Faculty of Theology


Recent Submissions

  • Hakala, Anna-Riina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This study analyzes the structure and meaning of gendered imagery in Bernard of Clairvaux’s letter collection through a selection of letters that have been dated to the first decade of his career as an abbot. The main question is how Bernard talks about the monastic man living in a monastic community, using gendered imagery in his letters to abbots and monks, and which meanings are given to manhood and womanhood in the context of the collection of letters. During his first decade as an abbot, Bernard had a growing network of influence, which among other things was kept up and expanded through the writing of letters. These letters and their role as an instrument of constructing and promoting a monastic ideal are the point of interest of this dissertation. The focus is on the gendered theology presented in the text and the cultural and historical context in which it was produced. Medieval reality was pronouncedly tied to images: faith and images were indistinguishable from each other, with salvation being directly linked to the symbolic system of iconography. Bernard exemplifies the blurred lines of image, material reality, text and thought in his letters. The gendered imagery of the letters is built around the situation that the letter concerns. In his usage of gendered imagery, he focuses on influencing the reader in a way that would result in the desired interior sensual experience, which then would convert the reader on the path desired by Bernard. In previous research on Bernard’s other texts, it has been proposed that he envisions salvation as participation in divine masculinized transcendence. Based on the gendered theology in the letters, this is only half of the picture. The road to salvation that the letters propose equally involves participation in the divinized feminine flesh of the incarnated Christ. Masculinized transcendence and divinized feminine flesh both need to be present simultaneously in the right order and without mixing in the ideal monk aiming at eternity with God. At times, Bernard transmits gendered theological views that seem undecided but have been chosen for him by the earlier authors he relies on. This results in self-contradicting views in the letters. Womanhood does not solely stand for worldliness or fleshliness in the negative sense and manhood does not signify only goodness of spiritual heights: womanhood and manhood frequently alternate places between these positions without any definite outcome or fixed position in the reversals of the gender binary. Human gendered reality is inherently behind the rhetorical use of gendered imagery. Belief in the incarnation and the resurrection changes the meaning of imperfect and mutable corporality in relation to the supernatural and immutable perfect God into a redemptive affirmation of fleshliness and womanhood. This results in the figures used to express the monastic ideal simultaneously having both masculinity and femininity, forming a differentiated unity of the two. These figures make visible the mystery of the marital union of humanity and divinity in Christ, the unity of the Christ-head and Church-body, which the monk should realize in his life as a monastic man.
  • Karvonen, Keijo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This study answers the question concerning the role of Irja Kilpeläinen (1911– 1999) in the reform of pastoral care for the mentally ill and general pastoral care in hospitals in Finland in the 1960s. The period under investigation (1960–1969) is the most important stage in her career as a hospital chaplain and educator. The research methods are the genetic method of historical research and content analysis, which is used in the study of the literary production of Kilpeläinen. Kilpeläinen acquired her most important resources for pastoral care, its narration and its teaching from Carl Rogers (1902–1987) who, until the mid1960s, was the most influential psychotherapist in the field of Christian pastoral care and the most renowned in the United States. Kilpeläinen had the clinical therapy training based on the Rogers method at The St Luke’s Hospital. She studied pastoral theology and psychology as well as pastoral care based on Rogers’ view of psychotherapy at The Union Theological Seminary in New York 1960–1961. Irja Kilpeläinen was the main driving force behind the reform of Finnish pastoral care, which was still in its infancy. Rogers’ view of therapy was not completely unknown among hospital chaplains. At the beginning of the year 1960 the teaching of the social casework discussion method based on Rogers’ client-centered therapy was started for Finland’s hospital chaplains. A change was begin-ning in the sphere of the Church’s pastoral care in hospitals towards more patient-centred pastoral care. Niilo Syvänne, a leading influence in pastoral care in hospitals, served as a bridge between the old kerygmatic view and the new idea of pastoral care. It was, however, Irja Kilpeläinen, as the representative of the new generation, who initiated the re-form. As a practical force, she boldly introduced the new modus operandi. As a pragmatic and skilled writer and a charismatic lecturer who spoke in plain language, she was able to win over many other hospital chaplains and influential people in the field of special pastoral care. They felt that, in terms of pastoral care for the sick, they had acquired something completely new and yet familiar, a view of dialogue between people based on age-old tacit knowledge. Kilpeläinen began to use the pastoral care method, which she had adopted in the United States, on mentally ill patients as soon as she returned to Finland. She started working as chaplain in a psychi-atric hospital in summer 1961. In her literary work and her presentations and introductions, Kil-peläinen expressed her desire to promote throughout the Church the reform of pastoral care based on the said method. Without hindering the progress of reform, Kilpeläinen’s work reflected on the one hand the great structural change in society in the 1960s, and on the other hand the conservative Neo-Pietist revival movement within the Church. During the decade, Kilpeläinen marketed her view and method of pastoral care to readers in journals and to her colleagues and diaconal workers in lectures and presentations. She got the adoption of the method off to a strong start throughout the Lutheran Church in her hugely popular book Osaammeko kuunnella ja auttaa. Lähimmäiskeskeisen sielunhoidon opas (To listen and help. A guide to neighbourly pastoral care, 1969).
  • Blom, Minja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This study examines how fandom connects with the current religious landscape where people can build meaning and communities through stories and practices that they choose for themselves. The media and popular culture have a strong presence in people’s everyday lives, and they affect how people understand themselves and their reality. This multidisciplinary study combines the study of religions and fan studies to examine how people use popular culture to answer existential questions and needs that have usually been associated with the cultural realm of religion. This study concentrates on the everyday meaning-making of fans and how it can interplay with religious myths and rituals. This thesis answers the following research questions: What kinds of characteristics of myth and ritual can be found in the fandom of vampire-themed television shows? What do these characteristics tell us about the relationship between religion and popular culture in our contemporary culture? This study examines the fandom of vampire-themed television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), True Blood (2008–2014) and Vampire Diaries (2009–2017). I chose this topic because these shows were extremely popular, and because they also connected with the tradition of vampire folklore by discussing cultural values and norms. My research material consists of fan discussions that I collected from open access online fan forums and fan sites. I used netnography as a method of collecting my research material. I concentrated on the discussions in which fans talked about the meaning of these shows in their everyday life or used the shows to discuss societal values and norms. As an analysis method, I used qualitative content analysis. This method allowed me to analyse the vast body of material and find the central themes that connected these fandoms with the concepts of myth and ritual. To understand the connections between myths and fandom, I used William G. Doty’s concept of polyfunctional myth (2000) as a theoretical basis for my analysis. Through Doty’s theory, I constructed a myth model that concentrates on the metaphors and heroic models that fans identify with in the vampire shows. My analysis shows how these television shows function as myths to fans in two ways: 1) The characters and storylines are read as metaphors for reality and people’s everyday lives 2) Fans see some of the characters as heroic models that they can, and want to, emulate in real life. I analyse fan practices through the concept of fan rituals, which I have adapted from Johanna Sumiala’s understanding of media rituals (2010). Fan practices function as communal fan rituals that connect people with imagined communities via the media, but also with communities formed by close friends and family. The communal aspects of rituals are central in fan rituals, but fans also use viewing practices to break free from their everyday life and find new strength. Part of fan rituals are also so-called “the show changed my life” stories that fans share online. These stories express how fans have given meaning to the shows and fandom as something that helped them get through life crises and hard times. Analysing fan discussions through the concepts of myth and ritual has provided a way of identifying significant connections between contemporary religiosity and fandom. These connections express how current cultural reality provides people with more options in choosing ways to understand their reality and make it personally meaningful. The myths and rituals that are connected with fandom show how people can use popular culture to reflect on cultural values and norms, find heroic models to follow, break free from everyday troubles, create and maintain communities, and find support and solace in life crises. This study shows how both fandom and religion can have similar roles in our current cultural reality that emphasises personal choices and meanings. Studying fandom through myths and fan rituals provides important perspectives on the profound meanings popular culture can have in people’s everyday lives.
  • Hartoneva, Anne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    In this study, I examine the relationship between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the State, especially from the perspective of the legal status of the Church as both a religious and a public community in Finnish society and legislation. In this regard, I examine the space given to the Church by the State through its legislation, as well as the views of the supreme overseers of legality, that is the Chancellor of Justice and the Parliamentary Ombudsman, on issues that may belong to the Church's autonomy or are close to that autonomy. It is a question of how much the State can limit the independence of the Church and how close it is legal and appropriate to come to the limit of the internal autonomy of the Church. In this study it is also a question of how the Church interprets the limits of its autonomy and the permanence of these limits. From this point of view, I examine how the General Synod making legislative proposals for the enactment of the Church Act and making other decisions, has taken a stand on the internal autonomy of the Church and its limits, and on the Church´s status under public law. Central to the study is how and on what grounds the area of the internal autonomy of the Church may have changed during the period between 1965 and 2019, which included significant social changes. This study belongs to the field of practical theology. The subject of this study is the tension between the internal autonomy of the Church and its status under public law. I examine three issues that are central to the activities of the Church. Each of them is opened up by three issues. The first question is the order and administration of the Church, the issues to be considered in this context are 1) the clergy representation structure and the lay repesentation structure in the administration of the Church, 2) the tasks and activity of the General Synod, and 3) the legal administrative activity of the Church. The second issue to be examined is doctrinal positions and religious practice. The issues that will be considered in this context are 1) the calendar location of the religious holidays, the days of prayer and the proclamation of the day of prayer, 2) the freedom of religion of the Church, and 3) the oath, promise, and affirmation as the form of commitment. The third issue to be examined is the Church's duty to protect fundamental and human rights. The issues to be considered in this context are 1) the interpretation of the priesthood as a question of office-holder´s freedom of religion and conscience, 2) marriage and its blessing as a question of office-holder´s freedom of religion and conscience, and 3) the freedom of religion and conscience in school teaching. It can be concluded from the research material that the special legislative procedure of the Church Act well safeguards the internal autonomy of the Church. However, the General Synod has not clearly expressed what issues are protected by the internal autonomy of the Church, where the limits of the internal autonomy of the Church are, and to what extent the border is absolutely inviolable. In many of its decisions which are important to the nature, unity, and mission of the Church, the General Synod came to solutions which were a compromise by nature, general, or half-way solutions that blurred the area and boundary of the Church's internal autonomy. The decisions of the General Synod have also not had some kind of legal force, because the same issue was brought to the General Synod soon after the previous decision and on several occasions. This has also blurred the area of the internal autonomy of the Church. It is also notable that as the study period proceeded, the General Synod increasingly based its decisions on general societal considerations, such as the requirements of fundamental and human rights, although decisions concerning the Church should be justified primarily on theological considerations. It can be concluded from the research material that in the legislation concerning the Church, the State largely took into account the position of the Church. The supreme overseers of legality approached the limit of the Church’s internal autonomy mainly in situations where an individual had felt the need for legal protection because of the Church measures. The overseers of legality based their decisions on general legislation, on which also the complainants had based their complaints in most cases. At the end of the study, I suggest that one solution to clarify the positions of the General Synod on the area of the internal autonomy of the Church could be to consider issues within the Church's autonomy in a similar way the Parliament´s Constitutional Law Committee have defined how the fundamental rights can be restricted. On the basis of such a consideration, pre-determined requirements would be set to the change of issues within the internal autonomy of the Church.
  • Peltomäki, Isto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Suffering is an inescapable part of life. However, how to view and attempt to relieve suffering is an ethically fraught question. The ways to relieve mental suffering are based on conceptions regarding the phenomenon: the origin of suffering, the experience of suffering and the means of relieving or becoming liberated from it. This study attempted to answer three research questions: 1. How is suffering relieved in the church (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland) and on what conceptions of suffering is this relief based? 2. What does the church teach about how its Christian members should offer help to their suffering neighbours? 3. How should suffering be relieved morally? I explored the understanding of suffering represented by the church indirectly by studying its practice of pastoral care, which is, by its definition, the practice of relieving suffering. This conceptualisation of pastoral care rests on studies of historical theology that view pastoral care as the Christian tradition of mental help, which connects, in terms of the history of ideas, to the general tradition of mental help and therapy. The aim was not to construct an exhaustive theology of the pastoral care practised by Christians that explains all the religious meanings suffering and its relief could embody. Instead, I focused on the core theology of such pastoral care by conceiving its sufficient and necessary conditions. Thus, I concentrated on exploring and shaping the kind of theology that should be shared within the whole church, and, for this reason, the theology and pastoral care of revivalist movements were excluded from this study. Instead of forging a normative theological scheme of suffering and pastoral care, the study aimed to describe the understanding of suffering that steers the relief of suffering in practice and its possible historical change. Nevertheless, to answer the third research question, by investigating suffering as an ethical question, I proposed a normative conclusion on the kinds of religious or other meanings that should not be attributed to suffering or its relief. The church teaches that pastoral is the task of all Christians. This teaching is founded on Luther’s theology regarding the so-called universal priesthood, which states that conveying and realising the gospel is not only the task of ordinated priests but also the responsibility of all Christians. Based on the idea of a universal priesthood, Christians are called upon to act as providers of pastoral care in their everyday lives and not only within the activities of their particular parish. For both priests and other Christians to act as providers of pastoral care, Luther required that this help concentrate on conveying religious content and meanings. For a Christian, this would mean comprehending the religious meaning of suffering and its relief, which I term Christian subjectivity. Here, the question was whether it is conceivable to expect this kind of Christian subjectivity from members of the church today in order for them to be seen as providers of pastoral care in their everyday lives. I approached this problem by concentrating on the history of the theology of pastoral care through an exploration of the kind of understanding of suffering present in the church today and how it relates to the question of what the church teaches about how parishioners should offer help to their suffering neighbours. In order to achieve the aims of the study, multiple theological and philosophical methods were required. In exploring Luther’s theology, on which the Lutheran interpretation of pastoral care as the common task of all Christians is based, I exploited regressive systematic theological analysis, which aims to provide a conceptual explanation of a particular issue. I also investigated the history of the theology of pastoral care from the Reformation until the present day, concentrating on the theological ideas and conceptions that define the way pastoral care is practised. To explore the change in religiosity revealed by the history of the theology of pastoral care, I utilised studies on the history of ideas, the sociology of religion and the philosophy of religion. In the last part of the study, I concentrated on pastoral care as a philosophical and moral question. Using moral philosophical analysis, I constructed normative arguments on how suffering should be viewed and how it should be relieved. I employed qualitative empirical data to uncover how pastoral care is or could be performed by Christians in their everyday lives. I interviewed six parishioners and three priests. The data was analysed using a three-stage model: a description of the interviews, followed by an inductive and abductive analysis. The interviews offered insight into the help and support offered by parishioners to their relatives, close friends and acquaintances, the kind of values that steer their stance on offering help and support, and the way Christian belief relates to that stance. I explored the pastoral care practised by Christians as religious action and part of their religiosity. When defining religiosity, I exploited the idea of lived religion, which views religiosity as a construct of the conceptions, beliefs and actions represented by Christians themselves. In answer to the first and second research question, the analysis of the history of the theology of pastoral care indicated that Luther’s theology and understanding of suffering cannot be, and, in fact, has not been, adopted by the present-day church. This is because Luther constructed his theology of suffering within a strong climate of religiosity, where the existence of God was considered self-evident. By contrast, contemporary religiosity is characterized by secularisation and so-called disenchantment. Instead of Luther’s theology on suffering and the ways to relieve it, the present-day church has adopted a therapeutic approach to pastoral care. The contemporary pastoral care and relief of suffering shaped by the therapeutic approach appears fundamentally as moral action. This approach to and understanding of suffering are shaped by connections to so-called socially oriented Lutheranism, which characterises the contemporary church as a people’s church. In socially oriented Lutheranism, social action and functions based on loving one’s neighbour are understood to be means of conveying and realising the gospel. The interviews with parishioners revealed a religiosity that lacked the sense of Christian subjectivity that Luther required and held as a principle for Christian life. The historical development of ideas, namely disenchantment and the process of secularisation, explain how contemporary Finnish religiosity is formed. Studies of the Christian beliefs and practices of contemporary Finns indicate that the church cannot adopt the idea of Christian subjectivity to define its theology regarding religiosity and religious action if it wishes to maintain the idea of a people’s church. This idea demands that the theology of Christians and their religiosity must to be formulated to concern and involve all Christians who are members of the church. To answer the third research question, I examined the relief of suffering as a moral action through the concept of love. Further, I studied love as moral action with the concepts of recognition, agency, gift, reciprocity and otherness. I defined love as action based on respecting the agency and otherness of the other, in which relieving suffering is a morally fraught task. Moral action, which is based on respecting agency, requires love offered as a gift that fulfils the condition of reciprocity, where the giver does not regard herself only as a giver and the other only as receiver. This kind of love is based on time-love, not agape, the self-giving mode of love that has traditionally been held as the highest form of love in Christian teaching. To respect the object of love as a moral agent presupposes moral action to be worthy, which is based on the idea that the receiver of gifts could reciprocally give and become a giver. For action and love to be morally successful in terms of relieving suffering, suffering must be taken seriously. No attempt should be made to offer metaphysical explanations for suffering or claim that it fulfils some purpose. All theodicy-explanations should be rejected and, thus, antitheodicy should be adopted as the moral principal for adopting a stance on the suffering of other people. The present therapeutic pastoral care schema follows the antitheodicean approach to suffering. In a contemporary society characterized by disenchantment and secularisation, religious-oriented care, which focuses on explicitly conveying of gospel, is no longer an adequate way to relieve suffering. This is the background and motive for the adoption of the therapeutic approach that I term the therapeutic turn. The therapeutic turn embodies the idea of taking the experience of suffering seriously, and today’s pastoral care practices have been formed on this basis. An antitheodicean stance on suffering does not prohibit processing the meaning of one’s own suffering, but it does deny the moral right to explain the suffering of others by offering reasons for how suffering could in some way be viewed as positive or beneficial. Those who practise pastoral care as employees of the church must commit to promoting the good of a suffering other. Regarding the pastoral care practised by Christians in their everyday life, the normativity of the antiteodicean stance on suffering means that a lack of understanding of the religious significance of their moral action should not be seen as a problem. Instead, the absence of religious meanings can contribute to the kind of practice of relieving suffering that is not based on the compulsion to promote the religious good of the other. Love must be free and target the good of one’s neighbour. The manifold functions of pastoral care are described by two traditional concepts. Cura animarum generalis refers to general pastoral care performed in the pastoral work of church employees. By contrast, cura animarum specialis denotes pastoral care provided for those individuals in special need, such as prisoners and the sick. The idea of the pastoral care practised by all Christians, which is seen as part of general pastoral care, has received little attention. In addition to traditional concepts of pastoral care, we could establish a term for everyday love, caring and the relief of suffering by all Christians: cura animarum mundana. The key consideration that guides the conclusions of this study is the contextual nature of religiosity. The theological conceptions and practices of the church have always been constructed from the prevailing conditions that determine religiosity at a given time. The contextual nature of the principles that define how pastoral care is practised become more obvious and important in the pastoral care practised by Christians. The sufficient and necessary conditions for pastoral care practised by Christians must be formed in accordance with the conditions that determine how members of the church manifest their religiosity. Pastoral care as the practice of relieving suffering is both moral action and also part of lived religion, which is theologically founded on the religious meanings that Christians themselves attribute to suffering and its relief. Key words: Pastoral care, suffering, love, pastoral theology, Lutheran theology, Lutheran ethics, theological ethics.
  • Zitting, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The episcopal office, apostolic succession, and the apostolicity of the church have played an important role in ecumenical discussions of the late 20th and early 21st century. These topics are often presented in ecumenical studies as divisive church issues. Furthermore, the Lutheran understanding of episcopal office has often been presented as diverse and inconsistent. This study shows that the Lutheran understandings of episcopal office have in fact become more uniform and more coherent over the course of the late 20th and early 21st century. In the five articles collected here, I examine how the episcopal office is understood in contemporary Lutheranism based on textual sources from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Lutheran World Federation. The evidence presented in these articles form a picture of shared development between these two varied members of the Lutheran family. The tendency in the understanding of the episcopal office by these two organizations changes from one of a pluralistic tolerance of diverse episcopal structures, titles and understandings to a more uniform and distinct understanding of the episcopal office as a personal, collegial and communal spiritual office. The concept of apostolic succession, in turn, develops from a narrow interpretation of apostolic succession as a ‘mechanical’ or ‘external’ chain of laying on of hands in episcopal ordination to a broader understanding of apostolic succession as the apostolic continuity of the church, where episcopal succession is a part, or a ‘sign,’ of this broader continuity. As the concept of apostolic succession broadens and episcopal succession comes to be understood as being in service of apostolic succession, Lutheran attitudes towards episcopal succession likewise become more positive. The articles also demonstrate that some in the church considered this emphasis on the role of the episcopal office or episcopal succession to threaten certain fundamental Lutheran insights—for instance, the fundamental priority of the gospel, the oneness of ministerium and the validity of the ordained ministry in cases where the priest/pastor has not been ordained by a bishop or is ordained by a bishop without formal episcopal succession. As the articles explore, the insights relating to episcopal office became easier for Lutheran thinkers to accept, once these concerns had been sufficiently addressed—namely, broadening the concepts of successio apostolica and episkopé such that these concepts were understood to be served and carried out not only by episcopal ministers but in various ways by all ordained and non-ordained Christians. Thus, the episcopal task, episkopé, was not as such understood as necessitating a hierarchical structure or undermining the equality of all Christians. Furthermore, apostolic succession as a broader concept meant that churches without episcopal succession had nevertheless maintained apostolic continuity and thus continued to enjoy an authentic ministry. Additionally, episkopé and apostolic succession, through various means, were considered as serving the mission of the church and the gospel. Thus, the priority of the gospel was no longer seen as threatened in such instances; rather, the episcopal structures were accepted as necessary, even as God-given structures of the church, so long as they serve the gospel. While episcopal succession came to be considered a valuable concept, it could not be seen as a feature that guaranteed faithfulness to the gospel or the validity of the ordained ministry. The episcopal office was considered a distinct, albeit not entirely separate, part of the ordained ministry—that is, all bishop are pastors, but not every pastor is a bishop. This distinction was even more profound than that between pastor and vicar, since a bishop has his/her own calling, consecration/installation and distinctive tasks, such as the ordaining of clergy and representing the church in public. Nevertheless, the ordained ministry as such was understood to be one interrelated and intertwined entity, comprising both episcopal and other ordained ministers. Thus, episcopal ministers came to be seen as important instruments of episkopé, while their leadership position was not taken as indicating an underlying hierarchy, as all Christians remained of equal status. Overall, these five articles reveal not only the significance of the impact of the ecumenical movement on the theologies of these members of the Lutheran Family but also that, although their theologies have evolved, Lutherans have remained loyal to their own confessional characteristics: the principle of equality, the emphasis on the oneness of ministerium and the fundamental priority position of the gospel.
  • Saari, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis examines the lion imagery in three Hebrew Bible narratives (Judges 14, 1 Kings 13:11–32 and Daniel 6) in light of the visual source material of the ancient Near East. The aim is to resolve how the Biblical authors used and applied cultural conventions of lion imagery, and thereby to distinguish the unique features of Biblical lion narratives compared to the visual imagery of lions in ancient Near Eastern art. The selected narratives are treated as literary constellations instead of restricting the analysis of lion motifs by isolating verses. The analysis is conducted by using iconographic exegesis and narrative criticism without disregarding the historical-critical point of view. The present study contributes to the recent methodological discussion in the field of iconographic exegesis by addressing the question of image-text relationship between the Hebrew Bible narratives and ancient Near Eastern visual images. This thesis strives for transparency and for an explicit description of the methodological steps. Attention is paid to exploring the congruence between visual and verbal imagery. The process of categorizing the visual comparative material is also addressed and evaluated since categorizing may have a significant impact on how the congruence between images and texts is perceived. The present study introduces ‘action unit approach’ as a tool for categorizing the visual source material. This approach strives for a descriptive grouping of the material by evaluating the level of action in the images. The aim is to minimize interpretation in the process of categorizing the visual data. Previous iconographic research has mainly focused on poetic and prophetic texts of the Hebrew Bible. The present study concentrates on Biblical prose and thus extends the prospects of iconographic exegesis by applying a narrative critical methodology together with iconographic analysis. The main contribution of this thesis is that it provides a model for analyzing prose narratives with an iconographical approach. The model is based on the concept of ’iconic structure,’ which was first used by William P. Brown in his monograph Seeing the Psalms (2002), and later modified by Joel LeMon in his study Yahweh’s Winged Form in the Psalms, (2010). This thesis follows in the footsteps of LeMon by expanding the use of iconic structure into Biblical prose. Judges 14, 1 Kings 13:11–32, and Daniel 6 contain rich, versatile uses of lion imagery. For a large part, these narratives apply commonly known lion motifs in a similar manner as the visual sources of the ancient Near East. Lions are depicted as threats or as enemies, they are associated with monarchy and God, and in all three narratives they are portrayed as liminal characters on the border between life and death, the sacred and the profane, and north and south. Despite the high level of congruent imagery with ancient Near Eastern art, the selected narratives also contain several unique features that are not represented in the pictorial remains of the ancient Near East. For example, these narratives pair lions with animals that are unconventional in the visual lion imagery. In addition, the motif of a lion and a deity differs in the Hebrew Bible narratives from ancient Near Eastern art.
  • Hynninen, Mika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The main research question of this study is to examine the formation of Christian anti-Judaism, and in particular the claim that the Jews murdered Christ in the light of the evidence preserved in the Gospel of Peter. The text of the Gospel of Peter is analyzed through source and redaction criticism. It is concluded that a literary dependence of the Gospel of Peter on the canonical gospels is the most plausible explanation for the existing evidence. The cumulative evidence of unique features of the canonical gospels, verbal agreements, inconsistencies in the narrative and the redaction of the author of the Gospel of Peter explain the similarities and the differences between the Gospel of Peter and the canonical gospels. The redaction critical analysis shows that the author of the Gospel of Peter solves problems within and between the canonical gospels in such an insightful manner that it requires a profound knowledge of their content. The redaction critical examination of the evidence also demonstrates a consistent apologetic and polemical redaction of the author of the Gospel of Peter. This redaction critical analysis provides evidence for a hypothesis that the Gospel of Peter was written in a social context where Christians were engaged in verbal disputes with Jewish critics of Christianity. The hypothesis that the Gospel of Peter was written in a social context that included verbal disputes between Christians and Jews is examined by comparing the apologetic redaction of the author to the criticism of early Christianity. This comparison demonstrates that the apologetic redaction of the Gospel of Peter responds to criticism that is preserved in the sources of the first two centuries. These sources attribute this criticism consistently to Jewish critics of Christianity. A distinction between the historical situation and the rhetorical situation provides a solution to the debates of previous scholarship on the social context and purpose of the Gospel of Peter. The author of the Gospel of Peter responds to Jewish criticism of the Christian community, but his response is directed to the members of the Christian community. This solution explains the connection between the apologetic redaction of the author of the Gospel of Peter and Jewish criticism, and the polemical description of the Jewish people and leaders in the Gospel of Peter. The social identity approach is applied to analyze the identity construction of Christians in the face of the above-mentioned challenges. The social identity approach explains the intergroup interaction and particularly the intergroup discrimination between Christians and Jews. This approach explains why Christians constructed a self-conception of their own group as loyal followers of Jesus in relation to the Jewish group, who are represented as demonic murderers of Jesus. This polarized Christian identity is seen as a norm that governed the community’s orientation in a complex social reality where divisions between the respective groups were not clearly defined.
  • Wagner, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study compares and analyses the epicleses in the liturgies of four Western Churches, namely in the Roman Catholic Church, the Swiss Reformed Church (German speaking), the Evangelical Church in Germany and the Lutheran Church of Finland. The overall research question is ‘What is the presupposed and hoped-for effect and work of the Holy Spirit in the Eucharistic liturgy?’ This question takes a two-fold form; firstly, how the desired effect of the Holy Spirit is verbalised in the Eucharistic epiclesis and secondly, what are the commonalities and differences between the epicleses in these various church traditions. The methodology constitutes a systematic analysis employing several related methods of textual analysis. The main emphasis of the textual analysis concerns the use and meaning of key terms. These are examined through the lenses of linguistic analysis and liturgical analysis of the prayer. The linguistic analysis has three steps: firstly, the qualitative and quantitative analysis of verbs related to the Holy Spirit used in the prayers; secondly, the linguistic analysis of the key term of giving; and thirdly, the comparison of the results drawn from the second step in relation to the theology of giving. The liturgical text analysis concentrates on the two classical themes of the epiclesis: consecration and communion. The text sources used in this study are the liturgical books of the forementioned Churches, namely, the Catholic Missal, Liturgie Band III Abendmahl, Evangelisches Gottesdienstbuch and Jumalanpalvelusten kirja. The study is structured as follows; an introduction (chapter one) followed by two chapters summarising the theory (chapters two and three), chapters four and five concentrating on the analyses as described above and a conclusion, followed by the bibliography. Information about the liturgical books and the epicleses used in the study are found in chapter two. In chapter three these are compared with their predecessors in the former liturgical books. Chapter four contains the linguistic analysis consisting of three steps as explained above. The liturgical text analysis is examined in chapter five. This study concludes that there are internal discrepancies within epicleses stemming from the same Church tradition. This is true in particular with the epicleses of the Evangelical Church in Germany and the Swiss Reformed Church (German speaking). One possible explanation for this is the high variance of the epicleses in the liturgical books of these Churches. Another cause for the noted discrepancy could be the historical development of the liturgical books in question. In these epicleses, as linguistic analysis seems to point out, the Holy Spirit occupies a lesser role than could be assumed from the Trinitarian theology of these Churches. The range of verbs referring to the work of the Holy Spirit is wider than the range of verbs related to the invocation of the Holy Spirit but also richer than expected as based on the classical themes of consecration and communion. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the study shows that the epicleses of the four Churches are closer to each other linguistically than expected in relation to the Eucharistic theologies of these Churches. Keywords: Eucharist, Prayer, Liturgy, Holy Spirit, Ecumenics, Linguistics
  • Tucker, Miika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation comprises a translation technical study of Septuagint Jeremiah (Jer LXX) for the purpose of characterizing the translation. Though modern scholars mostly agree that the translation follows its Hebrew Vorlage very closely, it contains several indicators of free and less formal equivalence. In addition, discrepancy between certain renderings within chapters 1–28 (Jer a’) and chapters 29–52 (Jer b’) have borne debate regarding the unity of the translation, particularly whether these differences reflect the work of multiple translators, a later revision, or the peculiarities of a single translator. The study of translation technique constitutes a comparison between Hebrew words and expressions and their Greek equivalents, and it is the primary means by which to identify the different factors that influenced the product of translation. Three factors need to be taken into account when evaluating a translation in the LXX: the syntax and grammar of the Hebrew Vorlage, the requirements of the Greek language, and the individual translator’s own peculiarities. This type of analysis provides answers to questions regarding the nature of Jer LXX as a textual witness to the Hebrew text, the development of the Greek text of Jer LXX, and the translation character of Jer LXX. The method is applied to the renderings of Hebrew words and expressions for which a difference between Jer a’ and Jer b’ has been identified. This choice of material has been made in order that the issue regarding the bisectioning of Jer LXX can be addressed to the fullest possible extent. Since the question of a revision in Jer LXX revolves around the translation differences between Jer a’ and Jer b’, the character of these differences are delineated in relation to the character of the kaige tradition, an exemplar of early jewish revision that is universally accepted as such. This comparison allows a further differentiation of the characteristics among the differences that can be categorised as revisional in nature and those that cannot, which in turn enables a more precise placement of Jer LXX within the history and development of the LXX as a whole. The conclusions of this study draw from the different types of changes that occur between Jer a’ and Jer b’. Certain differences between the two reflect the revisional characteristics of the kaige tradition, which suggests that they were produced by a reviser who was invested in a revisionary tradition similar to kaige. This correlates with earlier suggestions that Jer b’ contains a revision. A number of the differences indicate that the character of the revision is not as developed in its system and consistency as are the later exemplars of the kaige tradition. This distinguishes the revision in Jer b’ from other known revisions and allows its placement as prior to the later kaige revisers. Third, certain differences constitute a change toward more natural Greek expression, which is the opposite of what one would expect from a revision since Greek idiom usually does not reflect the formal characteristics of Hebrew. These differences are to be understood as reflecting a change towards more intuitive use of the Greek language by the first translator of Jer.
  • Urponen, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines the dimensions and position of religious music in Finnish-language textbooks for religious (Evangelical Lutheran) and music education in grades 1–6 in basic education. These textbooks have been published to comply with and implement the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education 2004 (POPS 2004). The texts and songs published in the textbooks are approached through the following questions: In what manner is religious music examined in texts? What aspect(s) transform a song into a religious song? (Cf. Smart 2005, 13.) How does a religious song materialize? Which religious songs along with which characteristics have been published? Is religious music, with a special focus on religious songs, appreciated? The current research utilizes a qualitative approach that fits the task, the research design, the development of the data corpus, and its analyses. This is an empirical and practically oriented study of the field of religious education. The material of the study is retrieved from a total of 24 (N) textbooks of four ME and three RE (Evangelical Lutheran) textbook series published in Finnish between 2004 and the summer of 2012. The research material was compiled from these textbooks, from which the corpus of the actual material was further compressed. Content analysis and classification based on the sources were used as methods of analysis. The textbook texts were subjected to two separate analyses. The first analysis was applied to outline the main themes of the textbook texts associated with religious music, and the second analysis was used to structure their expressions. The textbook songs were scrutinized from the following perspective: signal-word analysis focused on existing expressions of linguistic material, that is, religious language. In examining the dimension of religion, Ninian Smart's Seven Dimensions of Religion model was used as a theoretical background to structure the dimensions that emerged from the studied topics. The songs were also categorized using the song-collection source. Finally, the key themes of the lyrics were examined. Religious music can be organized into nine means of expressions from the texts in the textbooks, which are as follows: object, actor, action, environment, time, instrument, source, attribute, and argument extractions. The textbook texts primarily describe official 6 religious music based on the Christian tradition and the church institution. Three components were identified as useful criteria for a religious song: signal words, the seven dimensions of religion according to Smart, and the source. The empirical structuring of vocal material using the criteria currently described demonstrated the diversity of religious songs and the plasticity of their boundaries. Based on the textbook song analysis, thirteen different types of religious-related songs were identified, five of which can be defined as religious songs. Others include religiously themed, religious overtones, spiritual overtones, secularized religious, and other songs. The RE and ME textbooks contained a total of 231 different religious songs. They have 24 common religious songs among them. Based on their main themes, religious songs can be divided into celebration songs, nature and seasonal songs, national songs, ethical songs, Bible songs, general sense of security songs, prayer songs, Christian community songs, and songs about the afterlife. Most of the songs are related to celebrations. Religious music and religious songs have a place in the textbooks of RE and ME published during the years 2004–2012. Traces of religion can be seen in both song lyrics and textbook texts. However, the textbook texts often refer to religious music only in random fragments that appear in different occasional contexts. In the 21st century, the role of religion and religious culture in basic education has been regularly combined in hymns. However, from the perspective of religious education and its subject matter, this hymn debate has appeared to be one-sided and from the perspective of religious singing, narrow. In Finnish religious education, there has been little consideration of religious music as a subject, the pedagogical possibilities of music in religious education, or correspondingly, the place of religious topics in music education. In the tradition of hymnological research, on the other hand, no attention has been paid to the precise definition of the key concepts. The present research thus opens the way for both music-oriented religious educational research and empirical-based hymnological conceptual research. Keywords: basic education, hymnology, religious education, religious music, religious song, textbook
  • Urvas, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study focuses on theology of sin and evil in Classical Pentecostalism. After the introduction (chapter 1) it contains three chapters. Chapter 2) is a journey through history of theology focusing on the themes of sin and evil. Additionally, it includes a summary of findings from the Classical Pentecostal sources, primarily from Global North region. Subsequently, two main sources, Amos Yong and Opoku Onyinah, are used as case studies. They are presented in chapters 3) and 4). Chapter 5) provides conclusions. These case studies are selected to exemplify voices of Pentecostalism which are not from the context of Global North, even if their academic scholarship is closely related to that cultural sphere. Furthermore, Yong and Onyinah can be regarded as innovative and important writers in Pentecostal theological academia, and, who have touched on the themes selected for this study. They do not represent a denominational theology as such, but rather their own, which reflects either their cultural background (as it is the case with Opoku Onyinah and his setting within Ghanaian Pentecostalism) or a chosen theological location (as with Amos Yong, who writes in dialogue with science and contemporary philosophy). The themes of sin and evil are limited and focused on theological anthropology in relation to hamartiology, and metaphysics and agency regarding the theology of evil. The following questions are central. First, in relation to the concept of sin: 1) the nature and characteristics of sin, 2) the Fall and the origin of sin, and 3) the sinful nature in the human constitution. Secondly, in relation to the concept of evil: 1) the nature of evil, 2) Satan, the devil and demons, and 3) relationships and interactions between evil spiritual beings and humans, including exorcism and possession. These questions are chosen because of the goal of the task to begin with but, equally because of the nature of the main sources and the conversations they offer and elaborate on. Amos Yong approaches his theology of sin and evil principally from the perspective of theological anthropology, keeping the humanity, as observed by the scientific data, as the starting point. This can be argued based on the influence of emergent anthropology, which ties the ontology of demons to the reality of humanity. The sociality of sin and its collective manifestations are central, which situates the relational view of sin as essential in the argument. However, individual sin is not neglected. Yong argues that human sinful activity is a primal and essential aspect to correctly understand the demonic realm, both on the metaphysical level and functionally. He introduces a new category, religious cosmology, which recognizes the human experience of destructive powers and the source of horror. It does not serve as an explanatory category but rather as a comparative one for a metaphysical cosmology based on human experience. It provides a frame to understand human agency within the realm of spiritual cosmology and agency. Opoku Onyinah approaches the theme of sin and theological anthropology via the concept of witchcraft due to the study he conducted as his doctoral research project. The concept of sin is tied and built securely around the elaboration of humanity, and the essence and functions of human constitution. Onyinah underlines the importance of the concept of flesh which he interprets metaphorically, instead of literally or materially. Additionally, he does not regard the diabolic figures or demonic forces as primary causes for sin and evil. However, Onyinah reflects the evil powers and their role and potential continuously within the elaboration of sin, for example, through the concept of strongholds. Central themes in general are the human fallenness, weakness of the human nature, and function of the flesh as a weakness in human temperament. Social relationships and communal aspects are vital perspective flowing from Onyinah’s cultural background, the Akan tradition and Ghanaian Pentecostalism. Therefore, Onyinah perceives sin as a destructive force destroying the community as well as a problem in individual’s life. The latter perception is rooted in the holiness tradition which is significantly present in Onyinah’s perception as the ideal of Christian life. He regards soul and flesh as responsible for sinful behaviour. Onyinah’s central goal to examine and explore the themes of Satan, demons and evil forces is to create healthier and safer interpretation of these forces for the life of his community and church. Communal perspective with a goal for healthier communities is similarly present in Yong’s thinking as a focus but also in his hermeneutical system. The central findings of this study do not construct a new Pentecostal theology, because such theology is created within the communities in their contextual settings together with academic scholars who live in close relationship with their worshipping communities. However, this study demonstrates that the interaction between communities and scholars is vital to construct healthy and living Pentecostal theology. Therefore, the central findings presented in this study, regarding the themes of sin and evil, are necessary to be acknowledged in Pentecostal communities.
  • Jämbäck, Eija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The dissertation studies the Association Activist Tilma Hainari (1861–1940) and her attitude towards moral reform and eugenics in the Finnish context. Her thinking about moral reform and eugenics and her activities in these fields are, furthermore, reflected in terms of her strongly held Christianity. Her attitude towards moral reform aimed primarily at building society upon a morally virtuous, Christian base. The core idea behind her attitude towards eugenics was to improve the quality of future generations. Positive eugenics was therefore thought to be a supportive measure for those whose genetic heritage was considered of high quality. In negative eugenics, reproductive isolation, marriage prohibition, sterilization, and castration were used to prevent the reproduction of individuals classified as biologically unfit. Reproduction regulation was, moreover, at the heart of eugenics. Broadly speaking, this dissertation studies why Hainari aligned herself with moral reform and eugenics and how her thinking and activities reflected these ideologies. In addition, the quality of her religiousness and its manifestations are studied. The research also focuses on the relationship between religiosity and eugenics, where religion lay at the heart of Hainari’s life and activities. Her religiousness was multidimensional and her concept of God had two elements. On the one hand, God was seen as a judge who punished sins. Hainari used the term ‘sin’, however, solely for sexual offenses. On the other hand, God was a good father who protected and guided all things. The religious justification for moral reform for Hainari was the notion that only a person purified by religion met the high standards of chastity. Moral reformist and eugenist Tilma Hainari considered her actions as purifying Finland in three ways. First, at the state level, she strove to change the laws on moral issues. Secondly, she dictated moral rules to renew social morality. Third, Hainari was active in the fight against indecency. The effects of the environment, the ideas and challenges of the time, and internal development combined in making Hainari a social influencer. As the chairwoman of the Committee on Chastity in the Finnish National League for Women, she became a guardian of morals in the country and the spokesperson and main figure in chastity work. Hainari held senior positions in society, disseminated doctrines, outlined work, and directed the discussions on the issues of morality and eugenics. Under her leadership, the Committee on Chastity addressed and commented on issues such as prostitution, sex crimes, marriage law, the treatment of the feeble minded, as well as the care of ill-mannered children. As a social influencer and opinion leader, Hainari had the rare opportunity as a woman of her time to gain widespread visibility for her message. Tilma Hainari’s moral reform activities intertwined eugenic ideas with traditional Christian-centred charity thinking. The transition from the control of chastity to that of eugenics was, for Hainari, a complementary issue, in the sense that eugenics was one way to realise the goals of chastity. In particular, Hainari supported and promoted the activities of negative eugenics, including the isolation, sterilization and marriage bans of the feeble minded, and for individuals having certain illnesses, and the castration of pathological sex offenders. Hainari also supported, to some extent, positive eugenics, in promoting support for families and improving their living conditions. In the eyes of the state, Hainari held a prestigious position as a qualified authority in the field of eugenics. In the new Marriage Law, she publicly emphasized the eugenics dimension of the law and her actions affected the implementation of the Sterilization Act. The Finnish government sent Hainari to the United States as a representative to study how the country took care of their feeble minded. Hainari was elected as the only female member of the Prohibition Law Committee. In this case, the hard measures that she often favoured, had not worked, and Hainari had to give up supporting the Prohibition Act. Hainari’s ethical justification for negative eugenics was above all the moral obligation of the society to protect its citizens from degeneration. She considered eugenic measures to have a healing effect on their target population and prevented their offspring from suffering. Hainari saw the actions of eugenics as a part of the efforts of do-gooders and thought that her actions had pure motives, good intentions and served an altruistic purpose. For Hainari, children were the vital core of the nation and the apple of its eye. The relationship between mother and child was sacred. The mother also occupied a societal dimension to care for the weakest members of the nation. It was also possible to fit eugenic maternity into the models of maternity that Hainari favoured. A mother gave birth and raised anew, brave generation. When choosing the groom, the future mother had the responsibility to ensure the good hereditary qualities for her future children and, as the caregiver and educator, she was in charge of the child’s living environment. In sum, religion and eugenics went hand in hand in Hainari’s view of life, sometimes overlapping, most often simultaneously in their own corners of her mind. Their coexistence was neither problematic for her nor for most other Christians in the Finland of her time. The common goal of Hainari’s religiously motivated work on moral reform and her efforts at implementing eugenics was the nation’s morality, which aimed at promoting the best of both the fatherland and the nation. Nationality was thus at the heart of these moral issues. In the field of Finnish eugenics, Hainari was one of the few active, respected key players among women. Not only did she promote the idea of eugenics, she also excelled as an executive. Her overall importance to the Finnish eugenics’ movement was therefore quite remarkable.
  • Snellman, Lauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The problem of evil is usually understood to concern the existence of God in a world, where there is evil. In fact, the problem of evil and the problem of intelligibility are closely linked together. The problem of evil is the question: does God exist and can there be intelligibility and meaning in the world that allows for moral action if there is evil? The problem of intelligibility is a family resemblance of questions concerning the relationship of rational thought and the world: is there a rational order in the world, how are concepts possible, and how do they link with the world? The core of the work is to develop a philosophical grammar for examining the conceptual links between the problem of evil and the problem of meaning, and using the grammar of these links to dissolve the problem of evil with a grammatical metacritique. The investigation proceeds through four main research questions: 1. What are the general logic and the presuppositions of the problem of evil? 2. How can the problem of evil be called into question and how can one develop grammatical methods and philosophical tools to build a successful antitheodicy? 3. How can one develop a grammatical metacritique of the presuppositions of the problem through a philosophical grammar of the underlying language/world and being/meaning-links? 4. How can the grammatical approach to metaphysical questions and to the metacritique of the presuppositions of the problem of evil be used to analyse religious and worldview questions, and articulate ways of existential, humanistic and religious sense-making that overcome the problem? The method used in the work is the systematic analysis of religious views and philosophical arguments. I develop a method of philosophical grammar or relational metacriticism to approach philosophical problems. Philosophical grammar involves investigating the meaning of an expression by locating it in relationships of use, and relational metacriticism develops an overview of a phenomenon by charting its underlying relationships. The problem of evil is at bottom an existential one: how can the world have meaning and how is moral action possible, if there is pointless evil without morally sufficient reasons? The problem of evil is then associated with theodicism: God or the meaning of the world exists only, if all evils have (morally) sufficient reasons. The problem has four key presuppositions: the fact/meaning, fact/value and appearance/reality conceptual gaps and the Principle of Sufficient Reason. The problem arises, when one tries to unify facts with meanings and values by appealing to God or some Arche that establishes a system of sufficient reasons. The appearances of evil present an anomaly or a problem to such attempts to locate meaningfulness and intelligibility in the world. The theodicy debate in the philosophy of religion is just a special case of the general problem, as J. L. Mackie’s, Alvin Plantinga’s and William Rowe’s classic articles work with the Leibnizian problematic of God’s metaphysically constrained choices for the best vs pointless evils. Antitheodicies can be divided into moral and conceptual ones. A conceptual antitheodicy attempts to dissolve the conceptual presuppositions of the problem of evil. A moral antitheodicy extends the rejection of the world order to the activity of issuing reasons itself. I argue that moral antitheodicies cannot stand on their own and end up in question-begging and secularist moralism if they are not supported with other arguments, because the moral rejection of the practice of giving reasons for evil presupposes that there are no such reasons and ends up as groundless moralizing if there are. Therefore only conceptual antitheodicies can work. There are three traditions of conceptual antitheodicy: Kantian, Jamesian and Hamannian antitheodicies. Kantian antitheodicies argue that theodicism oversteps the limits of moral and theoretical human reason. Jamesian antitheodicies emphasize that God and the world order must be reinterpreted in terms of practical and moral action and from a pluralist perspective that can account for experience and moral effort. Hamannian antitheodicies hold that the dualisms and the rationalisms underlying theodicy debate are speculative metaphysics that can be overcome through philosophical grammar. I then argue that Hamannian antitheodicies can be used as metatheories for Kantian and Jamesian ones, because they allow for the critique of reason as a critique of language and avoid the residual dualisms in Kant’s account, and the grammar of language use and religious stories allows for incorporating James’ appeal to practical meanings and to a God who defeats evil. Philosophical grammar gives a ground for examining the presuppositions of theodicy. It examines the use of language by describing the rules of language-games and the relationships underlying them. It also describes the logic of our language by describing conceptual connections in language use and locates abstract concepts like the categories of being in linguistic and communicative relationships. The grammatical approach then investigates the necessary conditions of linguistic relationships to expose unfounded abstractions in metaphysics like dualisms. Language-games are categories in the metaphysical sense. They constitute the structure of uses of language for describing objects and thus give a foundation for ontological classifications and describing objects in terms of abstract concepts. The grammatical method of relational metacriticism then offers a ground for criticizing the metaphysical presuppositions of theodicy, because they cannot go against language use or its necessary conditions. Facts and meanings cannot be separated, because states of affairs and objects are identified by interpreting them against the background of a language-game and its underlying system. The identification of objects requires both a grid of coordinates or a logical space for facts, and narrative principles of continuity that reveal its causal, social and other functional roles in its contexts. Then the narratively identified logic of functioning in a context or system is intertwined with the facts: the functions and stories are realized through the facts, and the facts get a role in the interaction of objects and contexts by having a role in functions and stories. Thus facts and meanings are intertwined, and facts are also seen-as objects by using narratives to identify objects in and through the facts. The Principle of Sufficient Reason forms the link between the problems of evil and meaning. The problem of evil searches moral meaning in morally sufficient reasons or purposes and questions whether being = right or moral reason, as the metaphysical foundations debate questions whether being = reason by investigating the applicability of categories and the existence of rational grounds in reality. However, there is no need to account for the meaning of the world in terms of sufficient reasons for facts, because the fact/meaning split is itself groundless. Moreover, the Principle is inherently ambiguous. The concept of a reason makes sense only against the background of a language-game, and there are systems that have structures that do not amount to sufficient reasons. There are many kinds of sufficient reasons, like logical, moral and causal ones, and distinctions between them prevent running them all together by invoking the PSR. Moreover, the concept of being, and the various essences and logical spaces for being are located in language-games, their underlying systems and the language/world-encounter. Therefore one cannot identify reality itself with rational conceptual structures, because reality and encounter with it is prior to conceptual structures, and conceptual necessity depends on linguistic practices. The concept of a virtue overcomes the fact/value gap. If the concept of good is associated with virtuous practices for moving from an evil present situation into a situation fulfilling the telos, then virtuous habits for realizing human nature intertwine facts and values. Virtues and other humanistic meanings are realized through actions in a context, and the actions are then shaped and chosen by reference to the virtues, human practices and the goods the virtues are used to pursue. Moreover, the world cannot be determined by Arches and sufficient reasons if the grammar of virtues is to work, because they collapse the distinction between the actual world and the possible telos. The grammar of salvation in religions of the sick soul is isomorphic to the grammar of virtues as well: God or the Way are said to be good, because they rescue from the evil situation into a state where the telos is reached. Moreover, such descriptions of religious stories and practices give the use of the word “God” and thus the categories for describing Him and his properties, like goodness and omnipotence. Then one can formulate a consistency proof by using the idea of God as a chessmaster. God is good because He wins when the world succeeds, and He is omnipotent because He has a winning strategy to defeat evil, and both can hold even if the world includes pointless and horrendous evils. Keywords: theodicy; antitheodicy; metacriticism; dualism; meaning; language-games; metaphysics; philosophy of language; philosophy of religion, facts and meanings; facts and values; principle of sufficient reason
  • Haataja, Heikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The objective of this research was to explicate Urho Muroma's understanding of regeneration and sanctification. The study afforded special attention to the part the human will plays in regeneration and sanctification. The research method was systematic analysis. The study demonstrated that Muroma's soteriology is structured by his interpretation of God as “righteous love”, who, on the basis of original sin (peccatum originale) does not condemn anyone to perdition. God gives everyone the possibility to accept salvation or to reject it. In Muroma's opinion, since all do not receive this option during this life, God will arrange this opportunity for these people in the life hereafter. According to Muroma, regeneration does not take place in water baptism. It is only through spiritual awakening (vocatio et illuminatio), conversion (conversio), and justification through faith (iustificatio per fidem) that we reach the experience of regeneration (regeneratio), which enables sanctification. Muroma thinks that without a free decision of the will no one can be saved. In the Fall, people did lose the freedom of the will (liberum arbitrium), but during “a time of visitation” people receive a free will (liberatum arbitrium = the freed will). Conversion is an act of the will involving free choice and “unconditonal surrender”. Through the decision of the will, people are capable of “opening up to God's influence.” This then resolves the salvation of a person – not God's choice. Thus, Muroma's soteriology is left with a synergistic feature. Justification is a prerequisite for receiving the Holy Spirit and takes place through concious faith (fides directa) “side by side with regeneration.” Sins are not reckoned to those who believe in Christ, but Christ's righteousness is accounted to them (favor, iustificatio forensis). Muroma joins together the aspects of forensic and effective justification (iustificatio forensis et effectiva). Both “Christ for us” (Christus pro nobis) and “Christ in us” (Christus in nobis) is justification for the sinner before God (coram Deo). When Christ enters into the hearts of believers through the Holy Spirit (donum), they will be regenerated (regeneratio) “as new creations” in Christ. Per Muroma, regeneration means becoming a participant in the “divine nature” and the renewal of the image of God (imago Dei). The divine nature is Christ Himself (Christus in nobis). Muroma argues that regeneration is a unique event (regeneratio momentanea), the “basic experience” in which people are transferred from the realm of Satan to become the children of God. Muroma states that sanctification (sanctification) is the prerequisite for ultimate salvation. God has determined to make each and every regenerated person “into the likeness of Christ”. Yet Muroma affirms that most believers have become stalled in their spiritual growth “at the level of a carnal Christian”. While on the one hand he emphasizes sanctification as the prerequisite of salvation, on the other hand he, under pressure, teaches – in the manner of the Keswick Movement – that “even carnal” Christians, provided they remain in faith to Christ, will ultimately be saved, even though sanctification had not materialized in them in the way God willed. The role of Christ is emphasized in Muroma's understanding of sanctification. “Entire Christianity” aspires to the likeness of Christ. Nonetheless, he emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit gains “an absolute hold” on believers, He will mold them into the likeness of Christ. This is why being filled with the Holy Spirit is the necessary prerequisite of sanctification. In Muroma's theology, “being filled with the Holy Spirit” requires “total surrender” – an act of volition. First, those who are not regenerated must “surrender themselves totally to the Lord” in order to be born again. After that, those born again are to “decisively surrender themselves to the Lord” in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Muroma seems to have adopted the emphasis typical of the Keswick Movement, where the volitional act of “total surrender” is a prerequisite for a higher level of a life of faith. Regenerate persons in “total surrender” give themselves and their will to Christ. It is “a crucial step” and “a decisive act”, the result of which is that believers are filled with the Holy Spirit. For Muroma, even though changing into the likeness of Christ remains for most people weak and defective in their lifetime, there are Christians whose Christlikeness is unusually manifest. They are filled with the Holy Spirit, reflecting the mind, humility, courage of faith and strength of Christ. Nevertheless, Muroma stresses that these very people themselves feel they are more deficient than any other Christians. While Muroma contends Christians do not free themselves from sin in this life, they are nevertheless not supposed to live as if “the flesh” had control over them. Christians are to be repeatedly filled with the Holy Spirit whereby “the flesh” remains crucified. Salvation is only fully realized when Christians themselves become freed from “this body of sin”, which is when they will understand why they had had so much tribulation in life. These too have been necessary in order that they might grow into the likeness of Christ.
  • Ikonen, Marko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In my doctoral thesis I emphasize Clinical supervision. The purpose of my study is to clarify the pattern on the systematic structure and the interaction between the supervisor and the supervisee. I pay attention to their interaction – how they interact together and individually. The studies carried out previously have been fragmentary. Universal Clinical Supervision is used to support professional work in many contexts,and they are even more perplexed. The components of this activity is very difficult to shape and perceive and there exists disagreement as well. There are plenty of conceptual viewpoints for this action and the theories are attributable to them. The professional guidance is internationally construed in an incoherent way. As a result of these ambiguous concepts, these aspirations have resulted in irresolvable dissolution. There is no particular theory for Clinical Supervision. Furthermore, Practices of Clinical Supervision and Työnohjaus are different around the world and the scientists ́ perception of the system of concepts are incoherent. Therefore the study is being progressed slowly. The analyses made during the last decades have maintained or even increased disparity and discrepancy. My study has three objectives.1) First I want to demonstrate that the previous approaches are incomplete to clarify these problems in professional guidance. Thus I declare why these viewpoints are confusing and have retained these problems. 2) Secondly I substantiate that all kind of guidance is constructed with a model of fixed composition and permanent elements. 3) Last but not least l will demonstrate how I will be able to formulate this broader conception. My analysis is derived from the dialogue between the structures and elements connected with philosophical literature. I explicate how the supervisor and the supervisee act individually and together. The structural study complies with the objectives mentioned above. The material for my study consists of articles written in the international nursing magazines and published in Finnish literature of Työnohjaus. In the essential literature published in the 1980’s, there is a lot of debate on its purpose and conceptions to be clarified. My study is to interconnect philosophical literature in connection with human intentional conduct and interaction. As a supervisor I take advantage of my practical experiences in my doctoral thesis. Every sort of guidance is composed of the fundamental norms and they are fixed universally applicable elements. Therefore the supervisor is able to maintain the acceptable supervision praxis. If the patient is not willing to take professional assistance, the guidance is meaningless. Furthermore, the supervisor is compelled to accept conditional premeditated aspirations. The guidance is constructive and efficient if the supervisor takes all these aspects into consideration. Especially if the supervisor attaches importance to preconditions that make individual and social behavior possible. With the help over the structure, the supervisor is to maintain the substance of guidance. The praxis - empirical co-operation - engages both supervisor and supervisee and gets them involved in interaction. After reading my study the supervisors will be able to comprehend and analyze this conduct profoundly. Therefore my thesis gives the tools to develop international study and improve supervisor’s professional praxis.
  • Kalliokoski, Taina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This doctoral dissertation studies the meaning of communality both as a concept and as a phenomenon. Taking various meanings of the Finnish word for communality, yhteisöllisyys as a starting point, I explore the conditions of how communalities take a form and dissolve, and the relationship between different forms of the human good and communality. The research applies and develops further three theories: Raimo Tuomela’s collective action theory that distinguishes the we-mode collective action from I-mode collective action, Christian Smith’s theory of basic human goods, and Russell Hardin’s theory of trust as encapsulated interests. The methodological approach is philosophical conceptual analysis, which I have used to analyze the meanings of concepts, to create definitions of community and communality, and to formulate the ethical implications different meanings of communality have in terms of the human good. The research clarifies the meaning of community and communality and the relationship between these two concepts. The conclusion of the analysis is a definition of community comprising of five conditions called the group condition, the recognition condition, the interaction condition, the ethos condition and the continuity condition. Communality as a phenomenon is defined as human dynamic interaction processes which interacting agents experience each in their own way. Community as a social formation may exist even if there is no experienced communality between community members. The conditions of how communality as a phenomenon takes place are analyzed on three levels: level of preconditions, level of action, and level of experience. Formation of communality presupposes that it is possible for a person to recognize their co-agency in collective action, and that no external or internal conditions are inhibiting them from participating in collective action. Forms of communality based on we-mode collective action will not develop if agents do not recognize each other as co-agents, if they do not recognize a common interest, and if they do not commit themselves to pursue the common interest. Functional communality becomes continuous only if agents commit themselves to each other, to the aim of the collective action, or the ethos that emerges from the committed collective action. After the commitment, the prerequisites for trust as encapsulated interests are met and trust may evolve between co-agents. Agents may assess their experiences of collective action as either positive or negative. The basic human goods defined by Smith are 1) bodily survival, security, and pleasure, 2) knowledge of reality, 3) identity coherence and affirmation, 4) exercising purposive agency, 5) moral affirmation, and 6) social belonging and love, which when pursued all together may lead to human flourishing. In the third part of the research, I examine these basic goods as interests pursued as the goals of action, and as the states of affairs that are realized and maintained by private and collective action. By analyzing the basic goods and their opposites the non-goods, the research clarifies how communality that develops and maintains in the collective action process either fosters or prevents the realization of human good. The success or failure of collective action depends on the ability of co-agents to make positive and negative evaluation about the social and teleological content of collective action both in the I-mode and in the we-mode. Communality may become symbiotic, in which case the I-mode agency of a person weakens or vanishes, and communality becomes intrinsically destructing. Communality may enhance or destroy the basic human goods on different grounds: as an environment that does not enable the co-actors to pursue human goods, on the grounds of the nature and identity of the community, for functional reasons, or for normative reasons that depend on the relationships between the goods of community and the basic human goods. In order to develop and enhance communality that strengthens the human good, the community ethos has to include an idea of practicing criticism. This means that the community ethos needs to protect the members’ ability to evaluate the collective action and the ethos. Community needs to have accepted means to criticize community practices and ethos, and measures with the help of which to take the criticism and revaluation seriously.
  • Pulkkinen, Marika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines how Paul uses psalms and how this is related to the uses and status of the psalms in the late Second Temple Judaism. The study focuses on clusters of explicit and subtle references to psalms in Paul’s Letter to the Romans and his First Letter to the Corinthians. Furthermore, the study covers the psalm quotations paired together or with another scriptural text and a selection of four individually occurring quotations from a psalm. The following questions are answered in this study: What was the status of psalms within Jewish scriptures for Paul? What does their use as different clusters tell us of the source of Paul’s citations and exegesis of the psalms? How do the individually occurring quotations from psalms differ from quotation clusters or pairs of quotations? What kind of scriptural texts does Paul combine when quoting from or referring to the psalms, and which interpretive technique enables him to do so? Paul probably made excerpts from scripture when he had access to the written form of scripture; these excerpts may have aided him when he composed his letters. However, in this study I demonstrate that Paul did not rely on earlier formatted clusters of quotations, as has been claimed in previous studies. Rather, he compiled and modified the quotations to fit into their new literary context. Regarding the individually occurring quotations from psalms, this study shows that, in a similar manner as the Pentateuchal or the prophetic texts, Paul does likewise use psalms on their own to foster or to prove his argument (Rom 8:36; 15:3; 1 Cor 10:26; 2 Cor 4:11). Hence, Paul considers the psalms as enjoying authoritative status, and his use of them also strengthens their authority among the community reading Paul’s letters. Since previous research has often presumed that Paul studied the text of the psalms in a synagogue setting by reciting them, their possible attestation in such gatherings is discussed in chapter 3. Although the knowledge of liturgy of the late Second Temple period is sparse, prayer is largely attested in written documents (literary depictions, papyri, inscriptions, DSS manuscripts), and hence it can be concluded that it played a central role both in private and public piety. Furthermore, psalms were employed in various functions in the late Second Temple period: in addition to their use in private and communal devotional life, psalms were read, cited and interpreted as carrying a prophetic message for the contemporary reader. Moreover, psalms were used to study the history of the interpretive community. This study shows that Paul’s use of psalms reflects these varying uses of psalms during the late Second Temple period. In conclusion, this study confirmes the earlier notion that the tripartite division of the Hebrew Bible was not yet established at the turn of the Common Era. Since it is uncertain when the psalms gained authoritative status in Jewish communities, Paul’s use of the psalms sheds light on the matter: Paul seems to hold the psalms as authoritative by quoting from them in a similar manner as he does from the Pentateuchal and prophetic texts. Paul uses the psalms for legal exegesis and instruction for the right way to live, functions that were reserved only for the interpretation of the Torah in later rabbinic Judaism. However, this tradition obviously developed after Paul, since he uses non-Pentateuchal texts as sources for legal exegesis as well.
  • Nurmi, Suvielise (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation examines the idea of relationality as a feature of moral agency and analyses the implications of such an idea in ethical theories as frameworks for environmental ethics. The thesis fills the gap in academic philosophical discussion concerning the relationality of the operations of moral agency. The idea of relationality, although being quite used in characterising (human) nature in environmental philosophy, has not been scrutinised as constitutive for moral operations. The thesis starts by analysing the concepts of moral agency in the three distinguished strategies of environmental ethics: the modernist one, which is used as the reference line, evolutionary naturalism and ecofeminist constructivism. The latter two take a critical stance towards the first, but from philosophically opposing directions. It is shown that these criticisms parallel each other and are directed towards a converging idea of ecologically relational agency. The thesis continues by constructing the idea of ecologically relational moral agency pointed to by the parallel lines of thought in evolutionary naturalism and ecofeminist constructivism as they are represented in environmental ethics. The concept is sketched through interdisciplinary support from the natural sciences, psychological and philosophical anthropology, epistemology, and philosophy of mind and action. It is argued that a currently plausible scientific notion of moral agency challenges the view widely presupposed by modern moral philosophy. According to the analysed sources, human mental processes, knowledge and value formation included, are extended to the environments of the individual mind, relationships providing knowledge, experience and intention are mutually interactive, and even intentional activity is mainly a non-individual issue. Research on these features refer to environmental relationality of mental operations. Relational agency fulfils the environmentalist’s quest for a plausible notion of agency. However, to consider moral identity, as well as knowing, reasoning and acting as ecologically relational challenges common conceptions of moral autonomy and rationality. Question is raised whether this compromises the autonomy and authority of ethics. The philosophical implications of the conceptual relational shift are analysed in contexts of moral naturalism and moral constructivism in order to clarify the implications of relational moral agency for environmental ethics. Implications of ecologically relational notion of agency are considered in Humean naturalism, neo-Aristotelian naturalism (especially Martha Nussbaum) and neo-Kantian constructivism (especially Christine Korsgaard). Korsgaard’s theory is proposed to offer a mediating tool to reconcile relational explanation with normative authority. It is argued that the relational approach to ethics can survive also the environmentalists’ quests for moral realism, although it challenges the usual restrictions of metaethical categories and points towards a modest, relationally realist ethics. With regard to normative ethics, relationality implies that the material as well as social relationships can be normatively binding for the reasons derived from the nature of morality itself. Keywords: relational agency, moral agency, ethics, environmental philosophy, philosophical anthropology, environmental ethics, naturalism and constructivism, relational realism
  • Nissinen, Vesa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    MODERNEJA TEOLOGISIA TULKINTOJA KOSMISESTA EVOLUUTIOSTA JA MAAN ULKOPUOLISEN ÄLYLLISEN ELÄMÄN MAHDOLLISUUDESTA Olemmeko yksin maailmankaikkeudessa? Tämä kysymys nousee nykyään usein esiin. Scifi-tuotanto on jo pitkään esittänyt skenaarioita Maan ulkopuolisista elämänmuodoista. Nykyään tuo kysymys esitetään yhä useammin myös luonnontieteiden piirissä. Tämä johtuu erityisesti siitä, että tähtitiede on löytänyt tuhansia planeettoja eri tähtien ympäriltä. Lisäksi tiedetään, että maailmankaikkeudessa on kaikkialla samat luonnonlait ja samoja alkuaineita. Ovatko luonnonvakiot sellaisia, että alkuaineet ajan oloon sopivissa olosuhteissa prosessoituvat elämäksi ja ehkä myös älylliseksi elämäksi (ETI, extra terrestrial intelligence) Maan ulkopuolella? Yhä useammat tutkijat pitävät todennäköisenä sitä, että jonkinlaista elämää on myös muualla. Tällainen näkökulma synnyttää myös maailmakatsomukseen ja uskontoon liittyvää pohdintaa. Kysymystä Maan ulkopuolisesta elämästä on pohdittu jo vuosituhansia. Erityisesti filosofit ja teologit ovat sitä harrastaneet. Kun uuden ajan luonnontiede alkoi kehittyä, teologia on vähitellen jäänyt tällä alueella yhä enemmän syrjään. Nyt on kuitenkin tultu tilanteeseen, missä teologisen tutkimuksen on syytä reagoida uusiin tähtitieteen löydöksiin. Voisiko olla niin, että Jumalan luomistyön seurauksena elämä onkin maailmankaikkeuden yleinen ominaisuus? Voisiko olla niin, että ihmisten lisäksi Jumala on luonut myös muita älyllisiä olentoja, joilla mahdollisesti on omat kulttuurinsa, uskontonsa ja jumalasuhteensa? Voiko ETI olla ”Jumalan kuva” kristillisen teologian näkökulmasta? Tällaisten kysymysten äärellä joudutaan pohtimaan, miten esimerkiksi kristilliset ajatukset ilmoituksesta ja pelastuksesta ovat sovellettavissa Maan ulkopuoliseen todellisuuteen. Näyttää siltä, että modernilla teologisella tutkimuksella on kykyä reagoida näihin haasteisiin. Tälle näkemykselle ovat luoneet pohjaa lukuisat merkittävät ajattelijat. Erityisen haastava on sellainen näkökulman muutos, missä ihmistä ja Maata ei enää nähdä maailmankaikkeuden ja luomistyön keskuksina. Skenaario siitä, että ihminen jonakin päivänä kohtaa vierasta elämää, haastaa pohtimaan tähän liittyviä eettisiä kysymyksiä. Koska tietoa mahdollisen ETI:n luonteesta ei ole, soveltuvan etiikan pohtiminen on varsin haasteellista. Teoriassa ETI voi olla paljon ihmistä älykkäämpi ja hyväntahtoisempi. Toisaalta se voi olla myös Alien-elokuvien kaltainen brutaali olio. Sopivien tulkintojen ja työvälineiden löytämiseksi on suotavaa, että luonnontieteet, filosofia ja teologia tekevät yhteistyötä ETI-kysymyksessä.

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