Teologinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Ahonen, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Finnish Mental Health Policy – Public Authority Governance in Protecting the Human Rights of Those with Mental Health Disorders. Following international examples, Finland began to dismantle psychiatric hospitals in the 1980s. Changes relating to the treatment of mental health disorders were influenced by many different ideas and objectives influenced by them. These trends led to a political decision to dismantle hospital institutions, which was justified as strengthening the human rights of the seriously ill. The aim of this research is to examine how public authority, in carrying out its mental health responsibilities, has sought to secure the fundamental and human rights of its citizens. Following five research questions were formulated: 1) What has been the political governance guiding the implementation of Finnish mental health policies? 2) What values and norms do the mental health policy governance documents contain? 3) How is mental health work understood and perceived in such mental health policy documents, what objectives do they set, and in which direction have they steered the development of mental health practices? 4) Which mental health-related aspects have been left out of or received little attention in the mental health policy documents? 5) How have Finnish mental health policies influenced the safeguarding of the fundamental and human rights of citizens with mental health disorders? The research methodology utilized in this study is systematic concept analysis. The research material includes primary sources and secondary sources. The primary sources consists of public policy documents describing the objectives, phenomena, and ideas that are then examined with the help of secondary sources which make up the research literature for this study. Examining mental health policy governance in Finland from 1970 to the present leads to the following observations: 1) The first documents governing mental health policies written in Finland clearly include concepts that concern the protection of the fundamental and human rights of seriously ill citizens. In the following decades, such objectives no longer appear in the written documents governing mental health policies. 2) The focus of mental health policies changed from protecting the fundamental and human rights of seriously ill citizens to the management of the mental health and wellbeing of the entire population. 3) The Finnish mental health policy focuses on the promotion of health, preventive care and development of a service system as part of welfare state policy. Because the objectives have been extensive and by their nature abstract, it has been impossible to form effective policy governance to achieve them. 4) It has not been possible to ensure the fundamental and human rights of seriously ill citizens with a development process focused on the service system. The concepts and paradigms utilized in the development process documents have directed the focus away from the questions relating to the realization of fundamental and human rights. 5) The ethos of wellbeing and preventive healthcare has steered attention away from the improvement of the position of the seriously ill. Public authority’s definition of a good life as well as the central focus of mental health governance in the development process of the service system has resulted in the seriously ill being forgotten in seemingly inclusive outpatient care. Key words: Mental health policy, human rights, mental disorders, public authority, service systems, agency
  • Kuivala, Petra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The doctoral dissertation "Never a Church of Silence: The Catholic Church in Revolutionary Cuba, 1959–1986" explores the histories of Catholicism in the Cuban revolution. The research traces both the intra-ecclesial discourse of the Catholic Church in the revolution and the lived experiences of Cuban Catholics in the revolutionary reality. The research addresses a topic scarcely acknowledged in international scholarship: religion in revolutionary Cuba. Among the lacunas in scholarly knowledge are the histories of Cuban Catholics in the revolutionary reality. While preceding scholarship has focused on the institutional histories of Cuban Catholicism, it has placed little attention on the lived experiences and quotidian life of Catholics in the revolution. Correspondingly, many of the social histories of the revolution have also remained silenced by the revolution’s dominant narratives, and hidden from scholars by the silence of the Cuban archives. Drawing on previously inaccessible Cuban primary sources, both documental and oral, the research provides new insights into the dynamics of Catholicism in the revolution and Catholic discourse on the revolution. The research presented here is based on an extensive amount of unstudied documents housed in the archives of the Catholic Church in Cuba. As these sources appear in international scholarship for the first time, they mark a significant step forward in historical knowledge about Catholicism and the Cuban revolution and represent a unique opening into post-1959 Cuban archives. The archival sources are complemented with oral history sources: interviews with Cubans narrating their individual and collective experiences in living the revolution as Catholics. The multitude of new sources both enables the discovery of new histories of Catholicism in the revolution and makes it possible to bridge the more institutional histories of the Catholic Church and the individual, personal histories of Cuban Catholics. While preceding scholarship has predominantly approached religion within the narrative framework of revolutionary historiography, this research analyzes the histories of Catholicism and the revolution pronounced by Cuban Catholic voices. In intra-ecclesial discourse, the sources enable an analysis of a large array of voices: those of the ecclesial hierarchy, clergy, and laypeople discussing and recounting distinctively Catholic histories of the revolution. The overarching conclusions of the research discuss the continuous, multidimensional agency of the Catholic Church in revolutionary Cuba, and consequently, the intrinsically intertwining interplay of religion and the revolution in the experiences of Cuban Catholics. While constructions highlighting the silence and absence of Catholicism in the revolution have previously framed scholarly paradigms, this study presents a more complex and nuanced analysis of Catholic life in the revolution. As a whole, this research provides a new opening for analyzing the Cuban revolution from the perspectives of lived experience, various social actors of the revolutionary society, and histories recounted by voices from within the revolutionary reality. Further illustrating the manifold role of religion in the Cuban revolution is the multidisciplinary nature of this research project. In addition to the study of church history and theology, this work is situated in the field of Cuban studies. It also intersects with Latin American and Caribbean studies, studies of oral history, and the study of lived religion.
  • Anton, Emil (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This dissertation explores the thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI on the theology of religions and interreligious dialogue. It consists of an introductory overview and four peer-reviewed articles. With a systematic analysis of key concepts, structures, and arguments, the dissertation contributes to a better understanding of a less appreciated area of Ratzinger’s theology. The two events that dominate commentaries as well as popular imagination on Ratzinger/Benedict’s contribution to the theology of religions and interreligious dialogue are the publication of Dominus Iesus in 2000 and the 2006 lecture at the University of Regensburg, both of which caused an uproar. More attention should be paid to Ratzinger’s personal theology of religions as expressed in his books, as well as to the 188 texts from Benedict XVI’s pontificate that relate to interreligious dialogue. Contrary to those who have tried to portray Ratzinger as a soteriological exclusivist, I argue that he is an optimistic restrictivist inclusivist, allowing for the salvation of a great number of non-Christians while not considering other religions instruments of salvation as such. Ratzinger’s inclusivism is structured around an objective and a subjective aspect, the vicarious representation of Christ and the Church (Stellvertretung) and some sort of a pistis or openness to God in the subject. A reinterpretation of purgatory provides the final solution to the salvation of “the many”. Ratzinger’s opposition to John Paul II’s interreligious Assisi meetings and his negativity about the Asiatic religions have also been exaggerated. Despite a strong juxtaposition between the theistic and mystical paths in the world of religions, Ratzinger hopes for an integration of the best elements of the mystical religions, and while cautious about multireligious and interreligious prayer, he provides criteria for their right realisation. A contradiction seems to emerge between Ratzinger/Benedict’s emphasis on truth as the ultimate goal of interreligious dialogue and his apparent endorsement of the idea that interreligious dialogue, or theological dialogue, is actually impossible. At the end of his papacy, Benedict maintains that interreligious dialogue does not seek to convert another, even though it should always aim at drawing closer to the truth. Pope Benedict XVI’s most central message to representatives of other religions concerns peace and non-violence, coupled with a call to a common witness to spiritual values in a secular society. Religiously motivated violence remains a central challenge for interreligious dialogue.
  • Hynynen, Tuomas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study describes the nature of teaching, doctrine, faith and approaches to ethical issues in the ethical statements of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. The research material consists of seven ethical or ethics-related statements approved by the bishops, a committee of the General Synod, or the Church Council between 2005–2010. These statements treat questions related to family ethics, medical ethics, treatment of asylum seekers, homosexuality, ethical investment, global responsibility and climate change. The study begins with a description of doctrine, faith, ethics, teaching, the nature of ethical statements and the general situation of the Church of Finland in 2005–2010. The main part of the study consists of analysing the seven statements. The analysis is conducted first studying each statement by itself (chapters 3–9) and then all seven together (chapter 10), resulting in an overview of the teaching, doctrine, faith and approaches to ethical issues, together with some critical observations. The ethical teaching of the Church of Finland is based on the Golden Rule and the dignity given to every human in Creation. The seven statements analysed differ from one another in their use of the Bible and their references to the teaching, faith, and previous ethical statements of the Church of Finland. Some statements rely on arguments based on the Bible and Church teaching. Others build their arguments on human rights and assumed consequences on those affected. The research material contains very few references to the Ten Commandments, the Lutheran Confessions or the Catechism of the Church of Finland approved by the General Synod in 1999. The ethical statements seem to form a tradition or continuum of teaching. This tradition is not as authoritative as the doctrine or the Catechism of the Church. Yet the clergy and other employees of the Church are to some extent expected to commit to the teaching outlined in these statements. The ethical statements analysed build their arguments on consequences on those affected, stakeholders or the Created world, rather than the experience or expectations of those affected. Christian faith is described in the statements as a source of motivation to ethical action. Some statements encourage Christians to take active role in ethical action. Global trends or the example of other churches are portrayed as sources of motivation in these statements. Other statements outline what should or should not be allowed in the Church or the Finnish society. These statements portray the teaching of the Bible and the Church as normative. The statements are formulated in a way that portrays the Bible, Church teaching, the nature of mankind and good consequences all pointing to the same ethical conclusions in harmony. This harmony is achieved by making compromises in the way each is portrayed. The statements analysed emphasise careful situational ethical reasoning, yet the teaching expressed in the statements is based on a tradition of Biblical teaching, Church documents and ecumenical interests. It is possible that some ethical statements are also used to build ecumenical relations or the position of the Church in the Finnish society. The statements are written in the middle of a tension between different ways to interpret the Bible, Church teaching and different expectations. Each statement draws arguments from different sources that support the position taken by the authors of the statement. Based on the research, the ethical reasoning of the Church contains and combines a number of different methods, arguments and conclusions, and therefore it is not possible to draw a uniform picture of the nature of these statements.
  • Kaira, Terhi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This doctoral dissertation in the sociology of the church examines strategic thinking in the Evangeli-cal Lutheran Church of Finland since the turn of the millennium. The dissertation answers the following research questions: What kind of strategic thinking can be seen in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland? How has this strategic thinking evolved? What are the opportunities for and obstacles to strategic thinking? The research material comprises 39 approved strategy documents of the church and aggregated survey data from two parish vicars. The study focuses on the church as a whole, its areas of work, dioceses, and parishes. The study adopts a classical strategy theory approach. Particular attention is paid to the strategies’ content. The study’s results present a material analysis of the characteristics of the church’s strategic thinking as a whole, consisting of 29 different elements. Each element of strategic thinking describes the church’s identity, strategic choices or strategy processes. The results show that the church is striving through its strategies to justify, reinforce, and maintain the essential features of its community identity. Through its visions and choices, the church’s strategic thinking attaches itself to an understanding of the dynamism and emergent causes of reality. In making its strategic choices, the church appears to be following its own timetable and seeking reform. The study suggests that the church’s strategic thinking is characterised by trust in leadership and protection. There is a hopeful attitude concerning the future. Strategy processes have evolved over the reviewed period in a more open direction. The church’s common strategy serves as a framework for other church administration strategies. Although a common strategy clearly guides its overall planning process, the church’s strategic thinking is characterised by each actor’s freedom and a broad strategic leeway. The study reveals that the church’s strategic thinking not only evinces a strongly classical approach to strategy but also a processual, systemic, and evolutionary approach. The study therefore reinforces the notion that strategy-theoretical approaches do not appear to be distinct, but rather blend with and complement one another. Keywords: strategic thinking, the church’s community identity, future work, vision and choices, change.
  • Jankko, Eriikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    “The Child in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland” The aim of this study was to examine what it is to be a child and to be like a child and how to become like children according to the normative texts that direct the faith and the actions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF). I used social ethical conceptual analysis as a method to develop a tool that helps to make conceptual distinctions that clarify the concepts, conceptions and discussions of being a child. This conceptual tool can be useful in improving co-operation with children in the Church as well as in society. In addition, I investigated what child theology is in the context of ELCF. The sources of this study are the Bible, the Book of Concord (BSELK) and the liturgical and juridical texts that direct the faith and the actions of the ELCF. The normative bases of these texts differ from each other. Therefore, I analysed how child-related concepts and conceptions in the different sources impact the discussions on being a child, the varieties of goodness with being a child, and co-operation with children. I searched for child-related concepts and conceptions and analysed them. The lexical analysis of the term lapsi (child) showed that the concept of “child” is twofold. First, being a child is an age- and development-based concept, that is, it is related to the stage of life called lapsuus (childhood; German: die Kindheit). Secondly, the concept “lapseus” (childship; German: die Kindschaft) refers to a relation-based idea of being a child. The English term “childship” refers to the relation of being a child, but the term is seldom used. Additionally, the metaphors of being a child structure both individual and collective identity. By means of this conceptual analysis I identified the varieties of children’s “goodness” that are aimed at and how the value of the child is justified through using different child- and childhood-related conceptual systems of the normative texts. There is a rich store of child-related concepts, though underutilized. There are tensions between the different conceptions of children and different ideals of their agency. The conception of being a child is narrow or out of date in many texts. The different conceptions of being a child can be clarified by making use of conceptual distinctions and recognizing the sociocultural context of the texts. It is possible to observe the development of child-related conceptions in the sources. For example, the inclusivity of child metaphors has increased. The child-related conceptions identified in the source material offer insights into social and theological conceptions of being a child. Jesus’ and Martin Luther’s conceptions of children differed from their contemporary religious and cultural ideas. They refused the conventional religious hierarchy and set the child as an example for adults and told the adults to become like children. Martin Luther emphasized the spiritual vocation of a child and of family life in his catechisms. The study shows parallels between being a child on the social level and on the theological level. In the Book of Concord, being a child (childship; German: Kindschaft) is a theological term that describes the core identity of a human being in the relationship with God. The term is a conceptual innovation of Luther’s and it is utilized in the Book of Concord and in the liturgical metaphors. It neutralizes the gender-based religious language and enables inclusive expressions that support a shared identity of being a child. It binds the agents together on both a social and theological level. The use of the relation-based term “childship” is rare in the English language. Therefore, there is a risk that the age- and development-based conceptions of children predominate, as English is widely used in the field of Childhood Studies. Being a child is a theological core identity in the Church. The theological child-related concepts can strengthen the value of being a child and the interdependence between human beings. They enrich the societal discussion on being a child. The theological metaphors and the ideals of agency related to being a child have an impact on the recognition of children. Therefore, the risks of irresponsible, narrow or totalitarian use of child-related concepts must be recognized and corrected. The nuanced store of child-related conceptions in the normative texts that direct the confession of the Church is an underutilized resource in the Church. The exemplarity of being a child could be used to represent both an ideal of lifelong learning and our ontological dependence on other human beings, creation and God. The language of being a child enriches the Church’s conceptions of God and human beings. Being a child is a social and theological basic relation of human beings. The ideal of being a child leads us towards other people, since every human being shares being a child and therefore the mutual relation-based idea of childhood. Keywords: child, childhood, childship, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, theology, social ethics, childhood studies
  • Tekoniemi, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study examines and reconstructs the textual history of 2 Kings 17 both in light of the preserved textual evidence and in light of the literary-critical method. The analysis of textual differences between Septuagint (LXX), the Old Latin (OL), and the Masoretic text (MT) and the reconstruction of the oldest text attainable forms the backdrop to the more hypothetical aspects of text-historical study. The text-critical study of the Greek and Latin witnesses shows that the Old Greek (OG) version of 2 Kings 17 was translated from a Hebrew Vorlage often even radically differing from the MT. In most cases it can be shown that the MT in fact exhibits signs of later editing. Many of the cases have both historiographical and redaction critical repercussions. Literary critically, LXX can help us reconstruct multiple text-historical layers otherwise out of our reach. Many of the proto-Masoretic changes can likely be dated to the Hellenistic period or even later. The literary critical study of the chapter proves in many ways more complex than the comparison of many of the text-critical variants. It can be concluded without a doubt that the text has grown through the centuries even in passages where there is no text-critical evidence of this growth. However, the methodological limitations of literary criticism become clear when discerning such a complex chapter as 2 Kings 17: in many cases the textual evolution may have happened in multiple different ways. Furthermore, differing conclusions on certain text-critical cases can have far-reaching consequences on the literary-critical analysis. Thus, as supposed by the literary critics for well over a century, the textual data shows beyond doubt that there has happened vast editing and rewriting of 2 Kings 17 even at a very late date. Text-critical considerations are therefore not only useful, but likely invaluable to all scholarly work on 2 Kings 17, and Books of Kings as a whole.
  • Heinilä, Kimmo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    It has been claimed that there was a lack of uniformity among the first Confirmation practices during the Reformation era. However, the classic types of Confirmation (catechetical, hierarchical, sacramental and traditional) do not give a realistic picture of the practices used in Central Europe during that time. On the contrary, a major amount of the orders of Confirmation were formed in a similar way with catechetical instruction, confession of faith, praying for the children, and admission to First Communion. So, most likely, there were mainly two distinguished traditions of admission in 16th-century Germany: The non- Confirmation that derived from Luther and the Confirmation of Bucer. Luther included the motifs of strengthening to Baptism, catechetical instruction and the Holy Communion, but not to the rite of Confirmation. Instead of Luther, Confirmation blessing and the laying on of hands (latin: impositio manuum) had implications of strengthening for Bucer. Melanchton followed Bucer in arguing that the Holy Spirit was conferred by ‘impositio’ in the Confrmation practices of the Apostles. According to Luther, the Apostles did not use impositio in such a way. For him, the impositio meant prayer only. Confirmation blessing cannot strengthen people to be confirmed theologically, for the prayer does not belong to the means of grace. So, the subject of strengthening in a Confirmation rite cannot be God, but may be the parish. Confirmation has contained complicated and confusing questions for centuries right up until the present day, especially throughout the Lutheran world. It has been stated that it is impossible to define a common understanding of Lutheran Confirmation, because of the fact that Lutheran churches have developed in different directions depending on their cultural contexts. In the three main Confirmation study projects organized by the Lutheran World Federation (1957−1963, 1979−1986 and 1990−1995) scholars have reinterpreted Confirmation. According to them, Confirmation is not just a liturgical rite, it is also considered an educational process. Many Lutheran churches seem to have adopted this way of thinking afterwards (USA, Norway, Sweden). The Finnish Lutheran Church (FLC) has the curriculum (2017) for Confirmation classes, in which Confirmation itself and Confirmation classes contain the themes of strengthening Lutheran faith. Despite this, Confirmation classes are considered to be a preparation for Confirmation itself, but are not yet felt to be a true Confirmation. I argue that this situation is caused by two different liturgical and historical traditions. On the one hand, the FLC Confirmation classes derive from the admission examination of Luther and on the other hand, the Confirmation rite has its own liturgical and historical roots in the tradition of Confirmation developed by Bucer. So far, the FLC has not succeeded in combining these two traditions together. This thesis claims that it is possible to adopt a new paradigm and concept for Confirmation, in which both traditions, Lutheran and Bucerian, can be combined in one entity, so that the Confirmation class and the Confirmation Mass would both be seen as an integral part of each other. In this manner, Confirmation is not just a final rite but will already begin while starting the Confirmation class.
  • Porkka, Jouko (Diakonia University of Applied Sciences, 2019)
    Young confirmed volunteers’ (YCVs) motivation, religiosity, and community in the confirmation work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) are examined. The history of YCV activity is studied in order to understand it today. Motivation theories, theories on religious commitment, sense of community, and community of practice form the theoretical foundation of this study. This dissertation is composed of four articles, which pave the way for solving the main research question. The whole study sheds light on the matter of the YCVs’ motivations, expectations, experiences, and religiosity. The influence of YCV activity on their attitudes and opinions is another topic addressed. Furthermore, the analysis touches on the broader question of how all of this influences the YCVs’ lives. Two kinds of data and thus two research methods are used. The data examined in the first article describing the history of YCV activity consists of statistics from various sources in the ELCF. The other data was collected from the YCVs via questionnaires and from an international study on confirmation work and Christian youth work in Finland. Two separate international studies have been done on the topic, the first in 2007/2008 and the second in 2012/2013. In both, data was collected separately at the beginning and at the end of that confirmation time during which the YCVs were volunteering. Altogether four different sets of data on the YCVs were collected. Because there were significant changes in Finnish society between the first and the second data sets, the sets could be used to assess the impact of these changes on YCVs’ opinion, which was found to differ from the views of confirmands at large. The broad data also enabled an international comparison between confirmands and at some level also between volunteers in different countires. The quantitative data was analysed statistically using the SPSS tool. Wenger’s model of social learning is successfully applied to the phenomenon. The key result is that in YCV activity, learning occurs through doing when the objects of learning are models of acting. Learning modifies belonging, committing, and relating to a community. Learning also changes an individual’s identity by giving the individual more readiness to understand things, to act, and to feel a sense of belonging to a community. Following this model, each confirmation group may form a Christian community of practice with confirmands (novices), YCVs (veterans) and assistant teachers (experts). This means that in confirmation work, each of the confirmands finds their own role based on their motivation, skills, and interests. The confirmands receive the support of YCVs and assistant leaders in discovering the meaning of Christian faith, which is the aim of the confirmation work. However it is a tad difficult to determine the role of, pastors, youth workers or other paid staff in this applied model. It was also recognized that YCVs are a very diverse group of adolescents with various ways of believing and motivations to volunteer. However, the diversity is perhaps one of the assets of YCV activity. When working as a group, people with different strengths need and reinforce each other. The role of paid staff is to support this diversity and openess in the YCV community. When there is space enough for YCVs with different motivations and ways of believing, positive youth development occurs automatically. YCVs learn useful things, which are meaningful in their future, such as leadership, tolerance, and understanding and living Christianity. Although the results show that YCV activity has a positive influence on the development of many of the YCVs, this is not always the case. Some YCVs also experience bitter disappointments and negative experiences. Key words. Adolescent, motivation, religiosity, religious commitment, sense of community, community of practice, confirmation work, young confirmed volunteers (YCVs), volunteering, Christian nurturing, quantitative research.
  • Paananen, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    A standard approach in historically minded disciplines to documents and other artefacts that have become suspect is to concentrate on their dissimilarities with known genuine artefacts. While such an approach works reasonably well with relatively poor forgeries, more skilfully done counterfeits have tended to divide expert opinions, demanding protracted scholarly attention. As there has not been a widespread scholarly consensus on a constrained set of criteria for detecting forgeries, a pragmatic maximum for such dissimilarities—as there are potentially an infinite numbers of differences that can be enumerated between any two artefacts—has been impossible to set. Thus, rather than relying on a philosophically robust critical framework, scholars have been accustomed to approaching the matter on a largely case-by-case basis, with a handful of loosely formulated rules for guidance. In response to these shortcomings, this dissertation argues that a key characteristic of inquiry in historically minded disciplines should be the ability to distinguish between knowledge-claims that are epistemically warranted—i.e., that can be asserted post hoc from the material reality they have become embedded in with reference to some sort of rigorous methodological framework—and knowledge-claims that are not. An ancient letter by Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150–215 CE) to Theodore, in which two passages from the Longer Gospel of Mark (also known as the Secret Gospel of Mark) are quoted, has long been suspected of having been forged by Morton Smith (1915–1991), its putative discoverer. The bulk of this dissertation consists of four different articles that each use different methodological approaches. The first, a discourse analysis on scholarly debate over the letter’s authenticity, illuminates the reasons behind its odd character and troubled history. Second, archival research unearths how data points have become corrupted through unintended additions in digital-image processing (a phenomenon labelled line screen distortion here). Third, a quantitative study of the handwriting in Clement’s Letter to Theodore shows the inadequacy of unwittingly applying palaeographic standards in cases of suspected deceptions compared to the standards adhered to in forensic studies. Additionally, Smith’s conduct as an academic manuscript hunter is found to have been consistent with the standard practices of that profession. Finally, a study of the conceptual distinctions and framing of historical explanations in contemporary forgery discourse reveals the power of the methodologic approach of WWFD (What Would a Forger Do?), which has recently been used in three varieties (unconcealed, concealed, and hyperactive) to construe suspected documents as potential forgeries—despite its disregard of justificatory grounding in favour of coming up with free-form, first-person narratives in which the conceivable functions as its own justification. Together, the four articles illustrate the pitfalls of scholarly discourse on forgeries, especially that surrounding Clement’s Letter to Theodore. The solution to the poor argumentation that has characterized the scholarly study of forgeries is suggested to be an exercise in demarcation: to decide (in the abstract) which features should be acceptable as evidence either for or against the ascription of the status of forgery to an historical artefact. Implied within this suggestion is the notion of constraint, i.e., such that a constrained criterion would be one that cannot be employed to back up both an argument and its counter-argument. A topical case study—a first step on the road to creating a rigorous standard for constrained criteria in determining counterfeits—is the alternative narrative of an imagined creation of Clement’s Letter to Theodore by Smith around the time of its reported discovery (1958). Concealed indicators of authority, or the deliberate concealment of authorial details within the forged artefact by the forger, is established as a staple of the literary strategy of mystification, and their post hoc construction as acceptable evidence of authorship is argued to follow according to criteria: 1) that the beginning of the act of decipherment of a concealed indicator of authority has to have been preceded by a literary primer that is unambiguous to a high degree, 2) that, following the prompting of the literary primer, the act of deciphering a concealed indicator of authority has to have adhered to a technique or method that is unambiguous to a high degree, and 3) that, following the prompting of the literary primer and the act of decipherment, both of which must have been practiced in an unambiguous manner to a high degree, the plain-text solution to the concealed indicator of authority must likewise be unambiguous to a high degree.
  • Väätäinen, Matti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Ecclesiology has been one of the rising areas in systematic theology in the recent decades. The leading, paradigmatic theme has been communion ecclesiology: the unity of the church and the fellowship of Christians have been understood generally as communion, meaning shared life (koinonia). This kind of koinonia or communion of the church is justified by a trinitarian way on the basis of the unity and distinction of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The unity of the church is manifested in its sacramental life in different local churches. The purpose of this study was to investigate Wolfhart Pannenberg’s (1928-2014) undestanding of the unity of the church as communion. The task of the study included an analysis of the systematic theological prerequisities for the unity of the chuch as communion in Pannenberg’s thinking. It was assumed – as the central hypothesis – that the whole of Pannenberg’s ecclesiological scheme is focused on and structured around the theme of the unity of the church. It was also presumed that the theme of unity is central in his mind-set not only because of his ecumenical activity but also because of the contents, main questions, and inner logic of his own comprehensive theological system. Pannenberg’s insights were thus to analyse in the overall context of this theology. The method used was systematic immanent by nature. The results of the study proved that the hypothesis was correct: Pannenberg’s view on the unity of the church as communion with the specific internal dimensions and solutions is connected with the general guiding principles of his theology – specifically with its foundational question concerning the unity of trinitarian God. Pannenberg offers a carefully structured systematic theological basis for striving for the unity of the church. At the same time he shows by a theologically justified way why the unity of the church is important in the first place: it is connected with the appearance or coming of the eschatological kingdom of God – that is: the manifestation of the one final truth about God, salvation, and the whole existence. Pannenberg sees the church as an anticipating sign of the kingdom of God in history. According to him, the church can credibly be this kind of a sign only if it’s one. That is: when it’s one communion comprising all Christian churches. Thus, the unity it not just an additional value but an important value in itself. According to Pannenberg, the unity of the church comprises both spiritual and visible aspects. He refers to this by describing the unity of the church primarily in terms of the body of Christ (sacramental communion), but also by the terms of the people of God (the concrete, living fellowship of the church). In this way, Pannenberg’s model is characterized by a nuanced ontology of communion. At the same time he offers some remarkable solutions to the central challenges to the unity of the church – such as questions concerning the ordained ministry.
  • Siltala, Markku (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The purpose of this dissertation research was to investigate and illustrate how Finnish people describe their Post Death Contact (PDC) experiences and how they interpret the PDC effects on their perceptions about life and death. The results of this study were reflected through the framework of the Continuing Bonds grief theory (later CB-theory). According to Walter (1996) and Klass (2006b) the CB-theory’s PDC experiences are an intrinsic part of the grief process, which aim to re-design a deceased one’s biography by talking about the deceased one and by talking to the deceased one. The PDC experiences based on this research were investigated from the above mentioned point of view. The theoretical framework was derived from a synthesis of the earlier respected research about PDC experiences and the Continuing Bonds grief theory. The goal of the research was to disclose information, create concepts about and classification of the PDC experiences so that they could be recognised, handled and understood. The research questions were the following: 1) What kind of PDC experiences do Finnish people describe having had, 2) how do Finnish people say these experiences influence their perceptions about life and death, and 3) how do the PDC experiences of this research appear through the framework of the Continuing Bonds grief theory? Research data collection was based on the 613 documented narratives about the PDC experiences written by 195 Finnish people of which 83% were women and 17% were men, age range varying between 19 and 97 years. The data were collected at the end of 2013 and at the beginning of 2014. This research represents an empirical research data and it was conducted as a qualitative case research concerning the PDC experience narratives that were described. As to methodological decisions, content analysis was executed both as a data based and as a theory driven method. This research qualifies as a study of religion due to its appreciative approach. As an answer to the research question, a typological classification with distinguishable descriptions was created. It classified the PDC experiences into direct concrete experiences and indirect symbolically interpreted ones. In addition, the direct experiences were further classified by the way an experience was received into three main categories; external perceptions, internal feelings and a state of sleep experiences. Based on the classification of the 613 documented stories, 13 types of PDC experiences were found. According to the research results, the PDC experiences were regarded as natural and mainly positive. They were said to influence considerably and in many ways people’s perceptions on life and death by changing people’s conceptions about life continuing in death, and the presence of the deceased one after his or her death. The PDC experiences also diminished people’s fear of death or totally removed it. Additionally the PDC experiences reported to have an influence on people’s beliefs and choices. The results received of the PDC experiences were mainly in line with the CB-theory regarding continuing bonds in human relations in grief. However, based on this data, the main difference was that people also had PDC experiences outside of the so-called grief time; before the death, at the time of the death or a long time after the death. Furthermore, it was recognised that the PDC experiences had a significant impact on the re-design of a deceased one’s biography.
  • Kaše, Vojtěch (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In this thesis, I analyze the process of the gradual ritualization of early Christian meals in the first four centuries CE as accompanied by the increasing popularity of beliefs in the supernatural quality of the meal elements. I advocate a general hypothesis that the long-term cultural dynamics of repetitive collective rituals is to a substantial extent driven by how they attract human cognition, an aspect which is at least as important for cultural success of concrete ritual forms as how these ritual forms are designed in respect to fulfill particular social functions. After offering a short sketch of relevant cognitive theories of ritual (Chapter 1) and introducing the perspective of cognitive historiography (Chapter 2), I turn to the historical evidence. Tracing back in time the emergence of beliefs in the supernatural quality of the meal elements in the sources from the fourth and third century, it becomes evident that these beliefs cannot be explained by a reference to changes associated with the “Turn of Constantine” (Chapter 3). Therefore, in Chapter 4, I turn to the process of gradual ritualization of early Christian meal practices over the first two centuries. To emphasize the specificity of my approach in comparison to other trends in contemporary New Testament scholarship, in Chapter 5 I elaborate my approach in detail in respect to the Lord’s Supper tradition in Paul. In Chapter 6, I move back on a more theoretical level, while introducing a computational model of the cultural transmission of rituals, which is partly based on the historical process under scrutiny.
  • Juntunen, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This doctoral thesis in church sociology looked at an agency of the ages of 14 to 20 years of age. The research consists of four sub-publications, in which young people's life-based actions were studied from the perspective of outsourcing, educational and professional choices, good life views, and turning points. The theoretical frame of reference are the themes of life course and agency. The starting point of the research is the idea of a time-based agency for life. The past, present and future affect the formation of an agency (Emirbayer & Mische 1998; Hitlin & Elder 2007). According to the results of the research, it is important for the young people's life-cycle to have the power to choose and influence. The agency is the power to build a personalized life-cycle. The purpose of an agency that is based on the life-cycle is to experience meaningful and good life. The choice is linked to the young autonomous actor in building his own life course. Choice is the power of young people in relation to their own choices. The chances of young people in implementing an autonomous agency are varied and linked to operating environments. The youth agency appears in this study as a power to build a life-cycle of its own. However, different standards and age-related expectations affect the young people's life choices. The idea of self and of other people, that is, identity affects the actor, and vice versa, agency forms identity. The concept of self as an actor is constructed in relation to other people. The narrative of youth emphasizes the idea of self-confidence, ie confidence in it at various stages of life. With their versatility, young people can cope with the life course in challenging situations. The young people want to understand the experiences of life flow and give meaning to life events. The purpose of an agency that is based on the life-cycle is a meaningful, good life. Meaningful life is built on the values and things that are the most important of all for young people.
  • Vilja-Mantere, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In response to growing evidence of the connections between art, health and wellbeing in both research and practice, the use of arts-based methods has rapidly increased across many areas in society over the last few decades. This is evident also in the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, however there is a paucity of theological research on the topic. This doctoral research aims to fill this gap, focusing on the kinds of encounters generated by arts-based action in a congregational setting with youth and young adults. This research was conducted as an arts-based action study in cooperation with three youth workers and one student chaplain. The research data was collected over four youth night meetings and two art groups through observation, video, photographs, and interviews. Of the 63 youths and young adults involved, 28 of them also took part in an open-ended discussion, interview, or both. The data was analysed inductively using holistic content analysis, elucidating participants’ perspectives, experiences, and interactions. The results were examined through theories of pastoral care, art therapy and arts-based methodology. This study shows that arts-based action brings out new and valuable possibilities for pastoral care encounters with youth and young adults. Artistic expression enables holistic experiences and diverse interactions around the art works produced on the participant’s own terms. Significantly, this can give the young person the valuable experience of being noticed and seen, even if unable to fully depict their art. Existential questions and spirituality came up as difficult themes to verbalise for the youth, though, at the same time the most challenging works were often the most significant for the participant. The findings in this study form an excellent standpoint for the future use of art in pastoral encounters in a congregational setting. Arts-based action can create a holistic and dialogic potential space of encounter in which the spiritual dimension is a natural part. This confirms earlier findings on the strengths of arts-based methods, highlighting its potential for including spirituality and faith. Importantly, the ethical use of art in such encounters necessitates a respect for the interpretation and space of the art-makers themselves. Only in this way can the encounter be a genuinely nurturing pastoral occasion.
  • Itkonen, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The Birth of a baby into a family is one of the greatest experiences in human life. Likewise when pregnancy ends in stillbirth, death of the baby during the delivery process or with infant death the weeks thereafter, it is one of the most distressing if not the most devastating experiences in human life. In the Western World the loss can be even harder to face since people are prone to believe in modern medicine’s capacity to keep the expected baby alive. Thus when parents must come to their church to arrange an infant funeral rather than an infant baptism, the message of loving and omnipotent God is somewhat tested. The purpose of this study is to consider how support from the Evangelical Lutheran Church figures into the narratives of parents in Finland dealing with stillbirth or infant death, and the grieving and recovery processes thereafter. Research questions are: 1. What kind of significance do parents give to stillbirth or infant death? 2. How do parents describe their grieving and recovery processes after the death of a child? 3. How do parents describe the social support they received from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland in comparison with all of the other forms of support which they received? This is a qualitative study, conducted from a narrative perspective. The primary data set consists of 24 narrative interviews (10 male and 14 female). The focus here is primarily on the perspectives of parents of stillborn babies, but the experiences of parents whose child died at birth or in the weeks immediately following are also considered regarding the second and third research questions. The common factor among all of the bereaved parents interviewed is that their babies never left the hospital alive. These interviews were subjected to computer-assisted analysis, using an NCT –method (notice, collect, think) utilizing Atlas.ti –software. Based on this analysis two story types were created: the loss narratives of father and mother of a stillborn. These two story-types – story of a mother and story of a father - were used as a framework of whole study. The parents of a stillborn felt that their child is as much a human being as a living child, but that people around them often did not see it that way. Those who did recognize the stillborn as a real human being were seen in a positive manner. Most of the parents held up the hope that their baby is still alive somewhere - in heaven, as an angel, a star, or put in some other words. Most of the parents felt a need to give a name to the stillborn. The parents’ grieving and recovery processes were multidimensional and dynamic. Many of the parents felt anger, mistiness and pain of bereavement. Meaning-making was seen as an important part of grieving and recovery processes. The death of a child caused a fracture in the grieving parents’ overall life narrative. This fracture is referred to in this study as worldview dissonance. When this dissonance became easier and the loss was harmonized with the parents’ overall narrative of life, that phenomenon is referred to as worldview consonance. This study created a practical tool – the four legged model – to help recognize those grievers that are at higher risk and in need of special professional support. As part of a comprehensive grief support network churches can offer a place for communal and grief-respecting rituals. Through them disenfranchised grief can be properly enfranchised. The Christian belief in a love that is stronger than death can offer a place to hope, providing courage to face the most difficult losses.
  • Salmi, Minna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This study explores bibliodrama (henceforth: BD). BD can be defined as an attempt to create a connection between the biblical tradition and the personal experience of participants. A trained BD-director helps the group to create the drama with role play and bodywork. The aim of this study is to understand the hermeneutical process of BD. Both the critical exegesis and the role reversal – in so far as the participants go into the roles of biblical characters and act in the present tense – give perspective to the text interpretation. The late-1980s BD-trainer Sirkku Aitolehti in co-operation with professor Heikki Räisänen got the idea to bring BD and critical exegesis together. The historical material was presented in group discussions. Another way was to explore the text sociometrically, i.e. to read the text and to map out the relationships between all the roles and their interactions, also historically, and then to transfer the situation to the present day. The group participants relate holistically to the biblical situation. The main question in this study is: What new perspective is bibliodrama able to give to the interpretation of the Bible, and how can critical exegetical insights be integrated within the drama itself? The empirical method of hermeneutics consists of both exegetical methods and a qualitative field study. The theory of BD is based on Jacob Moreno’s psychodrama and sociometry and the hermeneutical tradition–experience–interpretation model by Räisänen. The BD action phases are defined as warming up, role play and integrative discussion. The empirical part contains three BD cases, which were recorded and transcribed. In their BD ”Congregation of Matthew” (Matt. 11:25–30), Heikki Räisänen and Aino-Kaarina Mäkisalo combined historical exegesis with drama itself by making visible the role of Matthew the evangelist. Professor Räisänen himself played the role of Matthew and the participants were allowed to choose between the different groups of Matthew’s community. Räisänen called this method ’applied redaction criticism’. In my study I have maintained that they also benefit from sociometry. In the BD (Ruth 1) Peter Pitzele used methods developed within psychodrama. In his concept of BD the reception history played an important role. In her BD ”The great story of an immigrant” (Ruth), Aino-Kaarina Mäkisalo drew from synchronous premises. However, in the process of BD the historical questions became important. This study may make it clear that relevant exegetical questions arise from the biblical text itself in BD. The critical BD method provides an opportunity to interpret the text tradition by the perspectives of ethical-criticism and effective-history. BD is a contemporary approach to the Scriptures and calls for co-operation between BD-experts and biblical scholars.
  • 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.

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