Teologinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Miroshnikov, Ivan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    It is no secret that Christian dogmatic theology adopted a generous number of its concepts from Platonist philosophy; by the time of the Cappadocian fathers, it was customary to talk about divine matters in Platonist terms. It is, however, much more difficult to track the Platonist influence during the formative centuries of Christianity. In the last decades, the academic community has gradually come to realize that research into the Platonizing tendencies of early Christian texts may shed new light both on their meaning and their historical context. This study advances along this path. Its focus is on the Gospel of Thomas, an early Christian sayings collection. The core hypothesis of the study is that Platonism in its “Middle” form had a significant impact on this text. An inquiry into the Gospel of Thomas with this particular viewpoint has not been done systematically prior to this dissertation. At least nineteen Thomasine sayings (i.e. one-sixth of the entire collection) were in some way influenced by the Platonist tradition: ● Sayings 56 and 80 make use of the Platonist notions that the world is a body and that every human body is a corpse in order to express a view of the world that is essentially anti-Platonist: the world is nothing but a despicable corpse. ● The opposition of the body to the soul portrayed in sayings 29, 87, and 112 presupposes a stark dualism of the corporeal vs. the incorporeal and appears to be indebted to Platonist anthropology. ● The Thomasine notion of being/becoming oua (sayings 11 and 106), oua ouōt (saying 4, 22, and 23), and monakhos (sayings 16, 49, and 75) has the closest parallels within Platonist speculation about oneness as an attribute of a perfect human, a perfect society, and God. ● The expression ōhe erat⸗ in sayings 16, 18, 23, and 50 reflects the Platonist usage of the Greek verb ἵστημι as a technical term for describing the immovability of the transcendent realm. ● Thomas 61 appropriates the opposition of being equal (to oneself) vs. being divided from the Platonist metaphysics of divine immutability and indivisibility. ● The imagery of the lion and the man in saying 7 portrays the struggle between reason and anger and is derived from Plato’s allegory of the soul, reinterpreted from a Middle Platonist perspective. ● The notion of the image in sayings 22, 50, 83, and 84 should be interpreted against the background of the Middle Platonist metaphysics, where the Greek term εἰκών came to designate both the model (= παράδειγμα) and its imitation (= ὁμοίωμα). These nineteen sayings and, consequently, the Gospel of Thomas as a whole bear testimony to the fact that, during the nascent years of Christianity, certain individuals acknowledged de facto that the Platonist tradition possessed theoretical principles, concepts, and terminologies that could adequately describe and convincingly explain the nature of ultimate reality. Although the Gospel of Thomas is neither the first nor the only early Christian text with Platonizing tendencies, it appears to be an important witness to the early stages of the process that eventually led to the formulation of Christian dogmas in Platonist terms.
  • Salonen, Anna Sofia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study explores charitable food assistance at the interface between religious organizations and people seeking material assistance. The study aims at understanding the phenomenon from the viewpoint of the food recipients and by taking into account the religious character of the food providers. Against the grain of the ideals of the Nordic welfare state, since the early 1990s, Finland has witnessed the emergence and proliferation of charitable food assistance across the country. In these venues, religious organizations regularly encounter some of the poorest in society. In contemporary society, where religion belongs to the realm of individual choice, people are considered to be entitled to decide whether, where, and to what degree they want to be exposed to religious content and take part in religious practices. Thus, in the context of the last resort material assistance provided by churches and other actors with religious ties, religion has the capacity to promote altruism, but also to provide a source of conflict. The data for this study was collected from four food charity organizations in the city of Tampere, Finland between the spring of 2012 and the spring of 2013. The data consists of observational notes from over seven months of participant observation in four food assistance organizations, interviews with 25 food assistance recipients, and written documents related to the operation of the organizations. The data was analysed with qualitative methods by applying principles of content analysis and grounded theory. The findings of this introductory article are drawn from a meta-analysis of four individual articles that have explored food charity from the recipients perspective, both in terms of religion and with regard to the material and social aspects of the assistance use. The findings of this study portray food assistance as a charitable sphere where assistance is provided only within the available resources, which are disengaged from the needs of the food recipients, and within the terms laid down by the charitable giver, which may include to varying degrees religious participation. The findings demonstrate that food charity has a limited ability to answer the social and material needs of the clients. The additional religious support that some of these organizations offered provided added value for some of the food recipients, but also caused tensions. The recipients of food charity have limited opportunities to influence the activity or to act in a different way, but at the same time their ability to withdraw from participating in the activity is limited. Negotiations over participation in religious activities in the food charity context illustrate these constraints, but also point out the tacit strategies used by the food recipients to voice their views. For the food recipients, religious participation served both as a constraint and as a means to demonstrate agency. The study demonstrates that as food charity providers, religious organizations become actors in the arena of welfare provision, but also in the disposal end of the food system. They engage in an activity that is not only about poverty, but also about the affluence that produces the preconditions of the assistance. Food charity can be regarded as an effort to overcome problems of food poverty and food waste, but it also bears the danger of constructing charity as an appropriate answer to the problems of poverty and of legitimizing the continuous production of waste by routinely turning this excess into a utility of last resort assistance. Emphasizing the provision of religious support over food can be regarded as a way for some organizations to overcome the problems of hands-on material assistance. While the findings indicate that this does not resonate strongly with the wishes of the clients, the religious emphasis of some of the assistance providers could serve as a potential source of religious critique of charitable solutions to food insecurity. The need for food charity is not diminishing, and in the current societal situation in Finland, efforts by non-governmental organizations to help those living in weak social and economic situations are increasingly called for. Therefore, it is important to take into consideration the prevalence of religious actors in this field and the varying ways they manifest their religious identity in their assistance practices. The religiousness of the charity providers influences the practices of the assistance work and adds a layer to the experiences of the food recipients. For religious and other non-governmental organizations participating in charitable food assistance, in turn, the findings provide food for thought in reflecting the multidimensional character of the activity that they engage in, the roles that they assume and are assigned in this field, and the ramifications that their work has for the people whom they aim to serve.
  • Nurminen, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Tutkimuksen hypoteesina on, että vanhoillislestadiolaisuudessa on 1970-luvulla erotettavissa kaksi toisistaan niin paljon poikkeavaa vanhurskauttamiskäsitystä, että käsitysten on sanottava olevan erilaiset. Tutkimus on tämän hypoteesin testaamista. Tutkimustehtävänä on siis osoittaa, että vanhoillislestadiolaisuudessa esiintyi 1970-luvulla kaksi vanhurskauttamiskäsitystä, ja että ne poikkeavat toisistaan niin paljon, että niiden ei voi katsoa esittävän samaa vanhurskauttamiskäsitystä. Menetelmänä on systemaattinen analyysi. Käsityksiä ei istuteta olemassa oleviin vanhurskauttamisopin malleihin vaan struktuurit nousevat lähteistä. Tutkimuksessa hypoteesin mukaisia käsityksiä nimitetään armolinjaksi ja pyhityslinjaksi. Linjat ovat tähän tutkimukseen luotuja käsitteitä, jotka kuvaavat lähteissä näkyviä ajattelurakenteita, eivät olemassa olleita rintamia. Lähteinä ovat SRK:n (Suomen Rauhanyhdistysten Keskusyhdistys) 1970-luvun julkaisut. Päälähteenä ovat saarna- ja hartauskirjat mutta myös muut painotuotteet, kuten viikkolehti Päivämies. Tutkimus osoittaa, että vanhoillislestadiolaisuudessa esiintyi 1970-luvulla kaksi vanhurskauttamiskäsitystä ja että ne poikkeavat toisistaan niin paljon, että niiden ei voi katsoa esittävän samaa vanhurskauttamiskäsitystä. Teologian erot syntyvät jo vanhurskauttamisopin edellytyksissä, erityisesti käsityksessä synnistä, Kristuksen työstä ja ihmisen ratkaisuvallasta, ja ne näkyvät koko teologian läpi. Armolinjalla kristityn vanhurskaus on yhtäältä yhdistymistä Kristuksen kanssa niin, että ihminen pysyy kokonaan syntisenä mutta on Kristuksessa kokonaan vanhurskas. Tämä vanhurskaaksitekeminen ei ole kehittyvä prosessi. Kristuksen vanhurskaus säilyy koko ajan vieraana vanhurskautena, joka ei muuta kristityn substanssia ja jota hän ei saa hallintaansa, mutta joka toisaalta uskossa on kokonaan kristityn. Toisaalta kristityn vanhurskaus on Kristus-yhteyden vuoksi myös Jumalan kokoaikaisessa anteeksiantamuksessa ja suosiossa elämistä. Pyhityslinjalla näkyy Jumalan ja ihmisen yhteistyöhön perustuva käsitys, jossa Jumala lahjoittaa pelastuksen välineet mutta ihmiselle jää pääpaino sekä pelastuksen valitsemisessa että sen säilyttämisessä. Siten pyhityslinjalla vanhurskauttaminen kääntyy kristityn omassa varassa olevaksi "armon" käyttämiseksi eli itsensä pitämiseksi vanhurskaana anteeksiantamuksen avulla.
  • Soukka, Pirkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Abstract Pirkko Soukka From Anxiety to Faith: Eugen Drewermann and the Depth Psychological Interpretation of the Christian Faith The aim of this study is to analyze and evaluate Eugen Drewermann`s concept of birth of faith (fides qua). My research question is, what new does Eugen Drewermann contribute to the theological concept of birth of faith as he applies depth psychology to it, and what is the theological significance of this application? I analyze Drewermann s concepts of being without faith, finding God s revelation, the contents of this revelation, and the birth of faith. I employ concept, proposition, argument, structural- and requirement analyses. I also evaluate some of the discussions stirred by Drewermann s thinking. I have used Drewermann´s hermeneutical and dogmatic studies as my sources. According to Drewermann, every human being is under the condition of existential and psychological anxiety from which the only rescue is faith. God reveals himself to everybody s inner being. What we see in the Bible is this revelation as reflected by man s inner being. The revelation can be found in the unconscious mind and in the mental images brought forth by biblical texts. Everyone can discover these images by letting the texts of the Bible become alive to them. Drewermann suggests that the meaning of these images is best explained by the analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. Revelation is essentially about finding God and finding ourselves. Faith is born when the loving spirit, which Drewermann calls the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, awakens the images of the unconscious. God calls forth faith in man s inner being through this spirit and by means of these images. Faith causes the anxiety to vanish and man is able to find his true self. Integrating depth psychological contents into theology is the leading principle in Drewermann s interpretation of the birth of faith. This has yielded some theologically important results as well as those that are theologically disputable. These outcomes can be seen, for instance, in Drewermann s concept of anxiety, in his understanding of God s self-disclosure in creation, and in the way he suggests God is found, all of which are essential to his thinking. His concept of anxiety accurately expresses the holistic character of human experience. On the other hand, his idea of an inner image as the foundation of revelation is not depth psychologically correct. Moreover, Drewermann s view that revelation can be found in the Bible from behind the text is difficult to prove psychologically. Also his view of the contents of revelation is theologically narrow and the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth as a theological concept is vague. Drewermann correctly emphasizes that the birth of faith is an experience both existential and psychological. His idea of faith that is free from anxiety is, however, theologically unusual and psychologically unrealistic. Nevertheless, my study proves that Drewermann´s interpretation of the birth of faith gives new perspectives to the theological interpretation of the birth of faith. He is a pioneer in applying depth psychology to theology.
  • Kemppainen, Lauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This compilation dissertation is a study in intellectual history. Using the methods of systematic analysis, it evaluates the modern Anglo-American theological discussion of a Christian ontology of peace as opposed to a secular ontology of violence. This discussion represents an intellectual movement sometimes called new theological traditionalism. Characteristic of the new traditionalism is a critique of modernism, liberalism, and secularism. The purpose of the dissertation is to identify and evaluate metaphysical and epistemological concepts, argumentation, and presuppositions that permeate the discussion: What is meant by the ontologies of peace and violence? On what basis is one called a Christian, and the other secular? What role do ontological assumptions play in theologians socio-political stances? The analysis reveals that the concept ontology is used in a sense akin to worldview. At stake in this discussion are the metaphysical foundations of being. Ontological convictions flow into (and spring from) rational and moral convictions. Human action, too, springs from ontological foundations, however implicit. This in turn impacts political decision-making as well. According to John Milbank, the founder of Radical Orthodoxy, the theological trend most relevant to this study, modern and postmodern ideologies that favor secularism are based on metaphysical assumptions of an ontology of violence. In this model, chaos, otherness, and difference are locked in ontological combat against order, sameness, and identity. The Christian vision, per contra, represents an ontology of peace, with goodness, truth, and beauty at the foundation of being. The four articles that form the main body of this dissertation serve as case studies, so to speak, of Milbank s portrayal of the ontologies of violence and peace. They can be roughly divided into two sets. The first two articles, Radical Orthodoxy and David Bentley Hart s Rhetorical Ontology of Peace, focus on ontology. The last two, Licence to Kill? Just War and Christological Pacifism in Light of the Ontology of Peace and Godless Leviathan or a Guardian Liberty? Theological Perspectives on Political Liberalism, step into the realm of politics. The case studies begin as analyses of Radical Orthodoxy and then turn towards its implications in the political sphere. It can be shown that, however clear and even unconditional the ontology of peace is assessed, both philosophically and theologically, putting it into practice is more problematic. Metaphysical-philosophical discussion is one thing; but in real life, the line between the ontologies is more porous. This is not unlike the line between meta-ethics and normative ethics. People with largely divergent worldviews can take shared courses of action. By contrast, people with shared ontological assumptions sometimes draw diverging practical conclusions. Calling a given ontology Christian does not make foreseeing its practical conclusions easy. However, a Christian ontology of peace necessarily rules out certain options, such as nationalism and egoism that idolize state or self. A Christian ontology of peace thus serves to counterbalance societal secularism.
  • Töyräänvuori, Joanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation examines the political use of the ancient North West Semitic myth of divine combat between the Storm-God and the Sea. The myth originated with the rise of the Sargonic Empire and was disseminated across ancient Near Eastern polities during the Amorite Kingdom period. Vestiges of the myth have also been retained in the Hebrew Bible. The aim of the study was to demonstrate how the myth was used in ancient North West Semitic societies to resolve the crisis of monarchy through appeal to numinous legitimacy, and how reading a selection of Biblical texts in the framework of the tradition confirms the use of the myth in the same context in the emergent Palestinian kingdoms of the Iron Age. As methods, the study employs form- and tradition-criticism, as well as the comparative/contrastive analysis of Ugaritic epic poetry, Akkadian diplomatic correspondence and royal inscriptions, and Hebrew poetry. A new method of textual triangulation has also been devised in an attempt to use the hypothetical convergence of traditions to approximate what of the mythology would have been known in ancient Palestine, from which few textual sources remain. Most of what is known of Israelite kingship and the monarchic institution is largely based on later and ideologically slanted material. This makes the comparison of Biblical texts to their antecedents necessary. The structure of the dissertation is three-pronged, beginning with the texts from ancient Mari, comparing them with witnesses from Ugarit, and finally contrasting them with the traditions of the broader Near East. The references to the myth in the Hebrew Bible are discussed in connection with the relevant witnesses from these traditions. The different examples of the tradition witness to the continuation, longevity, malleability, and the capacity of the myth to transform to suit changing historical realities. The investigation concludes that a myth of symbolic combat between the Storm-God and the Sea was likely used as a foundational myth by the mostly polytheistic Pre-Exilic kingship in Palestine. In contrast to previous research, the study demonstrates three distinct sources for the Biblical traditions in addition to living local iterations of the myth. In addition to vestiges retained in the Hebrew Bible, based on the analogy of preceding, concurrent, and continuing traditions in the shared cultural sphere, the accumulation of mythic traditions suggests that it was used in the Palestinian kingdoms to resolve the crisis of monarchy and to legitimize sovereign political rule. After the end of the Jerusalem monarchy, the myth was democratized and reforged to legitimize the existence of the people.
  • Poutanen, Heikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    ABSTRACT Heikki Poutanen: Mass with Choral Focus in the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church 1990─ 2004. Doctoral dissertation. In this investigation mass with choral focus is intended to signify choral mass and Gregorian high mass in which the choir plays a central role . Choral mass is a significant form of composition in the Western Church and in the entire cultural history of Europe. Amongst others the masses of G.P. da Palestrina, J.S.Bach and W.A. Mozart are cornerstones in the history of Western music. In this investigation I have studied the suitability of chorally focussed mass to church services and to concert life in the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. All parishes (578) received a questionnaire to which 222 church musicians responded (38.4%). In the cross-section year 2002, 14.4% of parishes were active parishes where chorally focussed mass was performed liturgically. A survey was made of reasons influencing the performance of the masses. Church musicians reported the favourable attitude of the clergy as a positive factor (18.5%). One factor especially mentioned as obscuring the performance of the chorally focussed mass was a lack of education (33.3%). In the period 1990-2002 chorally focussed masses were used in one way or another in 121 parishes (54.5%). Thus it is possible to say that over a long interval of time they have been used quite extensively in the parishes which responded. The scale of the masses performed is wide ranging from Gregorian to modern. The work most performed was Franz Schubert s German Mass. Church musicians were asked how this mass was suited to church services and to concert life. Church musicians would prefer to allocate it to a concert (81.1%). 69.8% of church musicians supported Sunday evening liturgical performance. On the other hand only 31.1% supported the usage of chorally focussed mass in the morning service. Organists based their unfavourable stand on the fact that parishioners could not sufficiently take part in the service. Another part of this study was feedback from eight different mass performances in connection with which parishioners responded to questionnaires (N=546). In investigating the liturgical performance of chorally focussed mass one can state that respondents would rather allocate a mass with choral focus to a Sunday evening (79.3%). This positive stand was based particularly on variety and aesthetic factors. 63.9% would allocate it to the Sunday morning service. 69.0% of respondents supported the partial use of chorally focussed mass in the Sunday morning service. Rather surprising is the fact that only 71.1% would allocate mass to a concert in spite of the Finnish tradition of performing choral masses in concerts. The eight case-studies carried out in the Helsinki region act as direction-finders for the rest of the country.When combining the answers of church musicians and parishioners (N=768) it is to be noted that chorally focussed mass is best suited to be performed in concerts (76.1%). Its liturgical per¬formance on Sunday evening also gains a lot of support (74.6%). A little less than half support the performance of chorally focussed mass in the Sunday morning service (47.5%). 67.9% support the partial use of chorally focussed mass in the Sunday morning service. On the basis of this study one can state that chorally focussed mass is well suited to Finnish church services and to concert life. Respondents support its performance above all in concerts.
  • Huhtanen, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The present study analyses the concept of revelation in the theology of Walter Kasper (b. 1933). The method of the study is systematic analysis, which focuses on ascertaining the commonalities, characteristics and possible inconsistencies in Kasper's thought. The sources for this study consist of works pertinent to the subject in the corpus of Kasper's writings from 1965 to 2015. In order to offer a full account of Kasper's understanding of revelation, this study analyses the philosophical and theological background of his thought. The present study outlines and discusses Kasper's interpretation of the doctrine of revelation, his understanding of how the Bible should be interpreted and his dogmatic method. This study also discusses Kasper's understanding of the meaning of revelation in the modern era. In line with previous studies of Kasper's theology also this study concludes that the three influences that have most affected Kasper's thought are: German idealist philosophy, the Tübingen School and the Second Vatican Council. This study argues that Kasper's conception of revelation is dynamic and dialogical. With the help of the concepts of German idealist philosophy, especially that of F.W.J Schelling, Kasper sketches a model of revelation theology based on the idea that, precisely because the human being is finite, he is able to conceive that there must lie an infinite ground that is the ground of being of all reality. In the meaning event (Sinnerfahrung) the human being realises that his or her ground of being must lie in infinite reality. The human being s true freedom can only be fulfilled in connection to God, who is himself perfect freedom. This study argues that this basic philosophical framework can open possibilities for dialogue with other world views as well. Kasper argues that the Trinitarian God abides in relation (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit), and the immanent reality of the Trinitarian God is thus reflected in the Creation. As God's creation and God's image, human beings are intended to be in dialogue, both with God and with other human beings. In his self-revelation God gives his promise: he will be with his people always. In the Exodus narrative this promise culminates in the event of the burning bush, in which God gives his Name to Moses (Ex 3,14). In the New Testament literature the promise finds its fulfilment in the Incarnation. The title of this study is Event of the Radically New. The most important observation concerning the modern, post-Vatican II Catholic understanding of theology of revelation is that revelation consists not only of information but rather that it is primarily an event. It is an event in which God reveals himself anew in each particular historical era. It is radical in the sense that it brings something completely new and completely transforming to our reality. As well, it is radical because it reflects the eternal spirit of the Gospel, the roots (radices) of Christian faith. Thus, paradoxically, revelation is at the same time radically eternal and radically new, open to the future. Kasper's theology of revelation culminates in Christology. The truth of the Christian faith, the truth that shapes and renews our reality, is the incarnate Word of God, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. In Christ's full humanity the mystery of the meaning of being human is solved once and for all. Christ is God's freedom, love and mercy incarnate. He is the answer to all search for meaning. In him, reality is interpreted in a completely new, illuminating light. In Christ the majestic quality of God's being (grace, Gnade), appears in human history as mercy (Barmherzigkeit). In Jesus Christ, Christians find the fulfilment of their yearning for a new, meaningful experience: a fulfilment that modern man so determinedly, but in vain, tries to find in immanent reality. Keywords: Walter Kasper, revelation, faith and knowledge, atheism, freedom 
  • Heikkilä, Jelisei (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The revolutionary reforms of Peter the Great in 1721 radically changed the whole Russian State. The changes which affected the Church's canonical and juridical status for the entire Synodal period during the early twentieth century s social and church-cultural metamorphosis, raise significant questions from the viewpoint of Orthodox canon law regarding marriage and divorce. The study's main focus is how were these questions treated during the Pre-Conciliar period and in the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918. The All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918 was in many ways a unique and unparalleled phenomenon in the Russian Orthodox Church, State and in Russian social history. The Pre-Conciliar movement of the early twentieth century in Russia included the first and only experience in the Russian Orthodox Church of an open discussion with elements of dialogue touching all sides of Church life. The sources of this study, the documents and decrees of the Holy Synod and the preparatory bodies of the general Council of 1917- 1918, raise the following questions regarding marriage and divorce: 1. How did the Russian Orthodox Church understand the state law in relation to its own ecclesiastical law? 2. How was the ancient canonical tradition concerning matrimonial issues interpreted in Russia? By examining the canonical views of matrimonial matters in the Russian Orthodox Church in the early 1900s, especially through secular laws and canonical commentaries, it is possible to create a picture of a canonical marriage model eventually formed in the Russian Orthodox Church after the General Council of 1917-1918. The bureaucracy appeared to be a permanent barrier between the Church and the people, as well as between the Church and the State. Ecclesiastical regulations were joined to civil law, creating norms of marriage law that conformed to the State s viewpoint. This led to a situation before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution where divorces were difficult to obtain. Eventually, the religious institution of marriage, which had been protected by the Russian judiciary from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries, was destroyed by the Revolution. Animosity towards traditional Christian family values began to pervade the social climate in Russia after the Revolution, and the laws of the Russian Orthodox Church came to reflect this. The study argues that after the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918, a new divorce model of the Russian Orthodox Church appeared. The Orthodox Church did not immediately abolish its previous bureaucratic model, especially when resolving the divorce cases in the Soviet State in 1918, but new pastoral aspects nevertheless were incorporated. The form of a petition was retained: one of the approved reasons for divorce had to be stated, as well as a detailed and correct statement of the circumstances under which the collapse of the marital union took place. The canonical spirit and the norms established in the Pre-Conciliar period were retained in this matter. Thus, any reasons that were not justified by the canons and their authoritative commentaries were not accepted as lawful causes for ecclesiastical divorce. However, the final resolution concerning the grounds for the dissolution of marriage appear as if the Council expected the Church to remain as it was in the past, namely with complete jurisdiction over marriage.
  • Eklund, Dan-Johan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study is a critical examination of the views about the voluntary aspect of religious faith in contemporary analytic theistic philosophy of religion. The background of the question is the variety of opinions regarding the voluntariness or involuntariness of religious faith. The study examines different propositional attitudes, such as belief, hope, and acceptance, which are taken to be involved in the cognitive-epistemic aspect of religious faith. Another important theme concerns the practical dimension of religious faith and the attitudes it involves. Questions having to do with the emotional and evaluative features of religious faith are also touched upon. In addition, certain traditional theological topics pertaining to voluntariness of faith are addressed. Apart from the critical evaluation, this study develops one view of faith, that is, faith as propositional hope. The method used is philosophical conception and argumentation analysis. In the first chapter I analyse the general views of analytic theists on the nature of faith and propositional belief. In the second chapter the central topic is how beliefs relevant to faith are acquired and the implications this issue has for questions about voluntariness of faith. Richard Swinburne s and Alvin Plantinga s accounts of faith are the main focus of this chapter. The third chapter is chiefly concerned with the possibility of believing without sufficient evidence; the permissibility of such believing is also addressed. Views elaborated by John Bishop and Jeff Jordan are central in this chapter. In the fourth chapter I analyse views which claim that faith need not entail belief and the impact of these views on issues concerning the voluntariness of faith. The chapter consists of views put forward by Robert Audi, William Alston, Louis Pojman, and J. L. Schellenberg. This chapter also includes the view of faith I defend, that is, faith as propositional hope. The voluntary aspect of religious faith has been understood in different ways. The overall conclusion of this study is that the cognitive aspect of faith is in the main involuntary, though volitional acts can have some effect on it. The same goes for the emotional and evaluative aspects of religious faith. On the other hand, the practical dimension of faith seems to be largely a matter of voluntary choice and behaviour. These insights imply that from a philosophical viewpoint whether people perceive a given religious faith as a worthwhile and meaningful worldview is due to other factors than their direct voluntary choice, but it is their decision whether they commit themselves to the faith in question.
  • Nikula, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Keywords: goodness, capability, choice, ethics, deaf, sign language, cochlear implant, clinical practice, medicalization. Lapsen hyvää edistämässä. Syntymäkuurojen lasten sisäkorvaistutehoitokäytännön sosiaalieettistä tarkastelua. [Promoting The Good of The Child. A Social-Ethical Analysis of Cochlear Implants in Children Born Deaf]. Karoliina Nikula, University of Helsinki. In 1995, after a long period of lobbying and political action, sign language was granted a legal status in Finland. In 1997, the first cochlear implant surgeries were performed on children in Finland. At present, 90 percent of deaf children undergo cochlear implant surgery. The use of sign language as a first language is diminishing. The majority of deaf children are born to hearing parents, and they are being asked to make the choice whether their children should receive cochlear implants or not. Previous empirical studies have shown that some parents feel that their choices are not always respected. The aim of this research project is to study cochlear implant clinical practices using the concepts of goodness, capability, and choice, as well as to analyse whether the shift in clinical practices from sign language to spoken language is based on careful deliberation and reasonable arguments. This study helps us to better understand the parents process of deciding whether or not to obtain cochlear implants for their children, and the family s journey through treatment options and standard clinical practices. In addition, this study provides tools for parents of deaf children to assist their decision-making and to medical practitioners who advise these parents. The study is focused around the following research questions: (1) What constitutes medical goodness for a child born deaf? (2) In what ways do cochlear implants and sign language promote a deaf child s capabilities? (3) Is it adequate to speak of choice when thinking about the dilemmas of parents of children born deaf? The research methodology is philosophical concept and argumentation analysis along with analysis of the construction of the concept of choice. The research data consists of various sources and literature. The sources can be divided into the following: 1) Avaintietokansio [materials made available to families of the deaf]; 2) publications of the Satakieli seminars; 3) brochures and other information provided by device manufacturers; 4) DVD and video recordings; 5) Internet pages; and 6) legislation. The literature is comprised of (1) previous empirical studies on the parents of deaf children obtaining treatment for their children. Empirical studies on family experience include materials published by the Finnish Association of the Deaf and the Institute for the Languages of Finland, e.g., Suomen viittomakielten kielipoliittinen ohjelma (2010); a publication of the Ombudsman for Children Hei, kato mua! (Johanna Kiili and Kirsi Pollari, eds., 2012); and Riia Celen s documentary Sanoja sormenpäissä (2009) and Minna Luukkainen s Viitotut elämät: Kuurojen nuorten aikuisten kokemuksia viittomakielisestä elämästä Suomessa (2008). These provide information on the experiences of families whose deaf children are being treated. Internationally, Stuart Blum s The Artificial Ear (2010) also provides information on the experiences of families. (2) Ethical and medical discourse on cochlear implants in deaf children. (3) Previous philosophical and ethical work, particularly the following: a) Martha Nussbaum s capability approach; b) Georg Henrik von Wright s The Varieties of Goodness (1963, Finnish translation 2001); and c) rational choice theory, especially in the work of Jon Elster. In addition, (4) methodological handbooks (e.g., literature about the conceptual tools) were used. The study is organized as follows. Chapter two examines deafness from two points of view: audiological and socio-cultural. I also introduce topics often associated with deafness, such as sign language and deaf culture. Here I also discuss the technical aspects of cochlear implants and provide a brief history of the deaf in Finland. In chapters 3 5 I examine the three main concepts goodness, capabilities, and choices with reference to the research questions. These provide essential conceptual tools when analysing the issue, as the processes connected to cochlear implants are centred around the question of what constitutes a good life for the child, the child s ability to develop, and the choices that parents in this situation must make. My research demonstrates the following: (1) The transition from sign language to spoken language is not based on sound arguments. This study did not find a solid rationale for reducing the use of sign language in order to rehabilitate hearing. Giving up sign language cannot be said to promote the child s good, capabilities, or opportunities to make independent choices in the future. On the contrary, it may indeed interfere with them. (2) In conjunction with the cochlear implant treatment process, it sometimes seems that the ideas of promoting choice and increasing capabilities are more of an illusion. We can also speak of language as an illusion in the sense that in the literature I surveyed (as well as in this discourse), language is often used synonymously with spoken language. The rhetoric used directs choice and creates impressions. We cannot speak of a family s autonomous, rational choices if the situation does not meet the criteria for choice. (3) Occasionally, the process seems to be about audism, i.e., valuing spoken language over signed language, medicalization, technological imperatives, and the treatment of cochlear implants as an ideological issue. All of these can have an effect on the decision-making processes of parents. (4) Cochlear implant clinical practices differ from general health care practices in the sense that implant practices are not always based on evidence (e.g., there is no evidence of the advantages of choosing not to learn sign language; there is as yet no knowledge of the long-term effects of cochlear implants). Furthermore, health care usually focuses only on areas within the medical field, but a language is not only a medical issue. Health care practices are usually based on research results, limited to areas in which medical authorities have competence and designed to maximize the patient s capabilities. (5) Legislation, different schools of thought, and treatment practices create different ways of understanding deafness. Legislation treats the deaf in terms of language and handicap. Different schools of thought lead to polarized discourse about deafness. Finally, according to the reports of parents, current clinical practices require them to choose one language for their child, although it would be possible to choose both sign language and spoken language. These divisions in the discourse may affect the decision-making of parents. (6) The idea of choice is not the best way to promote the well-being of deaf children. Focusing instead on capabilities would free parents and health care practitioners from the burden of predicting outcomes which will only come with time: that is, if all capabilities are promoted, it is not necessary to know how hearing or speech will develop, what the child would like to do or be when s/he grows up, or what sort of future the child will have. A discourse of choice creates an either/or, rather than a both/and situation. Both/and is a better platform from which to develop a child s full capabilities. (7) The concepts of goodness, capabilities, and choice provide useful tools to examine cochlear implant clinical practices and the dilemma of families with deaf children. These concepts can also be used more generally in thinking about ethical considerations in medical practice, as they represent fundamental issues in terms of both ethics and health care practice. (8) Cochlear implant clinical practices need to be developed. This study shows that written materials supporting parental decisions need to be improved, and care needs to be taken that space is given to different alternatives. In addition, more multi- and cross-disciplinary co-operation needs to be developed to improve the prospects for deaf children. Based on this study, I suggest that in the future we need to focus on four issues. First, we must pay attention to the rhetoric used in legislation, in information packets for families of the deaf, and in the research literature. Second, instead of talking about choice, we must take into consideration the child s strengths and skills on many levels. Third, we should consider the possibilities offered by multiculturalism, which includes different types of language choices, as well as multi- and cross-disciplinary clinical teams. If advice is being given on language, the treatment team should include a language specialist as well as a member who knows sign language. This study affirms the need for further multi- and cross-disciplinary co-operation. Fourth, deaf children should be treated as a whole person, not simply through their hearing or lack thereof.
  • Pöyhönen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The proportion of the Finnish population approaching old age is increasing rapidly. This challenges Finnish society and increases the need for elderly care services. Individuals responsibility for themselves and their elderly family members is growing, while the welfare society is undergoing reformation. In Finland, elderly care involves both municipal workers and actors such as companies, organisations and religious communities. In Finland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCF) and its parishes can be positioned between the public and third sectors. The Church organises its elderly care as part of diaconal and common parish work. The ELCF has adjusted this care based on societal change. For example, after the economic recession of the 1990s, the ELCF reallocated its resources from elderly care to financial assistance for people of working age. The ELCF employs a holistic concept of people in its diaconal work: it considers their spiritual or religious needs. Such needs are often accentuated among the elderly. This study explores the role of the ELCF in the field of elderly care in Finland. The dissertation consists of four articles in which the ELCF s role is examined through its history, the views of both church diaconal and municipal social workers, and the expectations of ordinary citizens directed to the ELCF for elderly care. This research is qualitative. The research material consists of the four-year reports the Church produced from 1898 to 2007 and two separate sets of interview data. Twenty-five ordinary Finns were interviewed in 2007 and twenty-two diaconal and social workers in 2009. The data were evaluated by using inductive content or abductive frame analysis, as appropriate. The study shows that the ELCF plays an important but complex role in elderly care. Both citizens and social workers expect the Church to fill a role previously associated with the public sector. In addition to the spiritual or religious needs of the elderly, psychosocial support is also provided by the ELCF. These expectations are motivated by both the neutrality demanded of social workers and various restrictions on their resources and expertise. Diaconal work proved to be employee centred, and in elderly care, strategies often failed in practice. For the ELCF, the most important cooperation is with the public sector. The results, however, show signs of asymmetrical power relations between the social and diaconal workers. This also became clear through contractuality, which will be used more in the future in organising cooperation. The responsibilities and tasks involved in elderly care are being redefined. This not only affects solidarity, the key concept behind the current welfare model, but also changes it. Reaffirming the concept of social solidarity among individuals can be seen as a task more and more appropriate for the ELCF s elderly care efforts. This kind of solidarity is needed to strengthen individual responsibility in caring for the elderly population.
  • Gao, Yuan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study presents a general overview of Augustine s insights into passions as well as his approach to the therapy of emotions and their sanctification. Attending to various phases of his writings, this work explores the systematic structure of Augustine s tenets on passions and on the freedom from passions in the context of his philosophical and theological convictions on the issue of amor sui and amor Dei. The analysis begins by examining Augustine s language of passions and the doctrinal connections between Augustine and his predecessors. I provide a survey of Augustine s usage of emotional terms and criticise the position that Augustine suggested a dichotomy between passio and affectus as well as the claim that none of Augustine s Latin terms can be justifiably translated by the modern term emotion . On the basis of terminological and doctrinal observations, I clarify the general features of Augustine s psychology of passions in Chapter 2. In addressing the issue of how Augustine transformed his predecessors therapy of passions and their ideal of freedom from emotion into his theological framework in Chapter 3, I examine a series of related concepts, such as propatheia, metriopatheia, apatheia and eupatheia, to determine how he understood them in various stages of his philosophical and theological thinking. On this basis, I draw an outline of Augustine s interpretation of emotions in his theological anthropology. During his early period, Augustine adopted the Stoic and Platonic therapy of passions and the Stoic ideal of freedom from emotion (apatheia), but he changed his position later, re-evaluating the received terminologies and values of emotions (love, will, justice, virtue, etc.) from the perspective of the doctrines of sin and grace. He developed a theological vision and evaluation of the human condition of emotions and he expressed a pessimistic attitude towards the human condition without the help of supernatural grace. Chapter 4 addresses Augustine s position on the criticism and renewal of passions in social life: the household, city, and the world. In Chapter 5, I argue that Augustine s ideal of freedom from passions was participation in the inner Trinitarian spiritual life by the bond of the Holy Spirit as a hallmark of deification. This is wholly dependent on the divine kenosis and the transaction in the person of Christ. By virtue of the gift of grace (the salvific real presence of the Holy Spirit in faith), the pilgrimaging citizens of the City of God will be elevated to the divine realm and become transformed into a better substance in the union with God in Heaven. Contrary to arguments by some Orthodox theologians, Augustine s theory of deification is not simply a matter of fulfilment of humanity without a genuine transformation. While grace improves the control of sinful impulses in the emotional life of believers who suffer the consequences of the damage of the soul through original sin, Augustine maintained that the new life in Heaven denotes freedom from this emotional condition as well as the non-apathetic peaceful love and joy of resurrected persons in their participation in the divine spiritual nature.
  • Lepojärvi, Jason (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the most influential Christian thinkers of the twentieth century with continuing relevance into the twenty-first. Despite growing academic interest in Lewis, many fields of inquiry remain largely unmapped in Lewis scholarship today. This compilation dissertation, consisting of an introductory overview together with four stand-alone but connected essays, extends critical understanding of Lewis's contribution to the theology of love. In three of the four essays, Lewis's theology of love is compared to and contrasted with that of Anders Nygren (1890-1978); and in one, that of Augustine of Hippo. Using systematic textual analysis, the essays evaluate Lewis's key concepts, argumentation, and presuppositions. Nygren, the Swedish Lutheran theologian and bishop of Lund, has virtually dominated modern theological discussion of love. His antithesis between selfless and gratuitous Christian love and self-seeking and needful Pagan love, or agape and eros respectively, became enormously influential in twentieth century theology. Lewis was initially shaken up by Nygren's work, and it took him decades to formulate his own model, above all in Surprised by Joy (1955) and The Four Loves (1960). It is shown that Lewis constructed not only his theology of love, but also his theology of spiritual desire as a form of love, in conscious opposition to Nygren. Lewis's theology of love challenges the denigration of eros and its separation from agape. Nygren's predestinarianism is also rejected. Lewis devises his own vocabulary, avoids the use of eros and agape in Nygren's sense, and hardly ever mentions Nygren by name. All this suggests a deliberate apologetic strategy to bypass certain defences of his readers and to avoid Nygren-dependency. Despite their incommensurate love-taxonomies, Lewis's need-love/gift-love and Nygren's eros/agape have often been treated as parallels. This longstanding assumption is shown to be in need of greater nuance. The study demonstrates that Lewis's concept of spiritual longing, which he calls Joy, is relevant to the Nygren debate and serves as a potent variant for Nygren's eros. However, no one thing in Lewis's mental repertoire can serve as a perfect translation of Nygren's eros, because for Lewis it is an abstract caricature cut off from real life. In Lewis's theological vision, contra Nygren, spiritual longing, far from obfuscating the Gospel, is a God-given desire that prepares the way for it. Lewis is not free from the occasional hyperbole or blind spot. For instance, his argument that romantic love is not eudaimonistic is shown to be somewhat convoluted, and his famous disagreement with Augustine is possibly based on a misunderstanding. A perennial feature in Lewis's understanding of love, reflected in all four essays, is the ambiguity of love. Love is not something pejorative, but neither is it an infallible moral compass. God is love, but love is not God.
  • Ikonen, Tiina (Diakonia-ammattikorkeakoulu, 2015)
    This study examines international diaconia in the diocesan and central administration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in the years 1993−2004. The research question of this study consists of three parts. 1) What meanings has international diaconia had, and what international aspects have been included in diaconia within the diocesan and central administration? 2) What actions have been included in international diaconia within the diocesan and central administration, and what reasons have been given for these actions? 3) How do the decisions of the diocesan and central administration express the idea of international diaconia in the church? This data-based study has been carried out through the methodological means of qualitative content analysis with aspects of historical analysis. Methods of grounded theory have been applied in the research process. The main data of the study consists of administrative documents of the church s diocesan and central administration. As a result of this study, a model of international diaconia in the church administration was formed. In the model, international diaconia was divided into three dimensions and three factors. The factors are seen in every dimension. The three dimensions of international diaconia are called the position of international diaconia in the church administration, diaconia meeting national borders, and intercultural diaconia. The three factors apparent in these dimensions are called the theology of international diaconia, the praxis of international diaconia and the question of neighbors in international diaconia. The study found major changes in international diaconia during the research period. First, the theology of international diaconia was discussed in relation to the theology of the missionary practice of the church. International diaconia was found to be an integral part of the church s mission. The new understanding of international diaconia made clear that the church should act as a subject of international diaconia and that there is a wider understanding of international responsibility to be found. Second, intercultural diaconia was introduced and increased in a rapid manner. Half of the international diaconia praxis was organized for national intercultural diaconia. This change was due to increasing migration to Finland. Third, international diaconia was challenged by the question of neighborliness. Within international diaconia, the church worked in order to help people in need both in international and national contexts. Neighbors were often considered strangers or others by the church and as objects of international diaconia. It was common for international diaconia − both outside and inside national borders − to work for strangers rather than with them.