Teologinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Ylikangas, Kimmo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Olavi Kares (1903–1988) was one of the key figures in the Awakening Movement after the Second World War. He was also highly influential in church circles. The purpose of this study is to clarify Olavi Kares’ transformation from pietist to humanist from 1945 to 1974. The key questions of this study can be divided into three categories, in other words, into causes and consequences of transformation. One could ask how Olavi Kares’ thinking changed during the period of the study, the causes of the transformations and their effects on Kares’ main background community, the Awakening Movement. After the Second World War, it was expedient for Kares to be a pietistic theologian. After being excluded from the appointment for the position of bishop of the Lapua diocese, Kares seemed to have realized that his pietistic Awakening Movement image would not open the doors for him to a bishopric office. For this reason, he began to create a new image. Kares began to shape an image of himself as an open-minded and culturally appreciative person. Kares also strove to consciously change the Awakening Movement’s public image. After 1956 he began to depict the Awakening Movement, in a more visible manner than previously, as a movement that was characteristically nonjudgemental and open-minded. An explanatory motive for Kares’ actions was that the movement’s perceived nationalistic and right-wing image, which was still attractive after the Second World War, no longer enjoyed the same level of popularity, as in previous decades, in the changed Finnish society beginning from the mid-1950s. Kares himself had contributed to the preservation of the Awakening Movement’s nationalistic and pietistic public image from the 1940s into the beginning of the next decade. However, after the bishopric appointment in the diocese of Lapua, Kares realized that the public image of the Awakening Movement had become politically incorrect. Kares’ transformation from pietist to humanist appeared to cause mostly positive consequences for himself during the end of the 1950s to the beginning of the next decade. Kares’ position in the church hierarchy was strengthened. He was considered to be an intellectually and spiritually open-minded theologian. Due to Kares' actions, the Awakening Movement was seen to be moving in a positive direction. A revivalist movement, that was earlier seen as” gloomy” and ”judgemental”, was considered to have become more open-minded and humane. During the 1960s and especially at the end of the decade in question, Kares’ transformation from pietist to humanist also awakened increasing criticism. Kares the humanist became embroiled in conflict with the nascent Fifth Revivalist Movement. Beginning at the end of the 1960’s, he acquired the image of being a critic of youth radicalism, in addition to his humanist image. The probable reason for Kares’ transformation from reformer to an opponent of radicalism during the end of the 1960s was due to the positive attitude held by youth radicals towards communism and the Soviet Union.
  • Seppänen, Christian (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This dissertation is a text-critical study of the Hebrew text of 1 Sam 1 – 2 Sam 9 in the Hebrew Bible. The entire Hebrew text of Samuel is known today only in its Masoretic text form, which is itself the result of a standardization process that began around the onset of the Common Era. Before this standardization process, the Hebrew text was evidently fluid, and several different textual editions of the Book of Samuel would have existed. This is evidenced by the manuscripts of Samuel found at Qumran (2nd – 1st c. BCE) and the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint (translated 2nd c. BCE). The purpose of this dissertation is to study how these three main witnesses—the Masoretic text, the Qumran manuscripts and the Hebrew source text of the Septuagint—differ from and are related to one another. Such a study entails an investigation of what kinds of changes took place in each textual tradition and what were the possible motivations behind the changes. These results are used to evaluate the reliability of each text when attempting to reconstruct the most original text. The method of this study is that of textual criticism. The main task of the text critic is to make sense of what happened in the textual history of a given work with the help of existing textual witnesses: what kinds of developments are most probable? Which reading is primary and which are secondary? With the Septuagint as a textual witness, there are certain challenges. To use the Septuagint for comparison with the Masoretic text, one has to find out first the original wording of the Septuagint itself and its translation technique. Only then can one produce a reverse translation from Greek to Hebrew and compare this so-called retroversion to the Masoretic text. In this dissertation, I have studied the variant readings of the Masoretic text, the source text of the Septuagint and Qumran manuscripts 4QSam-a and 4QSam-b. An analysis of all variant readings in 4QSam-a and 4QSam-b is presented and the primary reading is determined where possible. These results were used, for the statistical analysis, where the distances between the different texts are calculated, employing multidimensional scaling (MDS) to illustrate the distances. In addition to the variant readings, the two major text critical problem in 1 Sam are discussed—namely, the story of David and Goliath in 1 Sam 17–18 and the large plus of Nahash the Ammonite in 4QSama in 1 Sam 10:27–11:1. In this study, I have shown that the Books of Samuel, as they existed during the Late Second Temple period, exhibited great fluidity and plurality. Moreover, I have surveyed a variety of mechanics that were subject to change. Not only were there unintentional scribal errors but also deliberate changes and even editorial rewriting processes.
  • Sivonen, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This dissertation explores the use and meaning of the doxa motif in undisputed Pauline literature. While doxa and its derivatives occur 72 times in undisputed letters and 96 times altogether in Pauline literature, the doxa motif has not received sufficient attention in Pauline studies. By examining Pauline doxa passages, the purpose of this research is to answer the following five questions: (1) What are the most significant characters and events that are attached to the doxa motif in the Jewish Scriptures? Consequently, what kind of narrative substructure, if any, do they form? (2) What are the characters and the events that are linked with doxa, and how do they relate to one another in Paul’s undisputed letters? (3) How do the characters and the substructure of the Jewish Scriptures shape the logic of argumentation in passages where Paul mentions doxa? (4) How does Paul develop and redefine the narrative doxa motif in light of the Christ-event and the contemporary context, namely in the midst of the imperial cult that he is facing? (5) How does Paul want his audience, Jews and Gentiles alike, to identify with the narrative characters in the story? While the first question provides a necessary background for my study, the last four questions guide my research. The purpose of this methodology is to strive for us to comprehend the use of doxa in Pauline thought in light of the larger sub-narrative and the characters in the narrative. Using a narrative methodology, this study suggests that Paul inherited a meaning and a doxa narrative with characters from the Jewish Scriptures. While the Hebrew word that is most commonly translated doxa is kabod, twenty-nine other Hebrew words are also translated as doxa. Thus, the semantic range of doxa is not limited to honor, but also includes the following connotations: aesthetic beauty, riches and wealth, either figurative or literal majestic strength and weight, a visible manifestation, separateness and holiness, and a form and likeness. The major character attached to doxa is the intrinsic character of the doxa of the Lord, referring to his moral character of holiness, superiority over other gods, and visible manifestation. Additionally, the Lord grants, gives and crowns doxa to Adam (i.e. humanity), to Israel, to royal kings, and to the eschatological Servant. Moreover, there was an eschatological expectation of the vindication of the doxa of the Lord through the eschatological Servant. This dissertation suggests that Paul inherited the aforementioned narrative characters and developed and refined them in light of the Christ-event. Paul redefined the doxa of God as the identity of God’s intrinsic and essential character of importance, highlighted in his divine presence, truth, immortality, honor, judgment, and sovereign grace. Furthermore, Paul considers Adam (i.e.humanity) and Israel to be the representative of God’s derived doxa and image. Paul wanted his audience, Jews and Gentiles alike, to identify with the fallen Adam and with Israel, i.e. those who do not display the doxa of God due to idolatry. Paul then identifies Christ both as the intrinsic doxa of God, who represents God and the derivative doxa of God, namely the second Adam, the royal king, and the eschatological Servant. Thus, the Christ-event, his death, crucifixion and resurrection, inaugurates the vindication of doxa of God and the eschatological transformation of Adam (i.e. humanity),Israel, nations, and the entire creation. This change is not merely a return to humanity’s original image and glory, but a metamorphosis into Christ’s greater glory. Finally, Paul urges his audience to identify, not with the doxa of his opponents or Caesar, but with the sufferings of the crucified and risen Christ, the doxa of God, in order to glorify God. In his ethical paraenesis, taking into consideration the eschatological hope of total transformation into the likeness of the doxa of Christ at his parousia, Paul encourages believers to identify with Christ, which results in their transformation into the eschatological humanity of Christ-likeness. This transformation encompasses the sexual relationship between male and female as a display of the doxa of Christ. In addition, the renewed believing community of Jews and Gentiles that considers others before themselves is another outworking of the transformation. These practices glorify God and are present expressions of the vindication of the doxa of God in the believing humanity that awaits the final transformation to the likeness of the derivative glory of Christ. This dissertation contends that the vindication of the doxa of God through Christ and the transformation of the believers into the likeness of the image and doxa of Christ is the narrative structure that undergirds Paul’s doxa motif.
  • Helle, Jukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The present study analyses the contextual theology of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). The FABC can validly be considered as the most authoritative representative of the Catholic Church in Asia since the time of the inception of the FABC, which took place after Pope Paul VI’s 1970 visit to Manila. The method of this study is systematic analysis and critical evaluation of the relevant FABC documents in order to locate the constitutive underpinnings of the theology of the FABC. The sources for this study consist of the most important documents produced by the FABC in the period from 1970 to 2012. The present study argues that the FABC’s contextual theology can best be understood as an interplay between the traditional sources of Catholic faith (Scripture and Tradition) their magisterial interpretation (with special reference to the documents of the Second Vatican Council) and Asian contextual realities (Asian religions, Asian cultures, and Asian socio-political realities, especially the poor). The importance of Vatican II is significant; the FABC could not have come into existence without the reforms and openness introduced by the Council. The FABC’s theological orientations can therefore be described as Asia’s continuing Vatican II. The approach of the FABC to theology is primarily inductive; this approach is seen when the FABC analyses the concepts of “being Asian” and “Asianness”. The FABC’s clearly expressed goal for the Church in Asia is “to become truly Asian in all things”. In pursuit of this goal, the Asian bishops especially employ the concept of Asianness. In using this broad term, at certain points the FABC can be viewed as representing an essentialist understanding of this concept. On the other hand, in choosing Asianness as an important concept and goal, the FABC belongs to a larger theological trend of emerging Asianness, which can be considered as one of the most significant theological trends today. In the thought of the FABC, one major component of Asianness is the concept of harmony. The FABC argues that harmony is a significant and inherently element in the process of becoming truly Asian. The importance of Asianness for the theology of the FABC is also shown in an analysis of the concept of truth in the FABC theology. The FABC strives for an Asian understanding of truth, which the FABC argues is universal, practical and non-exclusivist. In this discussion of the understanding of truth the Asian bishops introduce a “wayfaring” aspect into theology, which the bishops claim is a dimension which is significantly present in Asian theology. The concept of wayfaring theology implies a process during which the Church’s understanding of truth and faith will increase. In the opinion of the FABC, the “wayfaring theology” represents a genuine Catholic articulation of faith. This kind of articulation of faith and theology is both truly Asian and truly Catholic. The FABC also Asian contextual realities: the religions, cultures, and socio-political realities of Asia, especially the poor. The FABC welcomes all these realities as dialogue partners with the Church. In this dialogue, Asian contextual realities are accepted as theological sources (loci) in addition to the traditional sources of Scripture and Tradition. The dialogue with these contextual realities becomes a mutually enriching process in which both the Church and Asian contextual realities learn from each other and contribute to each other. Regarding the relationship with Asian religions, the FABC represents an understanding of that relationship which can be termed “dialogical fulfilment, in which the Church also can learn from other religions, and the adherents of religions are accepted as co-pilgrims on the way towards the Kingdom of God. In addition, even after the introduction of the Gospel the salvific function of these religions remains. In this understanding the FABC represents a different point of view than that of the Roman Magisterium. However, in the last analysis, an inclusivist undertone remains in the theology of religions of the FABC. The FABC’s understanding of Asian cultures is predominantly positive; at certain points the bishops even evince a kind of cultural romanticism. On the other hand, the bishops also provide critical means for the dialogue between the Gospel and cultures: this dialogue is intended to lead to inculturation. In order for inculturation to be successful, the process of inculturation needs the help of the Paschal Mystery, which means that both the Church and cultures need to be purified by the Gospel of Christ. When the Gospel meets a culture, something “new” is born out of the encounter, but the ”new” essentially grows out of both the Gospel and a culture. This “new” must be faithful to the genuine Catholic tradition and at the same time be relevant and capable of making the Gospel come alive in various Asian contexts. The third important contextual reality for the FABC are the poor of Asia, who are of indispensable help for the Church so that it can truly become an Asian Church. The Church must dialogue with the poor and give up its authoritarianism and also become the Church of the poor -- and even a poor Church. When developing its ecclesiology, the FABC argues that in order to become a truly Asian Catholic Church, the Church must adopt an Asian face of Jesus. Presenting Jesus in an Asian way implies using Asian cultural concepts, terms and symbols, and in a manner which resonates with the vision of life of the peoples of Asia. By this, the FABC strives to present a Jesus who is not a stranger to the Asian continent. An Asian Catholic Church will then do its mission in Asia to (ad) Asian peoples, among (inter) Asian peoples and with (cum) Asian peoples. The title of the present study, Towards a Truly Catholic and a Truly Asian Church : An Asian Wayfaring Theology of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) 1970-2012, reflects the understanding of the Asian Catholic bishops that their theology is a new enterprise marked by a certain experimental character, a certain ambiguity, uncertainty and tenuousness. It is not yet a finished product; rather, it is a pilgrimage. Living and proclaiming the Gospel according to this paradigm, the Asian Church discovers its identity as a truly Catholic and a truly Asian Church.
  • Kuismanen, Raimo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The aim of this study was to evaluate William Johnston’s, S. J. (1925–2010), idea of the mystical experience, with the help of essentialist and constructivist positions. According to the essentialist approach, the mystical experience represents a universal or non-contextual dimension between religions and cannot be reduced to the background, which indicates a direct contact with an absolute principle. The constructivist position asserts that the mystical experience is a product of its historical, cultural and religious context. Using the method of systematic analysis, it became clear that according to Johnston, the contents of mystical experiences are not identical between religions. However, this Jesuit, who was active in Japan, came to the conclusion that the ultimate reality is Christ-reality. The background of this study was dialogue between religions, where Johnston’s contribution has concentrated on Buddhist–Christian dialogue. This study identified his most fundamental thoughts and gave answers to the task of the study with three themes drawn from his writings. These were, the fulfillment of human life, Christology as an expression of his theological ideas, and the possible influences of other religions on his ideas. For Johnston, humanity was the meeting point of religions. The true self described the essentialist goal of man, being called to it by God. Religions are united by faith, which is an inner formless incentive towards the ultimate referent. Both the true self and faith are expressed in religions in various and conflicting constructivist fashions. Johnston calls these doctrinal entities beliefs. The constructivist belief gives expression to the essentialist faith. This means that a mystical experience always has a content which belief has given to faith, and that a mystic experience is a product of the respective environment, despite the feeling of being in contact with the ultimate. Although the contents of the mystical experiences are different, one is in contact with God’s essentialist presence beyond. This is based on Johnston’s idea about love as God’s being (Being-in-Love) and God as being. The ultimate, which religions describe with constructivist notions and regard as the absolute, is in fact the metaontological and essentialist Christ-reality. The experience of mystical nothingness, void and consummation are in connection with the metaontological presence of the kenotic and cosmic Christ. The true self is attained in the deepest fashion in contact with Christ. Johnston’s ideas are a blend of influences from the meditation movement and interpretations from the Jungian view of the human mind. He builds and expresses his theological ideas with Teilhardian and Lonerganian courses of thought, and with their help, creates a general impression about the way to be in dialogue with religions. His program can be described as drawing central themes into view in the field of the dialogue between religions, but quite often also leaving these ideas unfinished and too simplified. His ideas, being grounded in classical mystical theology, are paralleled and interpreted by a substantial number of impulses gained from other religions. With these ideas drawn from various religions, he calls into question, reformulates and opens new views about the human aspiration to strive towards fulfillment and the ultimate. There is no reason to draw the conclusion that these speculations weakened traditional Christian thought or affected his interpretation of Christianity.
  • Siitonen, Virpi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Abstract In my thesis, I examined how relations between the Church and society were reflected in journals in the light of the news coverage of parish elections in the 1970s. I chose three different parishes from all over Finland for my thesis: Forssa, Merijärvi and Vihti. The research material consisted of journal articles on parish elections in ten journals, as well as of the documents on the parish and municipal elections of the examined parishes. This thesis falls within the field of practical theology. In the implementation of my thesis, I used the historical method, and in the examination of the journal articles, content analysis. In 1970, proportional representation was introduced in the parish elections. The candidate lists included only Roman numerals. Party symbols were not allowed to be used, but parties could set up constituency associations. The success of the parties in the parliamentary and municipal elections was reflected in the activity in the parish elections. The strong interest of the parties towards the elections was visible both nationally and in the examined parishes. In the 1970 elections, the constituency associations established by political parties formed almost half of these associations in the whole country, two-thirds in 1974 and three-quarters in 1978. The parties also compiled church policy programs, while becoming more active in each election. In the Church, the activity of the parties and their use of symbols on the candidate lists divided opinions. It was acknowledged that politics had always been somehow part of the Church, but cooperating too closely with the parties was also feared. The parishioners wanted the symbols, but were suspicious of the involvement of politics in the parish elections. Through active news coverage, the journals inspired parishioners to stand for election and to vote. They believed that with the electoral reform, democracy would move forward within the Church, and they called for permission to use party symbols. Throughout the country, the turnout percentage remained below 20 and varied approximately from 13 to over 43 in the examined parishes. The new electoral process allowed the parishioners to influence the Church's decision-making, but only a small portion took part in it. The matter did not interest the majority of the parishioners, or they were simply content with the status quo. In Forssa, the Social Democratic Party participated most visibly with its list in the 1970 elections, and included other parties during the next elections. In the 1970 election in Vihti, the Social Democratic Party participated most visibly with its own list, and the non-socialist parties of the 1974 and 1978 elections were in electoral alliance. In Merijärvi, the Centre Party was in power, although the Finnish People's Democratic League had its own list of candidates in the 1974 election. The Evangelicals in Forssa and the Laestadians in Merijärvi put up candidates. The candidacy of people representing different social classes in the elections portrayed an interest in and appreciation for the Church. In the examined parishes, many were part of the parish administration throughout the whole 1970s, but many new people were also selected. The thesis showed that although the Church was criticized from many directions in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was nevertheless considered a significant institution in Finnish society.
  • Mäkipelto, Ville (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This study reconstructs the textual and editorial history of Josh 24 and related texts (most notably Josh 5:2–9 and Judg 2:6–9) as a case study for understanding the ancient editorial processes that produced the Hebrew Bible. It focuses on the documented evidence of editing; that is, variant versions of the same text. An analysis of the differences between the Septuagint (LXX) and the Masoretic text (MT) forms the core of the study, but texts from the Qumran and the Samaritan community are also discussed. Moreover, the relationship between the methods of textual, literary, and redaction criticism is examined, and it is argued that these should be integrated. Accordingly, this study aims at uncovering ancient editorial processes by bringing together many methods and approaches that are too often kept apart. The text-critical analysis demonstrates that the Old Greek version (OG) of Josh 24 was translated from a Hebrew source text differing from the MT. This Hebrew source text and the proto-MT text once split from a common archetype, which can be reconstructed by discerning secondary readings in the OG and the MT. While both traditions contain secondary readings, the OG is earlier in general. The MT particularly exhibits intentional editing guided by nomistic and harmonistic tendencies. This editing, dated to the last centuries BCE, constituted both additions and radical editorial interventions such as omissions of whole verses. The literary- and redaction-critical analysis concludes that the basic text of Josh 24 was a Persian period nomistic text which grew gradually through both small and large editorial interventions. This editorial history can be uncovered with a modest degree of probability when literary and redaction criticism is controlled with information gained from text-critical evidence. However, the study also finds limitations to this methodology, such as the inability to reconstruct earlier omissions and rewriting. Moreover, this study observes that the Samaritan Joshua texts likely reflect a version of Josh 24 which does not yet contain all the secondary additions, offering additional support for the literary-critical model presented in this investigation. Finally, the study refines our knowledge of editorial techniques used by Second Temple Jewish scribes when they created and transmitted sacred texts. Book endings and seams have especially attracted substantial editing. While addition was the most common editorial technique, more radical editorial intrusions were also employed, especially for ideological reasons. The study concludes that substantial changes were made to the texts of the Hebrew Bible even in the late Second Temple period. More research is needed concentrating on these editorial processes and their ideological dimensions in light of the documented evidence.
  • Kujanpää, Katja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This doctoral dissertation examines the rhetorical functions of scriptural quotations in Paul’s argumentation in the Letter to the Romans. The study addresses the following questions: 1. What functions do quotations perform in Paul’s argumentation? 2. Does Paul render the quotation accurately according to a wording known to him or does he adapt the wording himself? 3. How does the function of a quotation in Romans relate to the original literary context of the quoted words? 4. What kind of scriptural knowledge is required to follow Paul’s argumentation? What information does the audience possibly need to supply to understand Paul’s use of quotations? The study discusses only explicit quotations, not the entirety of scriptural references. The search for the origin of Paul’s wording of quotations is based on a careful text-critical comparison that takes into account the textual pluriformity of the first century CE. The wording of the quotations is compared with different readings of the textual tradition of the Septuagint and with various Hebrew readings. When analysing the rhetorical functions that quotations perform in Paul’s argumentation, the study draws upon modern research on quotations. First, it makes use of the observations and terminology that derive from the Demonstration Theory developed by psycholinguists Herbert Clark and Richard Gerrig. This theory explores various functions that quotations may perform in a discourse. Second, the study applies Meir Sternberg’s theory on recontextualizing quotations. The dissertation shows, first, that Paul’s use of quotations is characterized by diversity. This diversity manifests itself in the argumentative functions of quotations, in various degrees of continuity between the original literary context of the quoted words and their new context in Romans, in the degree of scriptural competence needed to follow the argumentation, and in Paul’s ways of handling the wording of a quotation. In several cases, the study offers completely new solutions to the textual problems that the quotations pose. Second, the study demonstrates that Paul actively controls the “meaning” of quotations. The study highlights the diverse techniques he uses to guide the reading process of the audience: he carefully selects which words of a passage to quote and which not, frequently modifies the wording of quotations, and actively creates a new frame for the quoted words. Third, it is suggested that if one seeks to determine Paul’s intention, one should give priority to the interpretive hints he gives over what may possibly “echo through” the quoted words. Paul remains in control of the message that emerges when the scriptural voices intermingle with his own words.
  • Alstola, Tero (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Judeans in Babylonia: A Study of Deportees in the Sixth and Fifth Centuries BCE The dissertation investigates Judean deportees in Babylonia in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. These people arrived in Babylonia from Judah in the early sixth century BCE, being but one of numerous ethnic groups deported and resettled by King Nebuchadnezzar II. Naming practices among many deportee groups have been thoroughly analysed, but there has been little interest in writing a socio-historical study of Judeans or other immigrants in Babylonia on the basis of cuneiform sources. The present dissertation fills this gap by conducting a case study of Judean deportees and placing its results in the wider context of Babylonian society. The results from the study of Judeans are evaluated by using a group of Neirabian deportees as a point of comparison. The sources of this study consist of 289 clay tablets written in Akkadian cuneiform. The texts are legal and administrative documents such as promissory notes, leases, receipts, and lists. The texts are rarely isolates and normally they can be connected to larger private and institutional archives. Analysis of the source texts as part of larger archives significantly contributes to our understanding of the socio-economic framework of these texts and the people attested in them. Babylonian sources rarely make the ethnic or geographic origin of people explicit, and naming practices are the most important method to identify immigrants in cuneiform texts. Yahwistic theophoric names – that is, names which refer to the god Yahweh – can be used to identify Judeans in Babylonia. The dissertation shows that most Judeans and other deportees were settled in rural communities according to their geographic origin and integrated into the land-for-service sector of Babylonian agriculture. The deportees were given plots of land to cultivate, and in exchange they were obliged to pay taxes and perform work and military service. Some Judeans were able to profit from the system by working as middlemen between the royal administration and their fellow landholders, while other Judeans worked as minor officials in local administration. Nevertheless, the majority of small farmers lived at a subsistence level. Not all deportees were settled in the countryside, as their labour was also needed in cities. Foreign craftsmen, merchants, and soldiers worked in royal service, and a number of deportees made their way to local and regional administrations in Babylonia. Members of foreign royalty were deported to Babylon, and the Judean king Jehoiachin and his retinue were held hostage there in order to prevent rebellions in the vassal state of Judah. A relatively small number of deportees were turned into slaves or temple dependants. The Babylonian practice of settling deportees in ethnically homogenous rural communities supported the survival of their culture in the countryside. Although the deportees were integrated into the Babylonian economy, there is less evidence of social and cultural integration. Adoption of local culture was faster among those deportees who lived in cities and were in regular contact with the native population. Very little can be said about Judean religious practices, however. The available sources hardly ever touch upon this issue, and naming practices only indicate that the worship of Yahweh probably continued in some form in the late fifth century BCE.
  • Posti, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This dissertation is a historical and a philosophical study concerning the doctrine of divine providence, as it was understood in Latin academic theology in 13th and 14th centuries. The method of the study is systematic analysis. The aim of the study is to understand the meaning and the doctrinal value of divine providence for some of the most important authors in the era, and analyse philosophical and theological problems that these authors considered important. The dissertation consists of four chapters. In the first chapter, the historical background of the Christian idea of a provident God is traced from Plato and Aristotle and the Hellenistic schools of philosophy to the late ancient Christian authors Augustine and Boethius. Particular attention is paid to the nascent Platonic and Aristotelian traditions of understanding providence. In the second and third chapters, the ideas that a number of medieval authors held on providence are analysed. Some of the most important authors in chapters 2 and 3 include Thomas Aquinas, Siger of Brabant, Matthew of Aquasparta, Peter Auriol, Robert Holkot and Thomas Bradwardine. The fourth chapter focuses on a relatively unknown 13th century work Liber de bona fortuna, attributed to Aristotle. Liber de bona fortuna, consisting of Latin translations of chapters found originally in Aristotle’s Ethica Eudemia and Magna Moralia, asks whether good fortune ought to be attributed to nature, intellect or god. A number of medieval authors, including e.g. Thomas Aquinas, Giles of Rome, Henry of Ghent, John Duns Scotus and Peter Auriol, became highly interested in Liber de bona fortuna. They provided original explanations of the phenomenon of good fortune, ranging from Henry of Ghent’s providential model to Giles of Rome’s naturalistic and Peter Auriol’s psychologizing explanations. This study shows that the central philosophical questions regarding providence, considered important in the ancient era, were inherited and adopted in medieval theology. These questions include most importantly 1. Whether divine providence is reconcilable with freedom of the will and contingency in general; 2. Whether divine providence is concerned with all particular beings, or exclusively with species of beings; and 3. Does divine providence cause its effects immediately or through the mediation of a chain of secondary causes. A special theme regarding the first question is how divine providence may be reconciled with evil and sinful actions committed by rational agents. I argue that two different strategies of treating these questions may be distinguished in the philosophical thought of the 13th and 14th centuries. According to the accidental strategy of reconciling divine providence and evil, evil results accidentally from God’s good providential plan. While evil is not part of divine providence qua evil, it comes under the influence of providence by receiving a just punishment. In contrast, the instrumental strategy of reconciling divine providence and evil treats evil as an instrument used by God for advancing his good plan for the creation. While evil remains evil considered from the created perspective, considered from the divine perspective it has an instrumental function. It is noted that while some authors display a clear preference for one of these strategies, other authors employ them side by side.
  • Mikkola, Sini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This doctoral dissertation examines Martin Luther’s view of the human being during a decade of ecclesiastical, social, and political turmoil. The vital perspectives in scrutinizing Luther’s anthropology are gender, bodiliness, sexuality, and power. The study first asks how gendered bodiliness was treated in Luther’s discussions on femininity and masculinity, and, consequently, in what way he constructed proper feminine and masculine ways of being and developed the gender system. Under scrutiny are the ideals, norms, and expectations that he framed on the grounds of the gendered body. Thirdly, it is asked whether Luther’s views varied according to historical and textual context, and especially if there are differences between his views of female and male ways of being that are presented in theory, on the one hand, and in practical situations, on the other. The most important contextual factors that set the background for analyzing Luther’s viewpoints are, by and large, the debate on the proper kind of Christian life—whether it should be lived in the cloister or in matrimony—and Luther’s changing personal situation from Augustinian friar to husband and father. The time frame of the study is set from 1520 to 1530—a decade that is less studied in modern research from the viewpoint of gender than, for example, the following one. The structure of the study is thematic, yet it follows a loose chronology. It is thus easier to explore a possible chronological shift in Luther’s language and thinking, and especially whether changes in his personal life or in church and society somehow affected his views concerning the body, gendered ways of being, and the gender system. Many of the key concepts of the study—such as gender and the gender system, power, authority, and otherness—have been adopted from gender studies. Methodologically, the texts are examined through a close critical reading and content analysis of the sources to discuss both the explicit and the implicit dimensions of Luther’s discussion. Texts from the Weimarer Ausgabe (D. Martin Luther’s Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe) are used as the source material. The study shows that Luther formulated his views on gender and the gender system firmly on the basis of human bodiliness. The penetrable theoretical idea that Luther deducted from gendered bodiliness was gender hierarchy: the woman’s subordination and otherness, and the man’s normativity and dominion. Luther participated in the reconstruction of femininity and masculinity in close interaction with the past and the present: he was in several ways affected by and bound to his medieval heritage and to the views of his contemporaries. Furthermore, the study proves that overall, Luther’s thinking concerning the gender system did not undergo major changes during the 1520s, but instead involved smaller adjustments. The analyses of real-life situations reveal that Luther could be flexible in his viewpoints concerning the limits that one’s gender constituted—he allowed different rules especially for himself, for instance. However, in many cases regarding his fellow men and women he applied his theoretical views in practice in a very strict sense. Therefore, it is not the difference between theory and practice per se that is pervasive in Luther’s texts. The study proves that the difference between Luther’s practical views and theory is chiefly dictated by subsidiarity. The two core ideas are: (1) the closer to Luther, the more special the case, and (2) the more strategically important for Luther, the more special the case.
  • Vaura, Tuomas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The overall theme of my study concerns the thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century academic discussions about the incarnation from the point of view medieval philosophical psychology. This study will especially explore the following questions: what themes were included in the discussions about knowledge, will, and passions in Christ’s human nature, what the main psychological ideas employed in the psychology of the incarnation were, and whether the teachings about Christ’s human soul were derived from psychology as a discipline of natural philosophy. The method of this study is a systematic analysis of the psychological conceptions. This includes the historical and philosophical construction of psychological ideas in these discussions about Christ’s human soul. The most important sources of this study are commentaries on Peter Lombard’s Sentences. The sources of this study are composed, for example, by Alexander of Hales and other early Franciscan theologians, Bonaventure, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Giles of Rome, Peter of Tarentaise, Richard Middleton, John Duns Scotus, William Ockham, Peter Auriol, Walter Chatton, Durand of St. Pourçain and Peter of Palude. As theologians studied the knowledge, will and passions of Christ separately, this study is also divided into a corresponding set of three chapters. In the first chapter, I examine the discussion about the knowledge of Christ. The main questions are what kind of knowledge the human Christ had and whether his soul knew everything that God knows. In the second chapter, I study the discussion about Christ’s will and ask what kind of human wills Christ had and how these wills were related to each other. In the third chapter, I turn to a study of the passions of Christ. I ask how Christ’s human soul was passible, what passions he had and how he was simultaneously able to have pain, sadness and joy. My study proves that some emphases in the discussions about the psychology of the incarnation indicate that the early Franciscan theologians and Aquinas established two traditions about the application of psychology to Christology; while the Franciscan theologians usually followed the Franciscan tradition, the Dominican theologians usually followed the Thomistic tradition. However, the study also shows that the traditions were not unequivocal in terms of their flexibility on all questions, since not all Franciscan theologians followed the Franciscan tradition and not all Dominicans followed the Thomistic tradition. In addition, this study shows that in the discussions about the knowledge, will and passion of Christ, theologians applied various ideas from psychology as a branch of natural philosophy in developing their views about theological matters, but Christological views also influenced the philosophical thought of some theologians.
  • Hintsala, Meri-Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Conservative Laestadianism is the largest and most international revivalist movement in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland. Conservative Laestadianism has been widely present in Finnish social media during the 20th century due to its lived practices in relation to women’s rights and coping in everyday life. In this article-based doctoral thesis, I focused on the internet discussions of the Laestadian people on the selected discussion forums in Finland in 2011. First, I asked how the Laestadian teaching is embodied in the adherent’s everyday life. I presented my answer to this question in the three individual publications published in the reviewed academic journals. The second question in this work was: how is embodied lived life established in relation to lived theology through theological negotiation in the internet discussions? The data consisted of 380 autobiographical narratives collected from the different discussion forums. I developed a methodological tool for the analysis, which involved combining autoethnographic perspectives and the netnographic method. I concluded that the auto-netnographic method could be adapted in more general researches where the researcher plays a role in the research context in multidimensional ways. This study shows how theology and the body co-exists in tight interconnection in the Laestadian lived religious life. Theology and the body interact circularly: the body resists the theological teaching of rejection of contraception through negative emotions, illness and maladjustment, which creates a reinterpretation of the lived practices and the theological teaching. At the same time, the body approves the teaching by cultivating the experienced suffering through positive emotions and making them religiously essential in terms of the Laestadian understanding of redemption. My study shows that Laestadian lived religion is more adaptive than earlier studies concerning Laestadianism have been able to show. Flexible religious agency is formed between the religious tradition of the movement and secular society around the movement. An academic perspective of lived religion, which was the loose frame for this study, offers an overview of lived religious practices often outside the institutional religious community. Traditionally, it does not pay attention to dogmatic or religiosity through written official texts. The lived Laestadian life and religion is multi-layered, even though it is still tightly bound up with the core theological principles of the movement. Because of this complexity, I challenge the existing understanding of the academic tradition of lived religion by saying that the very concept of lived religion has to be patterned on the concept of lived faith. Lived faith, which emphasises the spiritual and cognitive theological nuances of the religious worldview, suits these kinds of contexts better; that is, contexts where theological interpretation is conscious and ambitious on the basis of the theological construction of the movement. In future researches, the created concept of lived faith in this study would enlarge the toolbox of researchers considering lived religious life and embodiment in connection with institutional theological formulations. As a result of this study, I indicate that the body is a permanent part of the relationship between a human and God in Laestadian lived faith. Net discussions on the embodiment of Laestadian people reflect the pain spots of the Laestadian community and postmodern Finnish society.
  • Ajo, Martti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Sigfrid Sirenius (1877–1961), Doctor of Theology, was a pioneer of the modern social Christian ideas and the founder of the Finnish Settlement movement. The link between God’s kingdom and the labour movement was essential both in Sirenius’ theologic-ideological thinking and in his Christian values based civic activity. Sirenius’ God’s kingdom ideology was a result of a multiphase process. It grew from the soil of both German Württembergian and Anglo-Saxon Pietism. The aiming point of Sirenius’ ideology was to strengthen the connection between the Church and the labour movement and to repress secularism. On the threshold of the General Strike (1905) Sirenius left for seamen’s mission to Antwerp and later to London. In England a cosmopolite seamen’s minister increasingly applied himself to labour question and received heavy influence from the British labour movement. While studying Anglican Church, Sirenius got familiar with the settlement movement, which drew ideas from Christian socialism. Sirenius radical Christian values based civic activity began in 1913, after F. Herbert Stead had paid a visit to Finland. The purpose of visit was to further labourizing SDP. On the factory areas Sirenius agitated on behalf of Christian socialism. He preached for the labourer about earthly God’s kingdom, which could be built by means of Social Democrats. The outbreak of the Civil War meant a setback for his endeavours to labourize the SDP. After the War he was one of the few ministers who stayed in touch with the SDP. In 1918 Sirenius found Finnish Settlement Movement. After the Civil War SDP had their suspicions about the Christian values based civic activity made by Sirenius. Due to his situation, he approached the Agrarian League and the party’s leading figure, Santeri Alkio. In the Northern Finland Sirenius teamed up with the Lapland Trio. Their goal was to spread social Christian ideology among log floaters in Lapland and to fight against materialistic Communism. The international conference of the religious socialists, held in Barchem 1924, became revolutionary to the development of Sirenius’ God’s kingdom ideology. In the conference Sirenius met L. Ragaz. And via Ragaz, Sirenius got familiar with the chiliastic God’s kingdom ideology and apokatastasis-yearning formed by Johann Christoph and Christoph Blumhardt. Blumhardt Jr. was a Social Democrat.
  • Virtaniemi, Matti-Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The purpose of this study is to investigate the dimensions of the existential process manifested in the narratives of ALS patients. ALS is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease to which there is no curative treatment and that leads to death typically within a few years due to respiratory failure. The existential process is both psychological and spiritual. The research material of this study was collected by interviewing six ALS patients, three times each, within one year. This narrative study seeks to find answers to the following questions: 1.) What kinds of existential processes do ALS patients undergo during their illness? 2.) How does one create meaning of life and find meaning in life when ALS threatens one’s existence? 3.) How does religious spirituality contribute to an ALS patient’s perceived meaningfulness of life? A combination of three narrative analysis methods allowed the study to understand the existential process of an ALS patient. The thematic analysis revealed the fundamental issues in life, or existential dimensions. Existential dimensions were further divided into two groups: first, the ultimate concerns in life and second, meaning in life and meaninglessness of life. The first group involved anxiety of fate, the choice (of the permanent ventilator) concerning existence, loss of autonomy, responsibility and existential guilt, functional loss and shame for disability, agony of failing respiration, menacing future and death. The things that the interviewees considered most important in their lives are in the present study called sources of meaning in life: close relationships, work, helping others, nature, life in itself, personal growth, hope, and connection to the transcendent. The experience of the meaningfulness of life correlates with the amount of the sources of meaning in life. Six life narratives were construed into four types of illness narrative by help of the holistic form analysis. Each type of illness narrative demonstrates a different existential process. The mini stories of the interviewees as well as their structural and meaning analysis revealed the changes in the existential dimensions manifesting in the existential process. Mini stories also provided insight into how religious spirituality changes and how it contributes to one’s perceived meaningfulness of life. The effect was positive in three of the four narrative types. The threefold narrative analysis provides an integrated view of the existential process of an ALS patient. The existential process consists of two separate but nested spiritual processes: one involves processing the ultimate concerns in life, while the other involves processing meaning in life and meaninglessness of life. The ultimate concerns may transform, but they will remain present until the end of life. This study found that addressing these ultimate concerns does not prevent one from perceiving life as meaningful and even strengthening this view. One may need either to reconstruct the sources of meaning in life, or to find new ones or create new meanings. Thus the study sheds light on the puzzling finding: quality of life in ALS is maintained while physical function declines.