.
  • Vaura, Tuomas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The overall theme of my study concerns the thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century academic discussions about the incarnation from the point of view medieval philosophical psychology. This study will especially explore the following questions: what themes were included in the discussions about knowledge, will, and passions in Christ’s human nature, what the main psychological ideas employed in the psychology of the incarnation were, and whether the teachings about Christ’s human soul were derived from psychology as a discipline of natural philosophy. The method of this study is a systematic analysis of the psychological conceptions. This includes the historical and philosophical construction of psychological ideas in these discussions about Christ’s human soul. The most important sources of this study are commentaries on Peter Lombard’s Sentences. The sources of this study are composed, for example, by Alexander of Hales and other early Franciscan theologians, Bonaventure, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Giles of Rome, Peter of Tarentaise, Richard Middleton, John Duns Scotus, William Ockham, Peter Auriol, Walter Chatton, Durand of St. Pourçain and Peter of Palude. As theologians studied the knowledge, will and passions of Christ separately, this study is also divided into a corresponding set of three chapters. In the first chapter, I examine the discussion about the knowledge of Christ. The main questions are what kind of knowledge the human Christ had and whether his soul knew everything that God knows. In the second chapter, I study the discussion about Christ’s will and ask what kind of human wills Christ had and how these wills were related to each other. In the third chapter, I turn to a study of the passions of Christ. I ask how Christ’s human soul was passible, what passions he had and how he was simultaneously able to have pain, sadness and joy. My study proves that some emphases in the discussions about the psychology of the incarnation indicate that the early Franciscan theologians and Aquinas established two traditions about the application of psychology to Christology; while the Franciscan theologians usually followed the Franciscan tradition, the Dominican theologians usually followed the Thomistic tradition. However, the study also shows that the traditions were not unequivocal in terms of their flexibility on all questions, since not all Franciscan theologians followed the Franciscan tradition and not all Dominicans followed the Thomistic tradition. In addition, this study shows that in the discussions about the knowledge, will and passion of Christ, theologians applied various ideas from psychology as a branch of natural philosophy in developing their views about theological matters, but Christological views also influenced the philosophical thought of some theologians.
  • Hintsala, Meri-Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Conservative Laestadianism is the largest and most international revivalist movement in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland. Conservative Laestadianism has been widely present in Finnish social media during the 20th century due to its lived practices in relation to women’s rights and coping in everyday life. In this article-based doctoral thesis, I focused on the internet discussions of the Laestadian people on the selected discussion forums in Finland in 2011. First, I asked how the Laestadian teaching is embodied in the adherent’s everyday life. I presented my answer to this question in the three individual publications published in the reviewed academic journals. The second question in this work was: how is embodied lived life established in relation to lived theology through theological negotiation in the internet discussions? The data consisted of 380 autobiographical narratives collected from the different discussion forums. I developed a methodological tool for the analysis, which involved combining autoethnographic perspectives and the netnographic method. I concluded that the auto-netnographic method could be adapted in more general researches where the researcher plays a role in the research context in multidimensional ways. This study shows how theology and the body co-exists in tight interconnection in the Laestadian lived religious life. Theology and the body interact circularly: the body resists the theological teaching of rejection of contraception through negative emotions, illness and maladjustment, which creates a reinterpretation of the lived practices and the theological teaching. At the same time, the body approves the teaching by cultivating the experienced suffering through positive emotions and making them religiously essential in terms of the Laestadian understanding of redemption. My study shows that Laestadian lived religion is more adaptive than earlier studies concerning Laestadianism have been able to show. Flexible religious agency is formed between the religious tradition of the movement and secular society around the movement. An academic perspective of lived religion, which was the loose frame for this study, offers an overview of lived religious practices often outside the institutional religious community. Traditionally, it does not pay attention to dogmatic or religiosity through written official texts. The lived Laestadian life and religion is multi-layered, even though it is still tightly bound up with the core theological principles of the movement. Because of this complexity, I challenge the existing understanding of the academic tradition of lived religion by saying that the very concept of lived religion has to be patterned on the concept of lived faith. Lived faith, which emphasises the spiritual and cognitive theological nuances of the religious worldview, suits these kinds of contexts better; that is, contexts where theological interpretation is conscious and ambitious on the basis of the theological construction of the movement. In future researches, the created concept of lived faith in this study would enlarge the toolbox of researchers considering lived religious life and embodiment in connection with institutional theological formulations. As a result of this study, I indicate that the body is a permanent part of the relationship between a human and God in Laestadian lived faith. Net discussions on the embodiment of Laestadian people reflect the pain spots of the Laestadian community and postmodern Finnish society.
  • Ajo, Martti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Sigfrid Sirenius (1877–1961), Doctor of Theology, was a pioneer of the modern social Christian ideas and the founder of the Finnish Settlement movement. The link between God’s kingdom and the labour movement was essential both in Sirenius’ theologic-ideological thinking and in his Christian values based civic activity. Sirenius’ God’s kingdom ideology was a result of a multiphase process. It grew from the soil of both German Württembergian and Anglo-Saxon Pietism. The aiming point of Sirenius’ ideology was to strengthen the connection between the Church and the labour movement and to repress secularism. On the threshold of the General Strike (1905) Sirenius left for seamen’s mission to Antwerp and later to London. In England a cosmopolite seamen’s minister increasingly applied himself to labour question and received heavy influence from the British labour movement. While studying Anglican Church, Sirenius got familiar with the settlement movement, which drew ideas from Christian socialism. Sirenius radical Christian values based civic activity began in 1913, after F. Herbert Stead had paid a visit to Finland. The purpose of visit was to further labourizing SDP. On the factory areas Sirenius agitated on behalf of Christian socialism. He preached for the labourer about earthly God’s kingdom, which could be built by means of Social Democrats. The outbreak of the Civil War meant a setback for his endeavours to labourize the SDP. After the War he was one of the few ministers who stayed in touch with the SDP. In 1918 Sirenius found Finnish Settlement Movement. After the Civil War SDP had their suspicions about the Christian values based civic activity made by Sirenius. Due to his situation, he approached the Agrarian League and the party’s leading figure, Santeri Alkio. In the Northern Finland Sirenius teamed up with the Lapland Trio. Their goal was to spread social Christian ideology among log floaters in Lapland and to fight against materialistic Communism. The international conference of the religious socialists, held in Barchem 1924, became revolutionary to the development of Sirenius’ God’s kingdom ideology. In the conference Sirenius met L. Ragaz. And via Ragaz, Sirenius got familiar with the chiliastic God’s kingdom ideology and apokatastasis-yearning formed by Johann Christoph and Christoph Blumhardt. Blumhardt Jr. was a Social Democrat.
  • Virtaniemi, Matti-Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The purpose of this study is to investigate the dimensions of the existential process manifested in the narratives of ALS patients. ALS is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease to which there is no curative treatment and that leads to death typically within a few years due to respiratory failure. The existential process is both psychological and spiritual. The research material of this study was collected by interviewing six ALS patients, three times each, within one year. This narrative study seeks to find answers to the following questions: 1.) What kinds of existential processes do ALS patients undergo during their illness? 2.) How does one create meaning of life and find meaning in life when ALS threatens one’s existence? 3.) How does religious spirituality contribute to an ALS patient’s perceived meaningfulness of life? A combination of three narrative analysis methods allowed the study to understand the existential process of an ALS patient. The thematic analysis revealed the fundamental issues in life, or existential dimensions. Existential dimensions were further divided into two groups: first, the ultimate concerns in life and second, meaning in life and meaninglessness of life. The first group involved anxiety of fate, the choice (of the permanent ventilator) concerning existence, loss of autonomy, responsibility and existential guilt, functional loss and shame for disability, agony of failing respiration, menacing future and death. The things that the interviewees considered most important in their lives are in the present study called sources of meaning in life: close relationships, work, helping others, nature, life in itself, personal growth, hope, and connection to the transcendent. The experience of the meaningfulness of life correlates with the amount of the sources of meaning in life. Six life narratives were construed into four types of illness narrative by help of the holistic form analysis. Each type of illness narrative demonstrates a different existential process. The mini stories of the interviewees as well as their structural and meaning analysis revealed the changes in the existential dimensions manifesting in the existential process. Mini stories also provided insight into how religious spirituality changes and how it contributes to one’s perceived meaningfulness of life. The effect was positive in three of the four narrative types. The threefold narrative analysis provides an integrated view of the existential process of an ALS patient. The existential process consists of two separate but nested spiritual processes: one involves processing the ultimate concerns in life, while the other involves processing meaning in life and meaninglessness of life. The ultimate concerns may transform, but they will remain present until the end of life. This study found that addressing these ultimate concerns does not prevent one from perceiving life as meaningful and even strengthening this view. One may need either to reconstruct the sources of meaning in life, or to find new ones or create new meanings. Thus the study sheds light on the puzzling finding: quality of life in ALS is maintained while physical function declines.
  • Sildegs, Uģis (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Abstract Nikolajs Plāte (1915-1983) was one of the most prominent and prolific Latvian Lutheran pastors and theologians to carry the mission of the Church through the complicated Soviet period. The aim of this study is to extend a critical understanding of the Church s Soviet totalitarian history through the experience of one man and his silent heroics of Christian resilience and steadfastness in a hostile environment. The narrow focus of the study is on Plāte's life, work, and theology. The broader focus, however, is on church life in general, challenging struggles for survival, and the various means of coping with the emerging realities. As one of the pastoral generation serving the Church during these grueling times, the so-called old guard, Plāte provides a good case study to illustrate the troubled road of a Lutheran clergyman adjusting to a new ghetto-like environment. His intellectual exertions to respond to these challenges are here referred to as theology in the ghetto, where his theological thinking is better viewed in terms of an existential reaction than an academic discipline. In the first part of this work (I- III), I offer a step-by-step historical narrative of Plāte's life and work. After his early education in the hopeful years of the first independence, the disastrous impact of the Soviet occupation and World War II transformed the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church and pastoral service into something unrecognizable. The primary focus of the study is on Plāte's ministry, first in the Pope, Rinda, and Selga congregations (1945-1953) and, second, in the parish of Rucava (1953-1983). Living under constant Soviet pressure, some painful adjustments had to be made. The work of the Church was increasingly isolated, degraded, and marginalized. Membership declined. The permanent condition of crisis drove people to live in survival mode, and the stagnation of the Church was difficult to reverse. While suffering abuse from the atheistic authorities, Plāte tried to stay active and faithful, to keep working where possible. However, his approach and mentality changed visibly. During this time, his ministry was increasingly dominated by defensive thinking and reactions. Even some antisocial traits became manifest. Thus, in this study I describe and analyze Plāte's inward-looking, conservative mindset, which resulted from the outer totalitarian environment. Only at the end of his life in the beginning of the 1980s was Plāte able to observe some hopeful signs of life for the depressed Church and start looking forward to a better future. In the later part of the work (IV- V), Plāte s activities at the seminary and his theological production are analyzed. I describe the body of his writings in chronological sequence. Plāte's texts reveal him as a prolific writer who produced several thousand pages of theological material. I identify and examine his direct and indirect remarks and references concerning the Soviet conditions. At that time, when the Bible, faith, and the Church had come under furious attack by anti-religious propaganda, Plāte's chief concern with his theology was to serve the loyal remnant of the Church and to respond to these clear challenges by addressing the growing gap between Christianity and society, trying to heal the degraded life of the Church, and restoring compromised biblical authority. Plāte believed that the constraints of Soviet totalitarianism could be overcome only by trusting in the power of God s Word, by means of which the Lord could help, intervene in, and overcome the temporal bonds of history. His stress on God s Word thus becomes the key for understanding the underlying feature of his theology.
  • Saarelainen, Suvi-Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    For young people, the occurrence of cancer disrupts the coherence of life and disturbs hopes and dreams for the future. The aim of this research was to discover, with a narrative approach, how religion and worldview impacted the coping process of emerging adults with cancer. The data consists of life tree drawings, autobiographical interviews, blogs, and a letter which were all subjected to narrative analysis. The textual data were analyzed utilizing both a narrative holistic analysis and a thematic perspective. Additionally, the drawings were analyzed by elaborating a visual-narrative analysis. The introductory article represents a meta-analysis of four independent articles. These articles encompass the appearance of religiosity in the coping process; spheres of religion, spirituality, and the secular as manifested in the meaning-making process; and the appearance of hope and despair in the participants future narratives. Since the drawings provided a novel approach to the visual-narrative analysis, one article scrutinizes the analytical process in more detail. Building on the results of the articles, the introductory article seeks to find answers to the following questions: 1.) How does the surrounding context of an individual, and their close relationships, affect the coping process and the experience of meaning? 2.) What are the conditions for the process of coping with cancer to become a meaningful part of the self and life? What is the relation between discovering meaning in cancer and experiencing meaning in life? These questions are scoped with a theoretical discussion about meaning in life within a narrative understanding. It was found that the meaning-making process occurs particularly within the spheres of self/others. For many of the participants, cancer caused a loss of meaning in multiple areas of life. Through the process of meaning-making, an individual can appraise cancer as a meaningful part of life and self. As the changes in the self were situated in the personal context of life, loved ones had a significant role in the coping and meaning-making. Further, the buffered self and important relationships were perceived as a source of meaning in cancer. Furthermore, not all individuals have the need to find meanings in cancer. Therefore, meanings made from the crisis cannot be dealt with as a parallel concept to meaning in life. Even though a meaningful life is constructed from multiple sources of meaning, hope and despair are likely to follow the emerging adults for years to come. Therefore, young people with cancer should be encountered as holistic human beings with individual needs in order to guide them through the emotional effusion that cancer arouses during treatment and in the long term.
  • 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.