Faculty of Theology


Recent Submissions

  • Ikonen, Marko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In my doctoral thesis I emphasize Clinical supervision. The purpose of my study is to clarify the pattern on the systematic structure and the interaction between the supervisor and the supervisee. I pay attention to their interaction – how they interact together and individually. The studies carried out previously have been fragmentary. Universal Clinical Supervision is used to support professional work in many contexts,and they are even more perplexed. The components of this activity is very difficult to shape and perceive and there exists disagreement as well. There are plenty of conceptual viewpoints for this action and the theories are attributable to them. The professional guidance is internationally construed in an incoherent way. As a result of these ambiguous concepts, these aspirations have resulted in irresolvable dissolution. There is no particular theory for Clinical Supervision. Furthermore, Practices of Clinical Supervision and Työnohjaus are different around the world and the scientists ́ perception of the system of concepts are incoherent. Therefore the study is being progressed slowly. The analyses made during the last decades have maintained or even increased disparity and discrepancy. My study has three objectives.1) First I want to demonstrate that the previous approaches are incomplete to clarify these problems in professional guidance. Thus I declare why these viewpoints are confusing and have retained these problems. 2) Secondly I substantiate that all kind of guidance is constructed with a model of fixed composition and permanent elements. 3) Last but not least l will demonstrate how I will be able to formulate this broader conception. My analysis is derived from the dialogue between the structures and elements connected with philosophical literature. I explicate how the supervisor and the supervisee act individually and together. The structural study complies with the objectives mentioned above. The material for my study consists of articles written in the international nursing magazines and published in Finnish literature of Työnohjaus. In the essential literature published in the 1980’s, there is a lot of debate on its purpose and conceptions to be clarified. My study is to interconnect philosophical literature in connection with human intentional conduct and interaction. As a supervisor I take advantage of my practical experiences in my doctoral thesis. Every sort of guidance is composed of the fundamental norms and they are fixed universally applicable elements. Therefore the supervisor is able to maintain the acceptable supervision praxis. If the patient is not willing to take professional assistance, the guidance is meaningless. Furthermore, the supervisor is compelled to accept conditional premeditated aspirations. The guidance is constructive and efficient if the supervisor takes all these aspects into consideration. Especially if the supervisor attaches importance to preconditions that make individual and social behavior possible. With the help over the structure, the supervisor is to maintain the substance of guidance. The praxis - empirical co-operation - engages both supervisor and supervisee and gets them involved in interaction. After reading my study the supervisors will be able to comprehend and analyze this conduct profoundly. Therefore my thesis gives the tools to develop international study and improve supervisor’s professional praxis.
  • Kalliokoski, Taina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This doctoral dissertation studies the meaning of communality both as a concept and as a phenomenon. Taking various meanings of the Finnish word for communality, yhteisöllisyys as a starting point, I explore the conditions of how communalities take a form and dissolve, and the relationship between different forms of the human good and communality. The research applies and develops further three theories: Raimo Tuomela’s collective action theory that distinguishes the we-mode collective action from I-mode collective action, Christian Smith’s theory of basic human goods, and Russell Hardin’s theory of trust as encapsulated interests. The methodological approach is philosophical conceptual analysis, which I have used to analyze the meanings of concepts, to create definitions of community and communality, and to formulate the ethical implications different meanings of communality have in terms of the human good. The research clarifies the meaning of community and communality and the relationship between these two concepts. The conclusion of the analysis is a definition of community comprising of five conditions called the group condition, the recognition condition, the interaction condition, the ethos condition and the continuity condition. Communality as a phenomenon is defined as human dynamic interaction processes which interacting agents experience each in their own way. Community as a social formation may exist even if there is no experienced communality between community members. The conditions of how communality as a phenomenon takes place are analyzed on three levels: level of preconditions, level of action, and level of experience. Formation of communality presupposes that it is possible for a person to recognize their co-agency in collective action, and that no external or internal conditions are inhibiting them from participating in collective action. Forms of communality based on we-mode collective action will not develop if agents do not recognize each other as co-agents, if they do not recognize a common interest, and if they do not commit themselves to pursue the common interest. Functional communality becomes continuous only if agents commit themselves to each other, to the aim of the collective action, or the ethos that emerges from the committed collective action. After the commitment, the prerequisites for trust as encapsulated interests are met and trust may evolve between co-agents. Agents may assess their experiences of collective action as either positive or negative. The basic human goods defined by Smith are 1) bodily survival, security, and pleasure, 2) knowledge of reality, 3) identity coherence and affirmation, 4) exercising purposive agency, 5) moral affirmation, and 6) social belonging and love, which when pursued all together may lead to human flourishing. In the third part of the research, I examine these basic goods as interests pursued as the goals of action, and as the states of affairs that are realized and maintained by private and collective action. By analyzing the basic goods and their opposites the non-goods, the research clarifies how communality that develops and maintains in the collective action process either fosters or prevents the realization of human good. The success or failure of collective action depends on the ability of co-agents to make positive and negative evaluation about the social and teleological content of collective action both in the I-mode and in the we-mode. Communality may become symbiotic, in which case the I-mode agency of a person weakens or vanishes, and communality becomes intrinsically destructing. Communality may enhance or destroy the basic human goods on different grounds: as an environment that does not enable the co-actors to pursue human goods, on the grounds of the nature and identity of the community, for functional reasons, or for normative reasons that depend on the relationships between the goods of community and the basic human goods. In order to develop and enhance communality that strengthens the human good, the community ethos has to include an idea of practicing criticism. This means that the community ethos needs to protect the members’ ability to evaluate the collective action and the ethos. Community needs to have accepted means to criticize community practices and ethos, and measures with the help of which to take the criticism and revaluation seriously.
  • Pulkkinen, Marika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines how Paul uses psalms and how this is related to the uses and status of the psalms in the late Second Temple Judaism. The study focuses on clusters of explicit and subtle references to psalms in Paul’s Letter to the Romans and his First Letter to the Corinthians. Furthermore, the study covers the psalm quotations paired together or with another scriptural text and a selection of four individually occurring quotations from a psalm. The following questions are answered in this study: What was the status of psalms within Jewish scriptures for Paul? What does their use as different clusters tell us of the source of Paul’s citations and exegesis of the psalms? How do the individually occurring quotations from psalms differ from quotation clusters or pairs of quotations? What kind of scriptural texts does Paul combine when quoting from or referring to the psalms, and which interpretive technique enables him to do so? Paul probably made excerpts from scripture when he had access to the written form of scripture; these excerpts may have aided him when he composed his letters. However, in this study I demonstrate that Paul did not rely on earlier formatted clusters of quotations, as has been claimed in previous studies. Rather, he compiled and modified the quotations to fit into their new literary context. Regarding the individually occurring quotations from psalms, this study shows that, in a similar manner as the Pentateuchal or the prophetic texts, Paul does likewise use psalms on their own to foster or to prove his argument (Rom 8:36; 15:3; 1 Cor 10:26; 2 Cor 4:11). Hence, Paul considers the psalms as enjoying authoritative status, and his use of them also strengthens their authority among the community reading Paul’s letters. Since previous research has often presumed that Paul studied the text of the psalms in a synagogue setting by reciting them, their possible attestation in such gatherings is discussed in chapter 3. Although the knowledge of liturgy of the late Second Temple period is sparse, prayer is largely attested in written documents (literary depictions, papyri, inscriptions, DSS manuscripts), and hence it can be concluded that it played a central role both in private and public piety. Furthermore, psalms were employed in various functions in the late Second Temple period: in addition to their use in private and communal devotional life, psalms were read, cited and interpreted as carrying a prophetic message for the contemporary reader. Moreover, psalms were used to study the history of the interpretive community. This study shows that Paul’s use of psalms reflects these varying uses of psalms during the late Second Temple period. In conclusion, this study confirmes the earlier notion that the tripartite division of the Hebrew Bible was not yet established at the turn of the Common Era. Since it is uncertain when the psalms gained authoritative status in Jewish communities, Paul’s use of the psalms sheds light on the matter: Paul seems to hold the psalms as authoritative by quoting from them in a similar manner as he does from the Pentateuchal and prophetic texts. Paul uses the psalms for legal exegesis and instruction for the right way to live, functions that were reserved only for the interpretation of the Torah in later rabbinic Judaism. However, this tradition obviously developed after Paul, since he uses non-Pentateuchal texts as sources for legal exegesis as well.
  • Nurmi, Suvielise (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation examines the idea of relationality as a feature of moral agency and analyses the implications of such an idea in ethical theories as frameworks for environmental ethics. The thesis fills the gap in academic philosophical discussion concerning the relationality of the operations of moral agency. The idea of relationality, although being quite used in characterising (human) nature in environmental philosophy, has not been scrutinised as constitutive for moral operations. The thesis starts by analysing the concepts of moral agency in the three distinguished strategies of environmental ethics: the modernist one, which is used as the reference line, evolutionary naturalism and ecofeminist constructivism. The latter two take a critical stance towards the first, but from philosophically opposing directions. It is shown that these criticisms parallel each other and are directed towards a converging idea of ecologically relational agency. The thesis continues by constructing the idea of ecologically relational moral agency pointed to by the parallel lines of thought in evolutionary naturalism and ecofeminist constructivism as they are represented in environmental ethics. The concept is sketched through interdisciplinary support from the natural sciences, psychological and philosophical anthropology, epistemology, and philosophy of mind and action. It is argued that a currently plausible scientific notion of moral agency challenges the view widely presupposed by modern moral philosophy. According to the analysed sources, human mental processes, knowledge and value formation included, are extended to the environments of the individual mind, relationships providing knowledge, experience and intention are mutually interactive, and even intentional activity is mainly a non-individual issue. Research on these features refer to environmental relationality of mental operations. Relational agency fulfils the environmentalist’s quest for a plausible notion of agency. However, to consider moral identity, as well as knowing, reasoning and acting as ecologically relational challenges common conceptions of moral autonomy and rationality. Question is raised whether this compromises the autonomy and authority of ethics. The philosophical implications of the conceptual relational shift are analysed in contexts of moral naturalism and moral constructivism in order to clarify the implications of relational moral agency for environmental ethics. Implications of ecologically relational notion of agency are considered in Humean naturalism, neo-Aristotelian naturalism (especially Martha Nussbaum) and neo-Kantian constructivism (especially Christine Korsgaard). Korsgaard’s theory is proposed to offer a mediating tool to reconcile relational explanation with normative authority. It is argued that the relational approach to ethics can survive also the environmentalists’ quests for moral realism, although it challenges the usual restrictions of metaethical categories and points towards a modest, relationally realist ethics. With regard to normative ethics, relationality implies that the material as well as social relationships can be normatively binding for the reasons derived from the nature of morality itself. Keywords: relational agency, moral agency, ethics, environmental philosophy, philosophical anthropology, environmental ethics, naturalism and constructivism, relational realism
  • Nissinen, Vesa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    MODERNEJA TEOLOGISIA TULKINTOJA KOSMISESTA EVOLUUTIOSTA JA MAAN ULKOPUOLISEN ÄLYLLISEN ELÄMÄN MAHDOLLISUUDESTA Olemmeko yksin maailmankaikkeudessa? Tämä kysymys nousee nykyään usein esiin. Scifi-tuotanto on jo pitkään esittänyt skenaarioita Maan ulkopuolisista elämänmuodoista. Nykyään tuo kysymys esitetään yhä useammin myös luonnontieteiden piirissä. Tämä johtuu erityisesti siitä, että tähtitiede on löytänyt tuhansia planeettoja eri tähtien ympäriltä. Lisäksi tiedetään, että maailmankaikkeudessa on kaikkialla samat luonnonlait ja samoja alkuaineita. Ovatko luonnonvakiot sellaisia, että alkuaineet ajan oloon sopivissa olosuhteissa prosessoituvat elämäksi ja ehkä myös älylliseksi elämäksi (ETI, extra terrestrial intelligence) Maan ulkopuolella? Yhä useammat tutkijat pitävät todennäköisenä sitä, että jonkinlaista elämää on myös muualla. Tällainen näkökulma synnyttää myös maailmakatsomukseen ja uskontoon liittyvää pohdintaa. Kysymystä Maan ulkopuolisesta elämästä on pohdittu jo vuosituhansia. Erityisesti filosofit ja teologit ovat sitä harrastaneet. Kun uuden ajan luonnontiede alkoi kehittyä, teologia on vähitellen jäänyt tällä alueella yhä enemmän syrjään. Nyt on kuitenkin tultu tilanteeseen, missä teologisen tutkimuksen on syytä reagoida uusiin tähtitieteen löydöksiin. Voisiko olla niin, että Jumalan luomistyön seurauksena elämä onkin maailmankaikkeuden yleinen ominaisuus? Voisiko olla niin, että ihmisten lisäksi Jumala on luonut myös muita älyllisiä olentoja, joilla mahdollisesti on omat kulttuurinsa, uskontonsa ja jumalasuhteensa? Voiko ETI olla ”Jumalan kuva” kristillisen teologian näkökulmasta? Tällaisten kysymysten äärellä joudutaan pohtimaan, miten esimerkiksi kristilliset ajatukset ilmoituksesta ja pelastuksesta ovat sovellettavissa Maan ulkopuoliseen todellisuuteen. Näyttää siltä, että modernilla teologisella tutkimuksella on kykyä reagoida näihin haasteisiin. Tälle näkemykselle ovat luoneet pohjaa lukuisat merkittävät ajattelijat. Erityisen haastava on sellainen näkökulman muutos, missä ihmistä ja Maata ei enää nähdä maailmankaikkeuden ja luomistyön keskuksina. Skenaario siitä, että ihminen jonakin päivänä kohtaa vierasta elämää, haastaa pohtimaan tähän liittyviä eettisiä kysymyksiä. Koska tietoa mahdollisen ETI:n luonteesta ei ole, soveltuvan etiikan pohtiminen on varsin haasteellista. Teoriassa ETI voi olla paljon ihmistä älykkäämpi ja hyväntahtoisempi. Toisaalta se voi olla myös Alien-elokuvien kaltainen brutaali olio. Sopivien tulkintojen ja työvälineiden löytämiseksi on suotavaa, että luonnontieteet, filosofia ja teologia tekevät yhteistyötä ETI-kysymyksessä.
  • Ahonen, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Finnish Mental Health Policy – Public Authority Governance in Protecting the Human Rights of Those with Mental Health Disorders. Following international examples, Finland began to dismantle psychiatric hospitals in the 1980s. Changes relating to the treatment of mental health disorders were influenced by many different ideas and objectives influenced by them. These trends led to a political decision to dismantle hospital institutions, which was justified as strengthening the human rights of the seriously ill. The aim of this research is to examine how public authority, in carrying out its mental health responsibilities, has sought to secure the fundamental and human rights of its citizens. Following five research questions were formulated: 1) What has been the political governance guiding the implementation of Finnish mental health policies? 2) What values and norms do the mental health policy governance documents contain? 3) How is mental health work understood and perceived in such mental health policy documents, what objectives do they set, and in which direction have they steered the development of mental health practices? 4) Which mental health-related aspects have been left out of or received little attention in the mental health policy documents? 5) How have Finnish mental health policies influenced the safeguarding of the fundamental and human rights of citizens with mental health disorders? The research methodology utilized in this study is systematic concept analysis. The research material includes primary sources and secondary sources. The primary sources consists of public policy documents describing the objectives, phenomena, and ideas that are then examined with the help of secondary sources which make up the research literature for this study. Examining mental health policy governance in Finland from 1970 to the present leads to the following observations: 1) The first documents governing mental health policies written in Finland clearly include concepts that concern the protection of the fundamental and human rights of seriously ill citizens. In the following decades, such objectives no longer appear in the written documents governing mental health policies. 2) The focus of mental health policies changed from protecting the fundamental and human rights of seriously ill citizens to the management of the mental health and wellbeing of the entire population. 3) The Finnish mental health policy focuses on the promotion of health, preventive care and development of a service system as part of welfare state policy. Because the objectives have been extensive and by their nature abstract, it has been impossible to form effective policy governance to achieve them. 4) It has not been possible to ensure the fundamental and human rights of seriously ill citizens with a development process focused on the service system. The concepts and paradigms utilized in the development process documents have directed the focus away from the questions relating to the realization of fundamental and human rights. 5) The ethos of wellbeing and preventive healthcare has steered attention away from the improvement of the position of the seriously ill. Public authority’s definition of a good life as well as the central focus of mental health governance in the development process of the service system has resulted in the seriously ill being forgotten in seemingly inclusive outpatient care. Key words: Mental health policy, human rights, mental disorders, public authority, service systems, agency
  • Kuivala, Petra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The doctoral dissertation "Never a Church of Silence: The Catholic Church in Revolutionary Cuba, 1959–1986" explores the histories of Catholicism in the Cuban revolution. The research traces both the intra-ecclesial discourse of the Catholic Church in the revolution and the lived experiences of Cuban Catholics in the revolutionary reality. The research addresses a topic scarcely acknowledged in international scholarship: religion in revolutionary Cuba. Among the lacunas in scholarly knowledge are the histories of Cuban Catholics in the revolutionary reality. While preceding scholarship has focused on the institutional histories of Cuban Catholicism, it has placed little attention on the lived experiences and quotidian life of Catholics in the revolution. Correspondingly, many of the social histories of the revolution have also remained silenced by the revolution’s dominant narratives, and hidden from scholars by the silence of the Cuban archives. Drawing on previously inaccessible Cuban primary sources, both documental and oral, the research provides new insights into the dynamics of Catholicism in the revolution and Catholic discourse on the revolution. The research presented here is based on an extensive amount of unstudied documents housed in the archives of the Catholic Church in Cuba. As these sources appear in international scholarship for the first time, they mark a significant step forward in historical knowledge about Catholicism and the Cuban revolution and represent a unique opening into post-1959 Cuban archives. The archival sources are complemented with oral history sources: interviews with Cubans narrating their individual and collective experiences in living the revolution as Catholics. The multitude of new sources both enables the discovery of new histories of Catholicism in the revolution and makes it possible to bridge the more institutional histories of the Catholic Church and the individual, personal histories of Cuban Catholics. While preceding scholarship has predominantly approached religion within the narrative framework of revolutionary historiography, this research analyzes the histories of Catholicism and the revolution pronounced by Cuban Catholic voices. In intra-ecclesial discourse, the sources enable an analysis of a large array of voices: those of the ecclesial hierarchy, clergy, and laypeople discussing and recounting distinctively Catholic histories of the revolution. The overarching conclusions of the research discuss the continuous, multidimensional agency of the Catholic Church in revolutionary Cuba, and consequently, the intrinsically intertwining interplay of religion and the revolution in the experiences of Cuban Catholics. While constructions highlighting the silence and absence of Catholicism in the revolution have previously framed scholarly paradigms, this study presents a more complex and nuanced analysis of Catholic life in the revolution. As a whole, this research provides a new opening for analyzing the Cuban revolution from the perspectives of lived experience, various social actors of the revolutionary society, and histories recounted by voices from within the revolutionary reality. Further illustrating the manifold role of religion in the Cuban revolution is the multidisciplinary nature of this research project. In addition to the study of church history and theology, this work is situated in the field of Cuban studies. It also intersects with Latin American and Caribbean studies, studies of oral history, and the study of lived religion.
  • Anton, Emil (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This dissertation explores the thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI on the theology of religions and interreligious dialogue. It consists of an introductory overview and four peer-reviewed articles. With a systematic analysis of key concepts, structures, and arguments, the dissertation contributes to a better understanding of a less appreciated area of Ratzinger’s theology. The two events that dominate commentaries as well as popular imagination on Ratzinger/Benedict’s contribution to the theology of religions and interreligious dialogue are the publication of Dominus Iesus in 2000 and the 2006 lecture at the University of Regensburg, both of which caused an uproar. More attention should be paid to Ratzinger’s personal theology of religions as expressed in his books, as well as to the 188 texts from Benedict XVI’s pontificate that relate to interreligious dialogue. Contrary to those who have tried to portray Ratzinger as a soteriological exclusivist, I argue that he is an optimistic restrictivist inclusivist, allowing for the salvation of a great number of non-Christians while not considering other religions instruments of salvation as such. Ratzinger’s inclusivism is structured around an objective and a subjective aspect, the vicarious representation of Christ and the Church (Stellvertretung) and some sort of a pistis or openness to God in the subject. A reinterpretation of purgatory provides the final solution to the salvation of “the many”. Ratzinger’s opposition to John Paul II’s interreligious Assisi meetings and his negativity about the Asiatic religions have also been exaggerated. Despite a strong juxtaposition between the theistic and mystical paths in the world of religions, Ratzinger hopes for an integration of the best elements of the mystical religions, and while cautious about multireligious and interreligious prayer, he provides criteria for their right realisation. A contradiction seems to emerge between Ratzinger/Benedict’s emphasis on truth as the ultimate goal of interreligious dialogue and his apparent endorsement of the idea that interreligious dialogue, or theological dialogue, is actually impossible. At the end of his papacy, Benedict maintains that interreligious dialogue does not seek to convert another, even though it should always aim at drawing closer to the truth. Pope Benedict XVI’s most central message to representatives of other religions concerns peace and non-violence, coupled with a call to a common witness to spiritual values in a secular society. Religiously motivated violence remains a central challenge for interreligious dialogue.
  • Hynynen, Tuomas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study describes the nature of teaching, doctrine, faith and approaches to ethical issues in the ethical statements of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. The research material consists of seven ethical or ethics-related statements approved by the bishops, a committee of the General Synod, or the Church Council between 2005–2010. These statements treat questions related to family ethics, medical ethics, treatment of asylum seekers, homosexuality, ethical investment, global responsibility and climate change. The study begins with a description of doctrine, faith, ethics, teaching, the nature of ethical statements and the general situation of the Church of Finland in 2005–2010. The main part of the study consists of analysing the seven statements. The analysis is conducted first studying each statement by itself (chapters 3–9) and then all seven together (chapter 10), resulting in an overview of the teaching, doctrine, faith and approaches to ethical issues, together with some critical observations. The ethical teaching of the Church of Finland is based on the Golden Rule and the dignity given to every human in Creation. The seven statements analysed differ from one another in their use of the Bible and their references to the teaching, faith, and previous ethical statements of the Church of Finland. Some statements rely on arguments based on the Bible and Church teaching. Others build their arguments on human rights and assumed consequences on those affected. The research material contains very few references to the Ten Commandments, the Lutheran Confessions or the Catechism of the Church of Finland approved by the General Synod in 1999. The ethical statements seem to form a tradition or continuum of teaching. This tradition is not as authoritative as the doctrine or the Catechism of the Church. Yet the clergy and other employees of the Church are to some extent expected to commit to the teaching outlined in these statements. The ethical statements analysed build their arguments on consequences on those affected, stakeholders or the Created world, rather than the experience or expectations of those affected. Christian faith is described in the statements as a source of motivation to ethical action. Some statements encourage Christians to take active role in ethical action. Global trends or the example of other churches are portrayed as sources of motivation in these statements. Other statements outline what should or should not be allowed in the Church or the Finnish society. These statements portray the teaching of the Bible and the Church as normative. The statements are formulated in a way that portrays the Bible, Church teaching, the nature of mankind and good consequences all pointing to the same ethical conclusions in harmony. This harmony is achieved by making compromises in the way each is portrayed. The statements analysed emphasise careful situational ethical reasoning, yet the teaching expressed in the statements is based on a tradition of Biblical teaching, Church documents and ecumenical interests. It is possible that some ethical statements are also used to build ecumenical relations or the position of the Church in the Finnish society. The statements are written in the middle of a tension between different ways to interpret the Bible, Church teaching and different expectations. Each statement draws arguments from different sources that support the position taken by the authors of the statement. Based on the research, the ethical reasoning of the Church contains and combines a number of different methods, arguments and conclusions, and therefore it is not possible to draw a uniform picture of the nature of these statements.
  • Kaira, Terhi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This doctoral dissertation in the sociology of the church examines strategic thinking in the Evangeli-cal Lutheran Church of Finland since the turn of the millennium. The dissertation answers the following research questions: What kind of strategic thinking can be seen in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland? How has this strategic thinking evolved? What are the opportunities for and obstacles to strategic thinking? The research material comprises 39 approved strategy documents of the church and aggregated survey data from two parish vicars. The study focuses on the church as a whole, its areas of work, dioceses, and parishes. The study adopts a classical strategy theory approach. Particular attention is paid to the strategies’ content. The study’s results present a material analysis of the characteristics of the church’s strategic thinking as a whole, consisting of 29 different elements. Each element of strategic thinking describes the church’s identity, strategic choices or strategy processes. The results show that the church is striving through its strategies to justify, reinforce, and maintain the essential features of its community identity. Through its visions and choices, the church’s strategic thinking attaches itself to an understanding of the dynamism and emergent causes of reality. In making its strategic choices, the church appears to be following its own timetable and seeking reform. The study suggests that the church’s strategic thinking is characterised by trust in leadership and protection. There is a hopeful attitude concerning the future. Strategy processes have evolved over the reviewed period in a more open direction. The church’s common strategy serves as a framework for other church administration strategies. Although a common strategy clearly guides its overall planning process, the church’s strategic thinking is characterised by each actor’s freedom and a broad strategic leeway. The study reveals that the church’s strategic thinking not only evinces a strongly classical approach to strategy but also a processual, systemic, and evolutionary approach. The study therefore reinforces the notion that strategy-theoretical approaches do not appear to be distinct, but rather blend with and complement one another. Keywords: strategic thinking, the church’s community identity, future work, vision and choices, change.
  • Jankko, Eriikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    “The Child in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland” The aim of this study was to examine what it is to be a child and to be like a child and how to become like children according to the normative texts that direct the faith and the actions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF). I used social ethical conceptual analysis as a method to develop a tool that helps to make conceptual distinctions that clarify the concepts, conceptions and discussions of being a child. This conceptual tool can be useful in improving co-operation with children in the Church as well as in society. In addition, I investigated what child theology is in the context of ELCF. The sources of this study are the Bible, the Book of Concord (BSELK) and the liturgical and juridical texts that direct the faith and the actions of the ELCF. The normative bases of these texts differ from each other. Therefore, I analysed how child-related concepts and conceptions in the different sources impact the discussions on being a child, the varieties of goodness with being a child, and co-operation with children. I searched for child-related concepts and conceptions and analysed them. The lexical analysis of the term lapsi (child) showed that the concept of “child” is twofold. First, being a child is an age- and development-based concept, that is, it is related to the stage of life called lapsuus (childhood; German: die Kindheit). Secondly, the concept “lapseus” (childship; German: die Kindschaft) refers to a relation-based idea of being a child. The English term “childship” refers to the relation of being a child, but the term is seldom used. Additionally, the metaphors of being a child structure both individual and collective identity. By means of this conceptual analysis I identified the varieties of children’s “goodness” that are aimed at and how the value of the child is justified through using different child- and childhood-related conceptual systems of the normative texts. There is a rich store of child-related concepts, though underutilized. There are tensions between the different conceptions of children and different ideals of their agency. The conception of being a child is narrow or out of date in many texts. The different conceptions of being a child can be clarified by making use of conceptual distinctions and recognizing the sociocultural context of the texts. It is possible to observe the development of child-related conceptions in the sources. For example, the inclusivity of child metaphors has increased. The child-related conceptions identified in the source material offer insights into social and theological conceptions of being a child. Jesus’ and Martin Luther’s conceptions of children differed from their contemporary religious and cultural ideas. They refused the conventional religious hierarchy and set the child as an example for adults and told the adults to become like children. Martin Luther emphasized the spiritual vocation of a child and of family life in his catechisms. The study shows parallels between being a child on the social level and on the theological level. In the Book of Concord, being a child (childship; German: Kindschaft) is a theological term that describes the core identity of a human being in the relationship with God. The term is a conceptual innovation of Luther’s and it is utilized in the Book of Concord and in the liturgical metaphors. It neutralizes the gender-based religious language and enables inclusive expressions that support a shared identity of being a child. It binds the agents together on both a social and theological level. The use of the relation-based term “childship” is rare in the English language. Therefore, there is a risk that the age- and development-based conceptions of children predominate, as English is widely used in the field of Childhood Studies. Being a child is a theological core identity in the Church. The theological child-related concepts can strengthen the value of being a child and the interdependence between human beings. They enrich the societal discussion on being a child. The theological metaphors and the ideals of agency related to being a child have an impact on the recognition of children. Therefore, the risks of irresponsible, narrow or totalitarian use of child-related concepts must be recognized and corrected. The nuanced store of child-related conceptions in the normative texts that direct the confession of the Church is an underutilized resource in the Church. The exemplarity of being a child could be used to represent both an ideal of lifelong learning and our ontological dependence on other human beings, creation and God. The language of being a child enriches the Church’s conceptions of God and human beings. Being a child is a social and theological basic relation of human beings. The ideal of being a child leads us towards other people, since every human being shares being a child and therefore the mutual relation-based idea of childhood. Keywords: child, childhood, childship, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, theology, social ethics, childhood studies
  • Tekoniemi, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study examines and reconstructs the textual history of 2 Kings 17 both in light of the preserved textual evidence and in light of the literary-critical method. The analysis of textual differences between Septuagint (LXX), the Old Latin (OL), and the Masoretic text (MT) and the reconstruction of the oldest text attainable forms the backdrop to the more hypothetical aspects of text-historical study. The text-critical study of the Greek and Latin witnesses shows that the Old Greek (OG) version of 2 Kings 17 was translated from a Hebrew Vorlage often even radically differing from the MT. In most cases it can be shown that the MT in fact exhibits signs of later editing. Many of the cases have both historiographical and redaction critical repercussions. Literary critically, LXX can help us reconstruct multiple text-historical layers otherwise out of our reach. Many of the proto-Masoretic changes can likely be dated to the Hellenistic period or even later. The literary critical study of the chapter proves in many ways more complex than the comparison of many of the text-critical variants. It can be concluded without a doubt that the text has grown through the centuries even in passages where there is no text-critical evidence of this growth. However, the methodological limitations of literary criticism become clear when discerning such a complex chapter as 2 Kings 17: in many cases the textual evolution may have happened in multiple different ways. Furthermore, differing conclusions on certain text-critical cases can have far-reaching consequences on the literary-critical analysis. Thus, as supposed by the literary critics for well over a century, the textual data shows beyond doubt that there has happened vast editing and rewriting of 2 Kings 17 even at a very late date. Text-critical considerations are therefore not only useful, but likely invaluable to all scholarly work on 2 Kings 17, and Books of Kings as a whole.
  • Heinilä, Kimmo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    It has been claimed that there was a lack of uniformity among the first Confirmation practices during the Reformation era. However, the classic types of Confirmation (catechetical, hierarchical, sacramental and traditional) do not give a realistic picture of the practices used in Central Europe during that time. On the contrary, a major amount of the orders of Confirmation were formed in a similar way with catechetical instruction, confession of faith, praying for the children, and admission to First Communion. So, most likely, there were mainly two distinguished traditions of admission in 16th-century Germany: The non- Confirmation that derived from Luther and the Confirmation of Bucer. Luther included the motifs of strengthening to Baptism, catechetical instruction and the Holy Communion, but not to the rite of Confirmation. Instead of Luther, Confirmation blessing and the laying on of hands (latin: impositio manuum) had implications of strengthening for Bucer. Melanchton followed Bucer in arguing that the Holy Spirit was conferred by ‘impositio’ in the Confrmation practices of the Apostles. According to Luther, the Apostles did not use impositio in such a way. For him, the impositio meant prayer only. Confirmation blessing cannot strengthen people to be confirmed theologically, for the prayer does not belong to the means of grace. So, the subject of strengthening in a Confirmation rite cannot be God, but may be the parish. Confirmation has contained complicated and confusing questions for centuries right up until the present day, especially throughout the Lutheran world. It has been stated that it is impossible to define a common understanding of Lutheran Confirmation, because of the fact that Lutheran churches have developed in different directions depending on their cultural contexts. In the three main Confirmation study projects organized by the Lutheran World Federation (1957−1963, 1979−1986 and 1990−1995) scholars have reinterpreted Confirmation. According to them, Confirmation is not just a liturgical rite, it is also considered an educational process. Many Lutheran churches seem to have adopted this way of thinking afterwards (USA, Norway, Sweden). The Finnish Lutheran Church (FLC) has the curriculum (2017) for Confirmation classes, in which Confirmation itself and Confirmation classes contain the themes of strengthening Lutheran faith. Despite this, Confirmation classes are considered to be a preparation for Confirmation itself, but are not yet felt to be a true Confirmation. I argue that this situation is caused by two different liturgical and historical traditions. On the one hand, the FLC Confirmation classes derive from the admission examination of Luther and on the other hand, the Confirmation rite has its own liturgical and historical roots in the tradition of Confirmation developed by Bucer. So far, the FLC has not succeeded in combining these two traditions together. This thesis claims that it is possible to adopt a new paradigm and concept for Confirmation, in which both traditions, Lutheran and Bucerian, can be combined in one entity, so that the Confirmation class and the Confirmation Mass would both be seen as an integral part of each other. In this manner, Confirmation is not just a final rite but will already begin while starting the Confirmation class.
  • Porkka, Jouko (Diakonia University of Applied Sciences, 2019)
    Young confirmed volunteers’ (YCVs) motivation, religiosity, and community in the confirmation work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) are examined. The history of YCV activity is studied in order to understand it today. Motivation theories, theories on religious commitment, sense of community, and community of practice form the theoretical foundation of this study. This dissertation is composed of four articles, which pave the way for solving the main research question. The whole study sheds light on the matter of the YCVs’ motivations, expectations, experiences, and religiosity. The influence of YCV activity on their attitudes and opinions is another topic addressed. Furthermore, the analysis touches on the broader question of how all of this influences the YCVs’ lives. Two kinds of data and thus two research methods are used. The data examined in the first article describing the history of YCV activity consists of statistics from various sources in the ELCF. The other data was collected from the YCVs via questionnaires and from an international study on confirmation work and Christian youth work in Finland. Two separate international studies have been done on the topic, the first in 2007/2008 and the second in 2012/2013. In both, data was collected separately at the beginning and at the end of that confirmation time during which the YCVs were volunteering. Altogether four different sets of data on the YCVs were collected. Because there were significant changes in Finnish society between the first and the second data sets, the sets could be used to assess the impact of these changes on YCVs’ opinion, which was found to differ from the views of confirmands at large. The broad data also enabled an international comparison between confirmands and at some level also between volunteers in different countires. The quantitative data was analysed statistically using the SPSS tool. Wenger’s model of social learning is successfully applied to the phenomenon. The key result is that in YCV activity, learning occurs through doing when the objects of learning are models of acting. Learning modifies belonging, committing, and relating to a community. Learning also changes an individual’s identity by giving the individual more readiness to understand things, to act, and to feel a sense of belonging to a community. Following this model, each confirmation group may form a Christian community of practice with confirmands (novices), YCVs (veterans) and assistant teachers (experts). This means that in confirmation work, each of the confirmands finds their own role based on their motivation, skills, and interests. The confirmands receive the support of YCVs and assistant leaders in discovering the meaning of Christian faith, which is the aim of the confirmation work. However it is a tad difficult to determine the role of, pastors, youth workers or other paid staff in this applied model. It was also recognized that YCVs are a very diverse group of adolescents with various ways of believing and motivations to volunteer. However, the diversity is perhaps one of the assets of YCV activity. When working as a group, people with different strengths need and reinforce each other. The role of paid staff is to support this diversity and openess in the YCV community. When there is space enough for YCVs with different motivations and ways of believing, positive youth development occurs automatically. YCVs learn useful things, which are meaningful in their future, such as leadership, tolerance, and understanding and living Christianity. Although the results show that YCV activity has a positive influence on the development of many of the YCVs, this is not always the case. Some YCVs also experience bitter disappointments and negative experiences. Key words. Adolescent, motivation, religiosity, religious commitment, sense of community, community of practice, confirmation work, young confirmed volunteers (YCVs), volunteering, Christian nurturing, quantitative research.
  • Paananen, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    A standard approach in historically minded disciplines to documents and other artefacts that have become suspect is to concentrate on their dissimilarities with known genuine artefacts. While such an approach works reasonably well with relatively poor forgeries, more skilfully done counterfeits have tended to divide expert opinions, demanding protracted scholarly attention. As there has not been a widespread scholarly consensus on a constrained set of criteria for detecting forgeries, a pragmatic maximum for such dissimilarities—as there are potentially an infinite numbers of differences that can be enumerated between any two artefacts—has been impossible to set. Thus, rather than relying on a philosophically robust critical framework, scholars have been accustomed to approaching the matter on a largely case-by-case basis, with a handful of loosely formulated rules for guidance. In response to these shortcomings, this dissertation argues that a key characteristic of inquiry in historically minded disciplines should be the ability to distinguish between knowledge-claims that are epistemically warranted—i.e., that can be asserted post hoc from the material reality they have become embedded in with reference to some sort of rigorous methodological framework—and knowledge-claims that are not. An ancient letter by Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150–215 CE) to Theodore, in which two passages from the Longer Gospel of Mark (also known as the Secret Gospel of Mark) are quoted, has long been suspected of having been forged by Morton Smith (1915–1991), its putative discoverer. The bulk of this dissertation consists of four different articles that each use different methodological approaches. The first, a discourse analysis on scholarly debate over the letter’s authenticity, illuminates the reasons behind its odd character and troubled history. Second, archival research unearths how data points have become corrupted through unintended additions in digital-image processing (a phenomenon labelled line screen distortion here). Third, a quantitative study of the handwriting in Clement’s Letter to Theodore shows the inadequacy of unwittingly applying palaeographic standards in cases of suspected deceptions compared to the standards adhered to in forensic studies. Additionally, Smith’s conduct as an academic manuscript hunter is found to have been consistent with the standard practices of that profession. Finally, a study of the conceptual distinctions and framing of historical explanations in contemporary forgery discourse reveals the power of the methodologic approach of WWFD (What Would a Forger Do?), which has recently been used in three varieties (unconcealed, concealed, and hyperactive) to construe suspected documents as potential forgeries—despite its disregard of justificatory grounding in favour of coming up with free-form, first-person narratives in which the conceivable functions as its own justification. Together, the four articles illustrate the pitfalls of scholarly discourse on forgeries, especially that surrounding Clement’s Letter to Theodore. The solution to the poor argumentation that has characterized the scholarly study of forgeries is suggested to be an exercise in demarcation: to decide (in the abstract) which features should be acceptable as evidence either for or against the ascription of the status of forgery to an historical artefact. Implied within this suggestion is the notion of constraint, i.e., such that a constrained criterion would be one that cannot be employed to back up both an argument and its counter-argument. A topical case study—a first step on the road to creating a rigorous standard for constrained criteria in determining counterfeits—is the alternative narrative of an imagined creation of Clement’s Letter to Theodore by Smith around the time of its reported discovery (1958). Concealed indicators of authority, or the deliberate concealment of authorial details within the forged artefact by the forger, is established as a staple of the literary strategy of mystification, and their post hoc construction as acceptable evidence of authorship is argued to follow according to criteria: 1) that the beginning of the act of decipherment of a concealed indicator of authority has to have been preceded by a literary primer that is unambiguous to a high degree, 2) that, following the prompting of the literary primer, the act of deciphering a concealed indicator of authority has to have adhered to a technique or method that is unambiguous to a high degree, and 3) that, following the prompting of the literary primer and the act of decipherment, both of which must have been practiced in an unambiguous manner to a high degree, the plain-text solution to the concealed indicator of authority must likewise be unambiguous to a high degree.
  • Väätäinen, Matti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Ecclesiology has been one of the rising areas in systematic theology in the recent decades. The leading, paradigmatic theme has been communion ecclesiology: the unity of the church and the fellowship of Christians have been understood generally as communion, meaning shared life (koinonia). This kind of koinonia or communion of the church is justified by a trinitarian way on the basis of the unity and distinction of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The unity of the church is manifested in its sacramental life in different local churches. The purpose of this study was to investigate Wolfhart Pannenberg’s (1928-2014) undestanding of the unity of the church as communion. The task of the study included an analysis of the systematic theological prerequisities for the unity of the chuch as communion in Pannenberg’s thinking. It was assumed – as the central hypothesis – that the whole of Pannenberg’s ecclesiological scheme is focused on and structured around the theme of the unity of the church. It was also presumed that the theme of unity is central in his mind-set not only because of his ecumenical activity but also because of the contents, main questions, and inner logic of his own comprehensive theological system. Pannenberg’s insights were thus to analyse in the overall context of this theology. The method used was systematic immanent by nature. The results of the study proved that the hypothesis was correct: Pannenberg’s view on the unity of the church as communion with the specific internal dimensions and solutions is connected with the general guiding principles of his theology – specifically with its foundational question concerning the unity of trinitarian God. Pannenberg offers a carefully structured systematic theological basis for striving for the unity of the church. At the same time he shows by a theologically justified way why the unity of the church is important in the first place: it is connected with the appearance or coming of the eschatological kingdom of God – that is: the manifestation of the one final truth about God, salvation, and the whole existence. Pannenberg sees the church as an anticipating sign of the kingdom of God in history. According to him, the church can credibly be this kind of a sign only if it’s one. That is: when it’s one communion comprising all Christian churches. Thus, the unity it not just an additional value but an important value in itself. According to Pannenberg, the unity of the church comprises both spiritual and visible aspects. He refers to this by describing the unity of the church primarily in terms of the body of Christ (sacramental communion), but also by the terms of the people of God (the concrete, living fellowship of the church). In this way, Pannenberg’s model is characterized by a nuanced ontology of communion. At the same time he offers some remarkable solutions to the central challenges to the unity of the church – such as questions concerning the ordained ministry.
  • Antin, Katri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This thesis examines how divine knowledge is understood to be transmitted from God to human beings in the seven sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms (1QHa 5:12‒6:33; 7:21‒8:41; 9:1‒10:4; 15:29‒36; 17:38‒19:5; 19:6–20:6; 20:7–22:42). A modern scholarly definition of divination is used as an aid to analysis, and how the transmission of divine knowledge is understood in the sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms is discussed in relation to previous theories about the divinatory practices of the Second Temple period. The demarcations and structure of each Thanksgiving Psalm are discussed by noting scribal practices. The sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms can be grouped together by their inclusion of various sapiential themes, forms, and vocabulary, but when it comes to the transmission of divine knowledge, they form a heterogenous group. Four sapiential out of the seven Thanksgiving Psalms (1QHa 5:12‒6:33; 7:21‒8:41; 9:1‒10:4; 20:7–22:42) depict a teacher of wisdom as the mediator of divine knowledge, the divine knowledge itself described as a mystery (רז) that concerns God’s deterministic plan for his creation. In 1QHa 5:12‒6:33 and 7:21‒8:41, God’s deterministic plan are described in terms of two diverse ways. Previously, several sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms have been studied in relation to either sapiential divination or inspired interpretation of earlier traditions; thus far, however, it has gone unnoticed that same psalms include features of both phenomena. In 1QHa 5:12‒6:33, 7:21‒8:41, and 9:1‒10:4, divine knowledge is acquired and transmitted through the implicit interpretation of earlier traditions, but, instead of making this process visible, the transmission of divine knowledge is described as a sapiential revelatory process. These earlier traditions concern especially the creation. Both “biblical” and “non-biblical” compositions are interpreted in the same psalms, indicating that the division to “biblical” and “non-biblical” arises more from modern conceptions of the Bible than from that of the late Second Temple sources themselves. Transmission of divine knowledge includes both inductive and intuitive aspects. The sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms relate similar intuitive elements of the transmission of divine knowledge as the classical prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible. Nonetheless, the transmission of divine knowledge requires also elements that are more at home with inductive than with intuitive divination. According to 1QHa 15:29‒36, 17:38‒19:5, and 19:6–20:6, no mediator is needed to have access to divine knowledge.One possible explanation for why these psalms do not depict any human mediator is that they lack didactic elements, unlike 1QHa 5:12‒6:33, 7:21‒8:41, and 9:1‒10:4. The psalms 1QHa 9:1‒10:4, 15:29‒36, 17:38‒19:5, and 19:6–20:6 contribute to our understanding of the role divine knowledge played in praising God as well as in eschatological beliefs. On the other hand, 1QHa 5:12‒6:33, 7:21‒8:41, and 9:1‒10:4 not only describe the transmission of divine knowledge; these psalms could themselves have functioned as vehicles in that transmission. The process of transmitting divine knowledge can be examined as part of the literary and oral transmission of these psalms.
  • Siltala, Markku (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The purpose of this dissertation research was to investigate and illustrate how Finnish people describe their Post Death Contact (PDC) experiences and how they interpret the PDC effects on their perceptions about life and death. The results of this study were reflected through the framework of the Continuing Bonds grief theory (later CB-theory). According to Walter (1996) and Klass (2006b) the CB-theory’s PDC experiences are an intrinsic part of the grief process, which aim to re-design a deceased one’s biography by talking about the deceased one and by talking to the deceased one. The PDC experiences based on this research were investigated from the above mentioned point of view. The theoretical framework was derived from a synthesis of the earlier respected research about PDC experiences and the Continuing Bonds grief theory. The goal of the research was to disclose information, create concepts about and classification of the PDC experiences so that they could be recognised, handled and understood. The research questions were the following: 1) What kind of PDC experiences do Finnish people describe having had, 2) how do Finnish people say these experiences influence their perceptions about life and death, and 3) how do the PDC experiences of this research appear through the framework of the Continuing Bonds grief theory? Research data collection was based on the 613 documented narratives about the PDC experiences written by 195 Finnish people of which 83% were women and 17% were men, age range varying between 19 and 97 years. The data were collected at the end of 2013 and at the beginning of 2014. This research represents an empirical research data and it was conducted as a qualitative case research concerning the PDC experience narratives that were described. As to methodological decisions, content analysis was executed both as a data based and as a theory driven method. This research qualifies as a study of religion due to its appreciative approach. As an answer to the research question, a typological classification with distinguishable descriptions was created. It classified the PDC experiences into direct concrete experiences and indirect symbolically interpreted ones. In addition, the direct experiences were further classified by the way an experience was received into three main categories; external perceptions, internal feelings and a state of sleep experiences. Based on the classification of the 613 documented stories, 13 types of PDC experiences were found. According to the research results, the PDC experiences were regarded as natural and mainly positive. They were said to influence considerably and in many ways people’s perceptions on life and death by changing people’s conceptions about life continuing in death, and the presence of the deceased one after his or her death. The PDC experiences also diminished people’s fear of death or totally removed it. Additionally the PDC experiences reported to have an influence on people’s beliefs and choices. The results received of the PDC experiences were mainly in line with the CB-theory regarding continuing bonds in human relations in grief. However, based on this data, the main difference was that people also had PDC experiences outside of the so-called grief time; before the death, at the time of the death or a long time after the death. Furthermore, it was recognised that the PDC experiences had a significant impact on the re-design of a deceased one’s biography.
  • Kaše, Vojtěch (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In this thesis, I analyze the process of the gradual ritualization of early Christian meals in the first four centuries CE as accompanied by the increasing popularity of beliefs in the supernatural quality of the meal elements. I advocate a general hypothesis that the long-term cultural dynamics of repetitive collective rituals is to a substantial extent driven by how they attract human cognition, an aspect which is at least as important for cultural success of concrete ritual forms as how these ritual forms are designed in respect to fulfill particular social functions. After offering a short sketch of relevant cognitive theories of ritual (Chapter 1) and introducing the perspective of cognitive historiography (Chapter 2), I turn to the historical evidence. Tracing back in time the emergence of beliefs in the supernatural quality of the meal elements in the sources from the fourth and third century, it becomes evident that these beliefs cannot be explained by a reference to changes associated with the “Turn of Constantine” (Chapter 3). Therefore, in Chapter 4, I turn to the process of gradual ritualization of early Christian meal practices over the first two centuries. To emphasize the specificity of my approach in comparison to other trends in contemporary New Testament scholarship, in Chapter 5 I elaborate my approach in detail in respect to the Lord’s Supper tradition in Paul. In Chapter 6, I move back on a more theoretical level, while introducing a computational model of the cultural transmission of rituals, which is partly based on the historical process under scrutiny.
  • Juntunen, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This doctoral thesis in church sociology looked at an agency of the ages of 14 to 20 years of age. The research consists of four sub-publications, in which young people's life-based actions were studied from the perspective of outsourcing, educational and professional choices, good life views, and turning points. The theoretical frame of reference are the themes of life course and agency. The starting point of the research is the idea of a time-based agency for life. The past, present and future affect the formation of an agency (Emirbayer & Mische 1998; Hitlin & Elder 2007). According to the results of the research, it is important for the young people's life-cycle to have the power to choose and influence. The agency is the power to build a personalized life-cycle. The purpose of an agency that is based on the life-cycle is to experience meaningful and good life. The choice is linked to the young autonomous actor in building his own life course. Choice is the power of young people in relation to their own choices. The chances of young people in implementing an autonomous agency are varied and linked to operating environments. The youth agency appears in this study as a power to build a life-cycle of its own. However, different standards and age-related expectations affect the young people's life choices. The idea of self and of other people, that is, identity affects the actor, and vice versa, agency forms identity. The concept of self as an actor is constructed in relation to other people. The narrative of youth emphasizes the idea of self-confidence, ie confidence in it at various stages of life. With their versatility, young people can cope with the life course in challenging situations. The young people want to understand the experiences of life flow and give meaning to life events. The purpose of an agency that is based on the life-cycle is a meaningful, good life. Meaningful life is built on the values and things that are the most important of all for young people.

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