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  • Törmä, Terhi (STKS, 2015)
    One s own Body and the Arc of Narrating The process of meaning according to Maurice Merleau-Ponty s bodily and Paul Ricoeur s narrative conception of imagination. The focus of my research is on the question of imagination in Maurice Merleau-Ponty s (1908-1961) phenomenology of the body, and Paul Ricoeur s (1913-2005) hermeneutics of narrativity. I inquire into how bodily and narrative imagination affect the process through which I make sense of myself and of my being, of others, of the world and of the communication. Through this inquiry I aim to construct a conceptual framework of religious meaning, which in its nature is multidimensional. My hypothesis is that conceptions of imagination based on the phenomenology of the body and on narrativity are mutually dependent, especially in the area of religious meaning. On a more general level, both one s own bodily wisdom and the wisdom that comes from making stories are necessary to appreciate the fullness of the meaning. In my investigation of these aspects of productive imagination I examine in detail Merleau-Ponty s early phenomenological work Phénoménologie de la perception (Phenomenology of Perception, 1945) and Ricoeur s trilogy Temps et récit (Time and Narrative, 1983-1985). My method is philosophical analysis. My dissertation comprises two main parts. Chapters three and four explore Merleau-Ponty s bodily and phenomenological conception of imagination. Because he does not express a systematic view on imagination, it is necessary to construct one on the basis of his argumentation on other subjects. This is an interesting task given the important role of imagination in his phenomenology of the body. Many aspects of imagination that are usually related to his late ontological philosophy are already present in Phénoménologie de la perception. It is through an analysis of this early work in particular that one might fully appreciate the rootedness of imagination in the body an aspect that gives some originality to Merleau-Ponty s conception compared to many others. The second main part of my research brings in the hermeneutic perspective. Chapters five and six explore Ricoeur s conception of narrative imagination, as elaborated in Temps et récit. This trilogy highlights Ricoeur s thinking on semantic innovation, on the power of language to open up the possibilities of existence. In it he presents narrative imagination as a three-part process shaping the practical field of human existence. The narrative arc he constructs extends from the prefiguration of life to the configuration of narrative (made productive by the schematic capacity of imagination), the aim being to refigure practical life through the subject who appropriates the possibilities opened up in the narrative. The capacity of narrative imagination to bring disparate elements into one plot also facilitates consideration of personal identity. In telling the story of my life I bring all the heterogeneous episodes into a meaningful unity. Ricoeur helps us to see our identity as a narrative identity: even if we cannot be the authors of our life, we may be a co-author of its significance. The idea of narrative imagination, with its focus on imaginative variation and critical distanciation, could also be applied to the religious narratives through which we refigure our everyday life and our cultural identity. The connection to practical life is an essential element in Ricoeur s conception of imagination. I show in my research how narrative imagination is based on the idea of a bodily subject. It is on this bodily level that the subject can put the effects of the narrative into practice. The aim is to free one s own possibilities and capabilities. This brings Ricoeur to the theme of l homme capable, a theme that unites his latest philosophy with the philosophical anthropology with which he began his philosophical career. Both the bodily and the narrative conceptions of imagination offer fruitful insights into religious meaning such as constituted in the everyday practices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. For example, Merleau-Ponty s conception of one s own bodily wisdom includes the idea that understanding something is more about I can and not so much about I think, that In many instances of religious life, such as the Sunday service, it is on this level of bodily wisdom in particular that the meanings are appropriated. Kneeling with others, sensing their presence nearby, touching the bread and tasting the wine communicate the meaning of the communion on the very basic level of human existence, on the level of the body. This experience cannot become a reflected part of my life without my being able to narrate it, however. Hence, the linguistic and narrative aspects are essential in allowing my religious experiences somehow to refigure my everyday life.
  • Heikkilä, Jelisei (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The revolutionary reforms of Peter the Great in 1721 radically changed the whole Russian State. The changes which affected the Church's canonical and juridical status for the entire Synodal period during the early twentieth century s social and church-cultural metamorphosis, raise significant questions from the viewpoint of Orthodox canon law regarding marriage and divorce. The study's main focus is how were these questions treated during the Pre-Conciliar period and in the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918. The All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918 was in many ways a unique and unparalleled phenomenon in the Russian Orthodox Church, State and in Russian social history. The Pre-Conciliar movement of the early twentieth century in Russia included the first and only experience in the Russian Orthodox Church of an open discussion with elements of dialogue touching all sides of Church life. The sources of this study, the documents and decrees of the Holy Synod and the preparatory bodies of the general Council of 1917- 1918, raise the following questions regarding marriage and divorce: 1. How did the Russian Orthodox Church understand the state law in relation to its own ecclesiastical law? 2. How was the ancient canonical tradition concerning matrimonial issues interpreted in Russia? By examining the canonical views of matrimonial matters in the Russian Orthodox Church in the early 1900s, especially through secular laws and canonical commentaries, it is possible to create a picture of a canonical marriage model eventually formed in the Russian Orthodox Church after the General Council of 1917-1918. The bureaucracy appeared to be a permanent barrier between the Church and the people, as well as between the Church and the State. Ecclesiastical regulations were joined to civil law, creating norms of marriage law that conformed to the State s viewpoint. This led to a situation before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution where divorces were difficult to obtain. Eventually, the religious institution of marriage, which had been protected by the Russian judiciary from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries, was destroyed by the Revolution. Animosity towards traditional Christian family values began to pervade the social climate in Russia after the Revolution, and the laws of the Russian Orthodox Church came to reflect this. The study argues that after the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918, a new divorce model of the Russian Orthodox Church appeared. The Orthodox Church did not immediately abolish its previous bureaucratic model, especially when resolving the divorce cases in the Soviet State in 1918, but new pastoral aspects nevertheless were incorporated. The form of a petition was retained: one of the approved reasons for divorce had to be stated, as well as a detailed and correct statement of the circumstances under which the collapse of the marital union took place. The canonical spirit and the norms established in the Pre-Conciliar period were retained in this matter. Thus, any reasons that were not justified by the canons and their authoritative commentaries were not accepted as lawful causes for ecclesiastical divorce. However, the final resolution concerning the grounds for the dissolution of marriage appear as if the Council expected the Church to remain as it was in the past, namely with complete jurisdiction over marriage.
  • Nikula, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Keywords: goodness, capability, choice, ethics, deaf, sign language, cochlear implant, clinical practice, medicalization. Lapsen hyvää edistämässä. Syntymäkuurojen lasten sisäkorvaistutehoitokäytännön sosiaalieettistä tarkastelua. [Promoting The Good of The Child. A Social-Ethical Analysis of Cochlear Implants in Children Born Deaf]. Karoliina Nikula, University of Helsinki. In 1995, after a long period of lobbying and political action, sign language was granted a legal status in Finland. In 1997, the first cochlear implant surgeries were performed on children in Finland. At present, 90 percent of deaf children undergo cochlear implant surgery. The use of sign language as a first language is diminishing. The majority of deaf children are born to hearing parents, and they are being asked to make the choice whether their children should receive cochlear implants or not. Previous empirical studies have shown that some parents feel that their choices are not always respected. The aim of this research project is to study cochlear implant clinical practices using the concepts of goodness, capability, and choice, as well as to analyse whether the shift in clinical practices from sign language to spoken language is based on careful deliberation and reasonable arguments. This study helps us to better understand the parents process of deciding whether or not to obtain cochlear implants for their children, and the family s journey through treatment options and standard clinical practices. In addition, this study provides tools for parents of deaf children to assist their decision-making and to medical practitioners who advise these parents. The study is focused around the following research questions: (1) What constitutes medical goodness for a child born deaf? (2) In what ways do cochlear implants and sign language promote a deaf child s capabilities? (3) Is it adequate to speak of choice when thinking about the dilemmas of parents of children born deaf? The research methodology is philosophical concept and argumentation analysis along with analysis of the construction of the concept of choice. The research data consists of various sources and literature. The sources can be divided into the following: 1) Avaintietokansio [materials made available to families of the deaf]; 2) publications of the Satakieli seminars; 3) brochures and other information provided by device manufacturers; 4) DVD and video recordings; 5) Internet pages; and 6) legislation. The literature is comprised of (1) previous empirical studies on the parents of deaf children obtaining treatment for their children. Empirical studies on family experience include materials published by the Finnish Association of the Deaf and the Institute for the Languages of Finland, e.g., Suomen viittomakielten kielipoliittinen ohjelma (2010); a publication of the Ombudsman for Children Hei, kato mua! (Johanna Kiili and Kirsi Pollari, eds., 2012); and Riia Celen s documentary Sanoja sormenpäissä (2009) and Minna Luukkainen s Viitotut elämät: Kuurojen nuorten aikuisten kokemuksia viittomakielisestä elämästä Suomessa (2008). These provide information on the experiences of families whose deaf children are being treated. Internationally, Stuart Blum s The Artificial Ear (2010) also provides information on the experiences of families. (2) Ethical and medical discourse on cochlear implants in deaf children. (3) Previous philosophical and ethical work, particularly the following: a) Martha Nussbaum s capability approach; b) Georg Henrik von Wright s The Varieties of Goodness (1963, Finnish translation 2001); and c) rational choice theory, especially in the work of Jon Elster. In addition, (4) methodological handbooks (e.g., literature about the conceptual tools) were used. The study is organized as follows. Chapter two examines deafness from two points of view: audiological and socio-cultural. I also introduce topics often associated with deafness, such as sign language and deaf culture. Here I also discuss the technical aspects of cochlear implants and provide a brief history of the deaf in Finland. In chapters 3 5 I examine the three main concepts goodness, capabilities, and choices with reference to the research questions. These provide essential conceptual tools when analysing the issue, as the processes connected to cochlear implants are centred around the question of what constitutes a good life for the child, the child s ability to develop, and the choices that parents in this situation must make. My research demonstrates the following: (1) The transition from sign language to spoken language is not based on sound arguments. This study did not find a solid rationale for reducing the use of sign language in order to rehabilitate hearing. Giving up sign language cannot be said to promote the child s good, capabilities, or opportunities to make independent choices in the future. On the contrary, it may indeed interfere with them. (2) In conjunction with the cochlear implant treatment process, it sometimes seems that the ideas of promoting choice and increasing capabilities are more of an illusion. We can also speak of language as an illusion in the sense that in the literature I surveyed (as well as in this discourse), language is often used synonymously with spoken language. The rhetoric used directs choice and creates impressions. We cannot speak of a family s autonomous, rational choices if the situation does not meet the criteria for choice. (3) Occasionally, the process seems to be about audism, i.e., valuing spoken language over signed language, medicalization, technological imperatives, and the treatment of cochlear implants as an ideological issue. All of these can have an effect on the decision-making processes of parents. (4) Cochlear implant clinical practices differ from general health care practices in the sense that implant practices are not always based on evidence (e.g., there is no evidence of the advantages of choosing not to learn sign language; there is as yet no knowledge of the long-term effects of cochlear implants). Furthermore, health care usually focuses only on areas within the medical field, but a language is not only a medical issue. Health care practices are usually based on research results, limited to areas in which medical authorities have competence and designed to maximize the patient s capabilities. (5) Legislation, different schools of thought, and treatment practices create different ways of understanding deafness. Legislation treats the deaf in terms of language and handicap. Different schools of thought lead to polarized discourse about deafness. Finally, according to the reports of parents, current clinical practices require them to choose one language for their child, although it would be possible to choose both sign language and spoken language. These divisions in the discourse may affect the decision-making of parents. (6) The idea of choice is not the best way to promote the well-being of deaf children. Focusing instead on capabilities would free parents and health care practitioners from the burden of predicting outcomes which will only come with time: that is, if all capabilities are promoted, it is not necessary to know how hearing or speech will develop, what the child would like to do or be when s/he grows up, or what sort of future the child will have. A discourse of choice creates an either/or, rather than a both/and situation. Both/and is a better platform from which to develop a child s full capabilities. (7) The concepts of goodness, capabilities, and choice provide useful tools to examine cochlear implant clinical practices and the dilemma of families with deaf children. These concepts can also be used more generally in thinking about ethical considerations in medical practice, as they represent fundamental issues in terms of both ethics and health care practice. (8) Cochlear implant clinical practices need to be developed. This study shows that written materials supporting parental decisions need to be improved, and care needs to be taken that space is given to different alternatives. In addition, more multi- and cross-disciplinary co-operation needs to be developed to improve the prospects for deaf children. Based on this study, I suggest that in the future we need to focus on four issues. First, we must pay attention to the rhetoric used in legislation, in information packets for families of the deaf, and in the research literature. Second, instead of talking about choice, we must take into consideration the child s strengths and skills on many levels. Third, we should consider the possibilities offered by multiculturalism, which includes different types of language choices, as well as multi- and cross-disciplinary clinical teams. If advice is being given on language, the treatment team should include a language specialist as well as a member who knows sign language. This study affirms the need for further multi- and cross-disciplinary co-operation. Fourth, deaf children should be treated as a whole person, not simply through their hearing or lack thereof.
  • Eklund, Dan-Johan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study is a critical examination of the views about the voluntary aspect of religious faith in contemporary analytic theistic philosophy of religion. The background of the question is the variety of opinions regarding the voluntariness or involuntariness of religious faith. The study examines different propositional attitudes, such as belief, hope, and acceptance, which are taken to be involved in the cognitive-epistemic aspect of religious faith. Another important theme concerns the practical dimension of religious faith and the attitudes it involves. Questions having to do with the emotional and evaluative features of religious faith are also touched upon. In addition, certain traditional theological topics pertaining to voluntariness of faith are addressed. Apart from the critical evaluation, this study develops one view of faith, that is, faith as propositional hope. The method used is philosophical conception and argumentation analysis. In the first chapter I analyse the general views of analytic theists on the nature of faith and propositional belief. In the second chapter the central topic is how beliefs relevant to faith are acquired and the implications this issue has for questions about voluntariness of faith. Richard Swinburne s and Alvin Plantinga s accounts of faith are the main focus of this chapter. The third chapter is chiefly concerned with the possibility of believing without sufficient evidence; the permissibility of such believing is also addressed. Views elaborated by John Bishop and Jeff Jordan are central in this chapter. In the fourth chapter I analyse views which claim that faith need not entail belief and the impact of these views on issues concerning the voluntariness of faith. The chapter consists of views put forward by Robert Audi, William Alston, Louis Pojman, and J. L. Schellenberg. This chapter also includes the view of faith I defend, that is, faith as propositional hope. The voluntary aspect of religious faith has been understood in different ways. The overall conclusion of this study is that the cognitive aspect of faith is in the main involuntary, though volitional acts can have some effect on it. The same goes for the emotional and evaluative aspects of religious faith. On the other hand, the practical dimension of faith seems to be largely a matter of voluntary choice and behaviour. These insights imply that from a philosophical viewpoint whether people perceive a given religious faith as a worthwhile and meaningful worldview is due to other factors than their direct voluntary choice, but it is their decision whether they commit themselves to the faith in question.
  • Gao, Yuan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study presents a general overview of Augustine s insights into passions as well as his approach to the therapy of emotions and their sanctification. Attending to various phases of his writings, this work explores the systematic structure of Augustine s tenets on passions and on the freedom from passions in the context of his philosophical and theological convictions on the issue of amor sui and amor Dei. The analysis begins by examining Augustine s language of passions and the doctrinal connections between Augustine and his predecessors. I provide a survey of Augustine s usage of emotional terms and criticise the position that Augustine suggested a dichotomy between passio and affectus as well as the claim that none of Augustine s Latin terms can be justifiably translated by the modern term emotion . On the basis of terminological and doctrinal observations, I clarify the general features of Augustine s psychology of passions in Chapter 2. In addressing the issue of how Augustine transformed his predecessors therapy of passions and their ideal of freedom from emotion into his theological framework in Chapter 3, I examine a series of related concepts, such as propatheia, metriopatheia, apatheia and eupatheia, to determine how he understood them in various stages of his philosophical and theological thinking. On this basis, I draw an outline of Augustine s interpretation of emotions in his theological anthropology. During his early period, Augustine adopted the Stoic and Platonic therapy of passions and the Stoic ideal of freedom from emotion (apatheia), but he changed his position later, re-evaluating the received terminologies and values of emotions (love, will, justice, virtue, etc.) from the perspective of the doctrines of sin and grace. He developed a theological vision and evaluation of the human condition of emotions and he expressed a pessimistic attitude towards the human condition without the help of supernatural grace. Chapter 4 addresses Augustine s position on the criticism and renewal of passions in social life: the household, city, and the world. In Chapter 5, I argue that Augustine s ideal of freedom from passions was participation in the inner Trinitarian spiritual life by the bond of the Holy Spirit as a hallmark of deification. This is wholly dependent on the divine kenosis and the transaction in the person of Christ. By virtue of the gift of grace (the salvific real presence of the Holy Spirit in faith), the pilgrimaging citizens of the City of God will be elevated to the divine realm and become transformed into a better substance in the union with God in Heaven. Contrary to arguments by some Orthodox theologians, Augustine s theory of deification is not simply a matter of fulfilment of humanity without a genuine transformation. While grace improves the control of sinful impulses in the emotional life of believers who suffer the consequences of the damage of the soul through original sin, Augustine maintained that the new life in Heaven denotes freedom from this emotional condition as well as the non-apathetic peaceful love and joy of resurrected persons in their participation in the divine spiritual nature.
  • Pöyhönen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The proportion of the Finnish population approaching old age is increasing rapidly. This challenges Finnish society and increases the need for elderly care services. Individuals responsibility for themselves and their elderly family members is growing, while the welfare society is undergoing reformation. In Finland, elderly care involves both municipal workers and actors such as companies, organisations and religious communities. In Finland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCF) and its parishes can be positioned between the public and third sectors. The Church organises its elderly care as part of diaconal and common parish work. The ELCF has adjusted this care based on societal change. For example, after the economic recession of the 1990s, the ELCF reallocated its resources from elderly care to financial assistance for people of working age. The ELCF employs a holistic concept of people in its diaconal work: it considers their spiritual or religious needs. Such needs are often accentuated among the elderly. This study explores the role of the ELCF in the field of elderly care in Finland. The dissertation consists of four articles in which the ELCF s role is examined through its history, the views of both church diaconal and municipal social workers, and the expectations of ordinary citizens directed to the ELCF for elderly care. This research is qualitative. The research material consists of the four-year reports the Church produced from 1898 to 2007 and two separate sets of interview data. Twenty-five ordinary Finns were interviewed in 2007 and twenty-two diaconal and social workers in 2009. The data were evaluated by using inductive content or abductive frame analysis, as appropriate. The study shows that the ELCF plays an important but complex role in elderly care. Both citizens and social workers expect the Church to fill a role previously associated with the public sector. In addition to the spiritual or religious needs of the elderly, psychosocial support is also provided by the ELCF. These expectations are motivated by both the neutrality demanded of social workers and various restrictions on their resources and expertise. Diaconal work proved to be employee centred, and in elderly care, strategies often failed in practice. For the ELCF, the most important cooperation is with the public sector. The results, however, show signs of asymmetrical power relations between the social and diaconal workers. This also became clear through contractuality, which will be used more in the future in organising cooperation. The responsibilities and tasks involved in elderly care are being redefined. This not only affects solidarity, the key concept behind the current welfare model, but also changes it. Reaffirming the concept of social solidarity among individuals can be seen as a task more and more appropriate for the ELCF s elderly care efforts. This kind of solidarity is needed to strengthen individual responsibility in caring for the elderly population.
  • Lepojärvi, Jason (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the most influential Christian thinkers of the twentieth century with continuing relevance into the twenty-first. Despite growing academic interest in Lewis, many fields of inquiry remain largely unmapped in Lewis scholarship today. This compilation dissertation, consisting of an introductory overview together with four stand-alone but connected essays, extends critical understanding of Lewis's contribution to the theology of love. In three of the four essays, Lewis's theology of love is compared to and contrasted with that of Anders Nygren (1890-1978); and in one, that of Augustine of Hippo. Using systematic textual analysis, the essays evaluate Lewis's key concepts, argumentation, and presuppositions. Nygren, the Swedish Lutheran theologian and bishop of Lund, has virtually dominated modern theological discussion of love. His antithesis between selfless and gratuitous Christian love and self-seeking and needful Pagan love, or agape and eros respectively, became enormously influential in twentieth century theology. Lewis was initially shaken up by Nygren's work, and it took him decades to formulate his own model, above all in Surprised by Joy (1955) and The Four Loves (1960). It is shown that Lewis constructed not only his theology of love, but also his theology of spiritual desire as a form of love, in conscious opposition to Nygren. Lewis's theology of love challenges the denigration of eros and its separation from agape. Nygren's predestinarianism is also rejected. Lewis devises his own vocabulary, avoids the use of eros and agape in Nygren's sense, and hardly ever mentions Nygren by name. All this suggests a deliberate apologetic strategy to bypass certain defences of his readers and to avoid Nygren-dependency. Despite their incommensurate love-taxonomies, Lewis's need-love/gift-love and Nygren's eros/agape have often been treated as parallels. This longstanding assumption is shown to be in need of greater nuance. The study demonstrates that Lewis's concept of spiritual longing, which he calls Joy, is relevant to the Nygren debate and serves as a potent variant for Nygren's eros. However, no one thing in Lewis's mental repertoire can serve as a perfect translation of Nygren's eros, because for Lewis it is an abstract caricature cut off from real life. In Lewis's theological vision, contra Nygren, spiritual longing, far from obfuscating the Gospel, is a God-given desire that prepares the way for it. Lewis is not free from the occasional hyperbole or blind spot. For instance, his argument that romantic love is not eudaimonistic is shown to be somewhat convoluted, and his famous disagreement with Augustine is possibly based on a misunderstanding. A perennial feature in Lewis's understanding of love, reflected in all four essays, is the ambiguity of love. Love is not something pejorative, but neither is it an infallible moral compass. God is love, but love is not God.
  • Kuusniemi, Kalle (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) had no contacts with the Baltic and Ingrian Lutheran Churches in the Soviet Union. It was virtually impossible for the Missouri Synod to make connections because of its narrow view of ecumenism, its anti-communism, and its non-membership in the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), which communicated to some extent with the churches of the USSR. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union made it possible for the Synod to establish totally new contacts with post-Soviet Lutherans. I examine how the Missouri Synod influenced the Baltic and Ingrian Churches between 1991 and 2001 in the context of inter-Lutheran relations. The starting point of the study is when the Missouri Synod first made contact with the Baltic and Ingrian Lutherans. It set up initial connections in 1991 through the LCMS auxiliary organizations in cooperation with the Finnish sister organization, the Confessional Lutheran Church of Finland. However, the first direct official Missourian contacts with the Lutherans in those countries were established in 1992. The Estonian Church, being more developed, more self-sufficient and strongly supported by the Finnish Church, was not so needful of support from the Missouri Synod. Having a more liberal theological approach it had allowed women to become pastors, and continued doing so, whereas the positions of the Ingrian, Latvian and Lithuanian Churches were and continued to be more open to cooperation with the Missouri Synod. The Latvian Church, for example, which allowed the ordination of women, overruled the decision in 1993 so that the problematic question of women´s ministry no longer hindered cooperation between the Latvians and the Missourians. As a result of the cooperation and of fellowship discussions between the Missouri Synod and the Ingrian Church, an altar and pulpit fellowship agreement was signed at the 1998 LCMS convention. Significantly, this was the very first time an existing member of the Lutheran World Federation entered into fellowship with the Missouri Synod. One could say that this fellowship became a model for the two Baltic Churches that later signed the agreement with the Missouri Synod. From the Missourian side, fellowship with the Ingrians meant that the Missouri Synod had developed a more tolerant and more open attitude towards its partner Churches and their pluralism. The end point of the study is July 2001, when the Missouri Synod´s convention delegates voted to declare church fellowship with the Latvians and the Lithuanians. Of most importance was the theological, financial and moral support the LCMS gave to the Ingrian, Latvian and Lithuanian Lutheran Churches, and to the Estonian Church to a lesser degree, and it also exerted the most significant influence in these areas. Theological support was the top priority. The LCMS extensively supported theological education in the area for two basic reasons. First, the Missouri Synod had reaffirmed its positions on many theological questions and was not as progressive as the German and Swedish Lutherans, for instance. LCMS theology was more understandable and more similar to the post-ghetto theology of the Churches that had been under Soviet rule. Second, the Missouri Synod had the capacity for educational cooperation with its comprehensive education system. Financial support was given on quite a large scale. Much of it directly served the purposes of theological education, but there was also some support for diaconal work, for example. Perhaps to the surprise of many Western Lutherans, the financial support made the Baltic and Ingrian Churches more independent and less vulnerable to the threat of being cut off from funding that came from some members of the LWF. Moral support was essential, and was usually connected with theological and financial support. At first it involved offering encouragement to the small Churches in Eastern Europe that had suffered under Communist persecution, but may have been of utmost significance in the new situation that arose when the Baltic and Ingrian Churches attracted heavy criticism and were under strong pressure from mainstream European Lutherans. Because of the Missouri Synod´s influence and the conservative nature of the Baltic and Ingrian Lutheran Churches a Lutheran New Deal or reallotment was made in Eastern Europe. Between mainstream and non-mainstream Lutheranism appeared the middle ground of the Ingrian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and to some degree Estonian Lutheran Churches, all of which were now deeply connected to both the LCMS and the LWF. In only one decade the Missouri Synod had gained a strong foothold in the Baltic and Ingrian Churches.
  • Ikonen, Tiina (Diakonia-ammattikorkeakoulu, 2015)
    This study examines international diaconia in the diocesan and central administration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in the years 1993−2004. The research question of this study consists of three parts. 1) What meanings has international diaconia had, and what international aspects have been included in diaconia within the diocesan and central administration? 2) What actions have been included in international diaconia within the diocesan and central administration, and what reasons have been given for these actions? 3) How do the decisions of the diocesan and central administration express the idea of international diaconia in the church? This data-based study has been carried out through the methodological means of qualitative content analysis with aspects of historical analysis. Methods of grounded theory have been applied in the research process. The main data of the study consists of administrative documents of the church s diocesan and central administration. As a result of this study, a model of international diaconia in the church administration was formed. In the model, international diaconia was divided into three dimensions and three factors. The factors are seen in every dimension. The three dimensions of international diaconia are called the position of international diaconia in the church administration, diaconia meeting national borders, and intercultural diaconia. The three factors apparent in these dimensions are called the theology of international diaconia, the praxis of international diaconia and the question of neighbors in international diaconia. The study found major changes in international diaconia during the research period. First, the theology of international diaconia was discussed in relation to the theology of the missionary practice of the church. International diaconia was found to be an integral part of the church s mission. The new understanding of international diaconia made clear that the church should act as a subject of international diaconia and that there is a wider understanding of international responsibility to be found. Second, intercultural diaconia was introduced and increased in a rapid manner. Half of the international diaconia praxis was organized for national intercultural diaconia. This change was due to increasing migration to Finland. Third, international diaconia was challenged by the question of neighborliness. Within international diaconia, the church worked in order to help people in need both in international and national contexts. Neighbors were often considered strangers or others by the church and as objects of international diaconia. It was common for international diaconia − both outside and inside national borders − to work for strangers rather than with them.
  • Laine, Antti (Luther-Agricola-Seura, 2015)
    This study examines the early stages of the Programme to Combat Racism (PCR) of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the foremost inter-church organization of Orthodox and Protestant churches, and reactions to it. Aside from the extensive archival and printed material of the WCC, the study is also based on both published and unpublished sources in Finland and Britain concerning the response to the PCR in these countries. To date, the PCR remains the most controversial and debated WCC initiative, with also the largest social and political impact. While the World Council had addressed social questions since its inception in 1948, it was in the late 1960s that they became the focus of special attention. Although the PCR was officially established in 1969, it originates from the Fourth WCC Assembly in Uppsala in 1968, which called for an action-orientated ecumenical programme to eliminate racism. Consequently, the period examined in this study commences with the Uppsala Assembly in August 1968 and concludes in August 1974, when the WCC Central Committee resolved to continue the PCR after the expiry of its initial five-year mandate. The 1960s was a decade marked by social and political upheaval and demands for radical social change. Calls for freedom, equality and justice were heard from recently decolonized countries and nations still struggling for independence. While social questions were no novelty on the agenda of the modern ecumenical movement, the spirit of the time promoted a new approach calling for action instead of discussion. The new demands also set a test for the WCC, which rose to the occasion by addressing one of the gravest social evils of the time, racism. This study clearly shows that the ecumenical attack against racism was the master plan of Eugene Carson Blake, the General Secretary of the WCC from 1966 to 1972 and a US civil rights activist. Although the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr only a few months before the Uppsala Assembly highlighted the problem of racism, it was Blake s determination that set the Assembly s focus on racism. Following the Uppsala Assembly, the new initiative on racism was prepared in a turbulent consultation in May 1969. The consultation drew attention to institutionalized forms of racism, and its conclusions formed the basis of the PCR, which the WCC Central Committee established in August 1969 with a decided focus on white racism. The PCR included a Special Fund to be distributed to organizations of racially oppressed groups. The WCC set an example to its constituency and transferred 200,000 US dollars from its reserves to the Fund, notwithstanding the financial difficulties it faced at the time. The establishment of the new ecumenical endeavour to fight racism went largely unnoticed until September 1970, when the WCC Executive Committee allocated the first grants from the Special Fund. As the Executive Committee wanted to give clear priority to Southern Africa, a significant proportion of the grants went to national liberation movements engaged in armed struggle against racially oppressive white minority regimes there. Immediately after the first grant allocation, fierce controversy erupted, especially in the West. Although the funds were granted solely for humanitarian purposes, the fact that there was no control on how the money would be spent fed suspicions of its misuse. As this study clearly demonstrates, due to the background of the supported organizations and the aid they received from Communist countries, such as the Soviet Union, the WCC was widely accused of both legitimizing violence and supporting Communism. Its critics also held that the World Council had substituted social and political concerns for Christian unity. Furthermore, the WCC was blamed for concentrating on problems in Southern Africa while ignoring human rights violations in Eastern Europe and other parts of the Communist world. Moreover, in its preoccupation with white racism, the World Council was accused of disregarding other forms of racial injustice. Another central means used by the PCR to attack racism was its call for a boycott of Southern Africa and economic sanctions against corporations involved in business there. In August 1972, the WCC Central Committee decided to withdraw its investment in Southern Africa and called again on its member churches to follow its example. This disinvestment made the WCC one of the first international non-governmental organizations to implement a policy of ethical investment. Within the WCC, the PCR was primarily considered an educational tool for raising awareness in Western member churches and among individual Christians of the existence of racism and its manifestations in political, economic and military life. Furthermore, the PCR was credited with increasing respect for the Christian churches in the eyes of the racially oppressed. Despite the controversy surrounding the PCR, the WCC Central Committee decided to mandate it for another term in August 1974. Considering the heavy criticism levelled at the Programme, this seems rather surprising. However, both the PCR staff and the WCC leadership deemed the PCR a success. Aside from Blake, also M. M. Thomas, the first non-Western Chairman of both the WCC Central and the Executive Committee, embraced the Programme, even crediting it with justifying the whole existence of the World Council. The prestige the PCR enjoyed in the WCC was attested to by the fact that the Programme remained exempt from planned cost-cutting measures to balance the WCC budget. This study unequivocally shows that the PCR marked a turning point in the history of the WCC. It signalled a marked change in the WCC from its prior tendency of issuing general agreement statements to engaging in controversial action. Thus, the PCR can also be seen as the beginning of the WCC s more explicit humanitarian identity. Through the PCR, the WCC became a progressive force in society.
  • Vartiainen, Anneli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The study investigated how the character of a worship service s community of memory was manifested in the Parish of Järvenpää s worship services. The theoretical background was Robert N. Bellah and colleagues views on the community of memory and its foundational elements. The study sought to determine the community of memory s fundamental elements including the constitutive narrative and the values arising from it, the strengthening of communality, the understanding of the future, and the subsequent need for change as well as their prevalence in different segments of the worship services. The research material comprised the church manual, service guidebook and scripts; observations of the parish s holy worship services over a one-year period; and interviews with the presiding and preaching pastors. The constitutive narrative was found to be the most prominent element of the community of memory in the Järvenpää parish worship services, particularly in the Preparation and Service of the Word segments, as well as in the sermons. This reflects the church s view of the significance of the constitutive narrative in the community of memory. Communality was observed, particularly in the joint prayer of intercession in which the view of community extended beyond the parish, and during Holy Communion in which case the community was contained within the church. Values based on the constitutive narrative were present in worship services in spoken form to a lesser extent, even though they are generally implicitly present in intercessory prayer, for example. A particular quality of the community of memory is to confess one s sins and express one s readiness to change. The views presented in the Järvenpää congregation s worship services, church manual and worship service guidebook did not articulate this. The worship services did include the confession of sins, but this focused on the individual and aimed to free the sinner from guilt. The research found that a distinctive characteristic of the church as a community of memory is its comprehension of time, which extends to the afterlife. This impacts both the understanding of the future and view of community. It was also concluded that the church is a typical community of memory. It is built around a constitutive narrative that is passed on within the community from generation to generation through recounting, teaching, rituals, symbols, celebrations and good example via verbal, visual and functional recollection.
  • Niinistö, Susa (Juvenes Print, 2014)
    The parishes in the Finnish Evangelical-Lutheran church in Finland work today among many overlapping changes. The needs for these changes have arisen from the parishes governance and structural change needs as well as from rural development (i.e., joining smaller rural counties into bigger counties). Rural development and the related growth in scale have a direct impact on parish structures. The scope of this study was to follow an extensive parish change process that resulted from rural development in the county sector. At the beginning of 2009 in the Perniö deanery, ten individual congregations were abolished and one new congregation was founded to group this geographical area together. This change was driven by the local parish s employees together with local trusted people in each of the parishes. The Evangelical-Lutheran Central Administration made the official decision to implement the structural change in the Perniö deanery with support from the Evangelical-Lutheran Cathedral Chapter. The aim of this study is to explore and follow the execution of the parish structural change via the experiences gathered from the people driving the changes, especially from the parish leadership s point of view. By following the people who were involved in and who executed the structural changes in the parishes, the study sets out to outline the needs and capabilities of the leadership in these change processes. The material was gathered between the years 2007 2009 by interviewing the people involved in the Perniö deanery s change process. The total number of interviews was 59, with 39 interviewees of people involved in this process. The material also includes official memos, protocols, statements and magazine articles written during the structural change process. The study material was reviewed using the method of Narrative Change Accounting. This method is well suited to describe the congregational change process. The research material was further explored using a theoretical framework based on three different sources: structural change is described via Kurt Lewin s framework of his 3 Phase Change Theory, the leadership of the congregation is described in the work of John P. Kotter s Eight Stage Change Process, and the experiences of the people involved are described with the Five Stages of Grief from Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. The structural change process in the Perniö deanery was carried out under a traditional leadership model. The structural change was carried out following a solid change strategy within the given timelines for the change. The main focus was the even and fair treatment of all the parishes being joined. The existing organizational hierarchy and structure in the parishes well supported the use of the traditional leadership model in conducting the change. The persons driving the change experienced grief as their old parishes ceased to exist, even though they saw that the development was necessary. Based on the findings in this study, management of a process is necessarily done in conjunction with leadership while executing and driving structural change in a Evangelical-Lutheran Parish in Finland.
  • Kojonen, Erkki Vesa Rope (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Intelligent Design (ID) is a contemporary attempt to defend the idea that the order of nature bears marks of its Creator. The movement began in the U.S.A. during the 1980´s and 1990´s, and its claims about the relationship of theology and science, and its critique of evolutionary theory have caused much controversy. This study is a theological and philosophical analysis of ID s design argument and its presuppositions. ID is contrasted with naturalistic evolutionism and theistic evolutionism, and related to the broader discussion of natural theology. The study attempts to provide a more balanced and nuanced view of both the strengths and weaknesses of ID s argumentation than much of the previous discussion. The study s main focus is on increasing understanding of the ID movement s argumentation, but some evaluation of the arguments of the discussion is also included and criticisms are developed. ID s design arguments are quite minimalistic, not aspiring to prove the existence of God, but merely of an unidentified intelligent designer of cosmic and biological teleology. It also emphasizes the scientific nature of its design argument. Consequently, much discussion has focused on the question of whether ID is better understood as part of the natural sciences, or as philosophical-theological idea. Though this study also considers this philosophical question, it also emphasis that it is not the central question of the debate, since good arguments are not restricted to science. So, it is more interesting to ask why people believe or do not believe in the designedness of the cosmos and how good the arguments for each view are. The definition of natural science is a side-issue in the discussion of these questions. The study argues that ID s design argument is best understood as an inference to the best explanation that is supported by the analogy between nature s teleological order and the teleological capabilities of minds. The credibility of this design argument depends not only on our philosophical and theological background beliefs, but also on the empirical evidence. Theological and philosophical a priori -considerations arguments are not sufficient to settle the debate on ID apart from empirical study of what the world is like. Nevertheless, the theistic and naturalistic worldviews that have been defended in the discussion are not based merely on scientific data, but also on philosophical, metaphysical and theological considerations. While emphasizing its scientific nature, the ID movement also seeks to build bridges between science and religion. Rather than conflicting with each other, ID argues that science and theology support each other, when they are rightly understood. Though this study supports the basic premise that there can be mutually beneficial dialogue between science and theology, it also warns against emphasizing the importance of scientific arguments to such an extent that the broader metaphysical, philosophical and theological nature of the doctrine of creation and the value of non-scientific arguments is forgotten. The study also argues that contrary to some of ID s argumentation, one can believe both in divine design and Darwinian evolution at the same time. This compatibility thesis can surprisingly be argued not only on the basis of broader theological and philosophical arguments, but also on the basis of the ID movement s own ideas.
  • Haapiainen, Timo-Matti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Abstract The aim of this study is 1) to analyse the substance and the structure of the missiological model in the writings of the German missionary and missiologist Georg Friedrich Vicedom (1903 1974) and 2) to compare Vicedom s model with its contemporaries in ecumenical discourse. The focus is on two themes in Vicedom s texts: the fundamental theological basis and the ecclesiological dimensions. The term missio Dei was first used in Protestant missiological discourse in the 1930s, but it did not become widespread and popular before the International Mission Council s conference in Willingen, Germany in 1952. Vicedom s missiological model is built around this concept, and he was one of the most remarkable popularizers of it. Early missio Dei models were mainly influenced by dialectical theology. Karl Barth, Karl Hartenstein, Hendrik Kraemer and Johannes Christiaan Hoekendijk played decisive roles behind the development of the concept. The rise of missio Dei theology has often been linked with the renaissance of the doctrine of the Trinity in the 20th century. However, in his model Vicedom emphasizes the role of the incarnation and revelation of Jesus Christ more than the trinitarian nature of the mission. Some essential changes were made to Vicedom s missio Dei model during the 1950s and 1960s. First, the concept concentrated only on God s saving acts in the sending of the Son. Soon Vicedom widened the concept to include practically all God s sending and saving acts. Later in the sixties, Vicedom returned to the original, narrower, christocentric definition of the concept. The study argues that God s revelation in Christ plays a dominant role in Vicedom s missio Dei model. In this emphasis, Vicedom builds on a Barthian base. God reveals himself to humankind and individuals in his mission, especially in the sending of the Son of God to the world as a human being, Jesus Christ. God s revelation in Christ is passed on to humankind via the proclamation of the Gospel, which actualizes the Word of God. According to Vicedom, singular texts are not an adequate foundation for a mission. The Bible as a whole expresses God s own mission. God s own mission is primary to any commands or commissions. With this reading, Vicedom urges a theocentric view on mission. Mission is not a human endeavour, which is driven by singular biblical verses or commands. Mission is God s own activity, and the Scriptures as a whole reveal this activity. The role of pneumatology is diminutive in Vicedom s texts, as it was in his contemporaries texts also. Vicedom concentrates on the work of the Holy Spirit linked with the Son incarnated. Christ s sending is the particular act, which opens a view to the universality of God s creation, salvation and sanctification. Further, the acts of the Trinity can be understood only from the point of view that Christ opens. Vicedom adapts the revelatory tension between particular and universal into an ecclesiological framework. For him, a local congregation is the basic form of the Church. The proclamation of the Gospel and the celebration of the sacraments happen locally. God s mission lives in local acts. On the other hand, Vicedom underlines the importance of the koinonia in the worldwide church. Every local congregation represents the whole church, not just itself. Church is local and global all the time. Mission needs church. God drives his mission through the church. The church does not own the mission but follows Christ. Vicedom emphasizes the particularity of Christ, the church and the mission. The confrontation between human understanding and God s revelation as well as between the church and the world is inevitable. The church knows who God is, and the world does not. The church must understand this confrontation. It does not lead to an open conflict or retreat from the world but to a strong solidarity with the world. The followers of Christ must be ready to serve the world and even to suffer because of the Gospel in order to give a proper witness to the world.
  • Pohjola, Juhana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Calling, blessing and sending. Understanding of ordination and the pastoral office in the ordination rites of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland 1963 - 2003 The purpose of this study is to determine the understanding of ordination and the pastoral office in the ordination rites of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) from 1963 to 2003. The method is systematic analysis of the Agendas of the ELCF: T 1963, T 1984 and T 2003, which detail the ordination rites during that period. The rites were placed in their historical and ecumenical context by analysing the ordination rites of the churches of Rome and England (PR 1990; CW 2006), Martin Luther s rite of 1533/39 and three modern Lutheran rites: ELCA (Os 1982), VELKD (Ag 1987) and the Church of Sweden (HB 1987). In the ELCF, ordination is understood as a liturgico-theologico-juridical process, which is distinguished by three parts: the call (vocatio), the blessing (benedictio) and the sending (missio). In the vocation, the Church s need and assessment are primary, rather than ordinand s inner call. The pastoral office requires a concrete office for the pastor. In the ELCF, the bishop and the diocesan chapter examine, select and call the ordinands. The local parish has an advisory role in the process. The ordination takes place by means of word, prayer, and the laying on of hands. The act of ordination has not been understood demonstratively, as merely a public confirmation of the call, but as an instrumental act, where the office is given through a blessing. Ordination is seen as sacramental and effective. The central element is the preached and read word of God. The word constitutes the office, the ordination, and the ministration of the office. At the heart of ordination are prayer and the laying on of hands. The rites of the ELCF have retained the declarative part of the rite in which the office is given and a formula of blessing is used. In recent times, many churches have removed this declarative giving of the office, because research has led to the view that the heart of ordination is the anamnetic-epicletic prayer with the laying on of hands. In the intercession for the newly ordained in T 2003 the epiclesis has developed in the direction of this view on the charism of the office. The prayers ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit for the ordained. With regard to the mission, the relationship between ordination and installation has been characterised by tension in Lutheranism. There is an absolute theological distinction in T 2003 between ordination, which gives the office and the pneumatological gift, and installation, which can be repeated and sends the ordained to the ministration of the office with intercessions. The rites of ordination reveal several perspectives on the theology of the pastoral office. In discussions concerning the institution of the office, an institutional and a functional understanding of the office have been prominent. In the ELCF, the pastoral office is understood as a divine ordinance, and not a congregational transfer derived from the common priesthood. The office is christologico-pneumatologico-ecclesiological. Christ instituted the office, holds it and himself works through it in the Holy Spirit through the administration of the means of grace for the creation of justifying faith and the building up of the Church. Views on the institutional character of the office have been in a state of tension from 1963 to 2003. In the ELCF, with the acceptance of the ordination of women in 1986, the Christological and apostolic mandate were separated from what is mandated concerning the gender of the ordinand. In the discussion concerning the diaconate, the office and its mandated tasks were separated such that functions belonging to the pastoral office could be administered without ordination into it. This has been seen in the shaping of the office of the lector, the licensing of lay preachers and the grounds given for the office of deacon. The Lutheran Confession holds the office as an institutional-personal-functional whole. Likewise, the Lutheran Confession emphasises the unity of the office (iure divino). There has been discussion in the ELCF over the tripartite division of the ministry (iure humano), over the relationship between the offices of bishop, pastor and deacon. In the ELCF, the episcopal office has had an important role as the ordaining office. When the bishop ordains, he or she acts on the authority of Christ and his Church (in persona Christi, in persona ecclesiae). The possibility of presbyteral ordinations has been known in the ELCF, but according to T 2003, only a bishop can ordain. Behind this change is the Porvoo Common Statement (PCS), signed in 1995. In the ELCF, the significance of the episcopate has been focused on what the bishop has done for the unity and spiritual edification of the church as the ordainer, the overseer of teaching and the shepherd of congregations and pastors. Because of the acceptance of the PCS, the institutional nature of the episcopate is emphasised. The episcopal constitution is not only beneficial for the Church, but also necessary for its apostolic fullness. In the ELCF, the place of diaconal office has been unclear. There has been discussion on whether it is part of the divinely instituted office, a lay office, or something in between. Under the influence of BEM and PCS, T 2003 exemplifies the notion of three ordained offices. The question of the gift of grace given in ordination has been ecumenically difficult. Until the 1970s, the ELCF was dominated by an aversion to a charismatic view of the ordination. There was a desire to stand apart from the Roman Catholic view of the office, in which an ontological distinction is maintained between the ordained priesthood and the common priesthood. From a Lutheran point of view, such a distinction has been understood to undermine the significance of Baptism. Another influence behind this aversion to the charismatic view of the office has been post-Kantian neo-Protestantism, which avoids ontological qualifiers of being. Instead of pneumatic effectiveness, it emphasises the juridical and confirming character of ordination. A change has taken place in the ELCF. Ordination is now understood sacramentally. The charism of ordination is both the office instituted by Christ and the Holy Spirit s act of equipping of the ordained for the ministration of the office. In the ELCF, the priesthood is irrevocable and re-ordination is excluded, even though the local church can dismiss a person from the rights of the office. The missio is to the whole Church of Christ, even though in practical and juridical terms it only applies to the local church. It has become the view in the ELCF that the ordination returns to this: that God as self-giving love can communicate himself and the gifts of salvation in the world through the ministration of the pastoral office that is part of the Church s mission. The office is given in ordination in accordance with God s Trinitarian essence. In ordination, the Father gives the person he has created with all his gifts, Christ gives his own office, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies and equips with his gifts of grace for the ministration of the office in the Church. Thus the office and the ordination into it are structured for the communal life of the Church, which arises out of the unity of the persons of the Trinity. The office of the Church and the universal priesthood both function according to their own calling together in the mission of God s eschatological people.
  • Pyy, Elina (2014)
    This is a study of the role of gender in the literary construction of Roman identity in war-centred epic of the early Principate. I examine how gender subjectivity, gender difference and gender likeness are used in war epic as means of expressing and constructing ideas concerning Romanitas. The important historical factors are, on the one hand, the aftermath of the civil wars and, on the other, the imperial ideology and multicultural atmosphere of the Empire. These factors define the social and political atmosphere of the early Principate. In poetry of the period, they both reflect and construct the ideology of their time. Roman war-centred epic is often considered to be a masculine genre that reflects and constructs male Roman identity. This study calls into question the prevalent idea that the Subject of Roman war epic is self-evidently male, and that the genre s idea of Roman-ness is constructed exclusively through male exempla. I demonstrate that female subject position has a considerable significance in the war epics definition of Romanitas. Moreover, in the poems of Julio-Claudian and Flavian era, women are repeatedly used as both positive and negative exempla, even when it is possible to use a male exemplum instead. Femaleness is not a phenomenon that merely reflects or contradicts the ideal of male Roman-ness, but has a function of its own in the identity discourse. It is both independent of the masculinity of war epic and complementary to it. The argumentative part of the study divides into four chapters. In chapter three, I demonstrate that in the beginning of war, gender likeness is utilised to blur the line between the male and the female. Due to the dominant position of civil war rhetoric in the epics, women cannot be used simply as scapegoats or as symbols of the foreign, warmongering Other; Roman identity is constructed upon gender likeness and shared guilt of war. In chapter four, I argue that contrary to the prevalent idea, female fear and victimisation in epics do not make women irrevocable objects on the contrary, these are used as factors that encourage the audience to identify themselves with the female characters. In chapter five, I scrutinise the connection between gender and violence, and show that whereas Virgil uses gender role reversal to emphasise Roman unity that is born from diversity, Silius expresses imperial ideology through more traditional male-female power dynamics. Here, as in elsewhere, the poets different emphasis can be observed: While Virgil s identity discourse revolves around Italy, the later Roman poets are more interested about the interaction and cultural change between the centre and the periphery. In chapter six, I discuss the end of war, arguing that the failure of female mediation a characteristic theme of epic shatters the traditional ideal of Romanitas based on female pietas and clearly defined gender roles. The family-oriented mediation of the epic women is inadequate to solve the political conflicts of civil war, and in their deaths, the women become symbols of the shattering of the collective identity. Moreover, Virgil s Dido shows that the death of the empowered Other can become a determining factor in the formation of the Roman Self. This study offers a detailed examination of the six surviving imperial war epics. It places their ideas of gender and Romanitas into a wider historical context and, by studying them in relation to each other, offers a consistent discussion of the blurring concepts of Roman and foreign, and male and female in the Roman epic tradition, and in the early imperial society.
  • Autero, Esa (Tyylipaino, 2014)
    Many liberation theologians have argued that the poor have a privileged position as biblical interpreters by virtue of their socio-economic status. However, it is unclear how the privileged position and epistemological primacy should be understood or whether poor readers might make a contribution to academic biblical scholarship. The issue is further complicated by the liberation theologians assumption of the poor as socio-politically active members of the basic ecclesial communities. Yet, virtually no empirical studies have been conducted of ordinary Latin American Bible readers. This dissertation investigates the hermeneutical processes of two Pentecostal groups in Bolivia. One of the groups came from an affluent area and the other from a socioeconomically marginalized sector in society. Both read sections of Luke s poverty texts in focus groups. The readings were first compared to each other and then to the scholarly readings of the same texts. Finally, a critical dialogue between the readings was conducted. Since similar studies have not been conducted earlier, a considerable time was devoted to the methodological development and reflection. The researcher attempted to find out to what extent socio-economic status of ordinary Pentecostal readers influences their understanding of the Lucan texts and whether their hermeneutical processes and insights might make a contribution to scholarly interpretations of the Bible. The results indicate that socio-economic status had a considerable influence on the readers. Nevertheless, it was not an all-encompassing feature and in a number of sections the interpretations converged between the groups. This was most likely due to the groups shared Pentecostal tradition. Further, the interpretative opinions of the group members were not always unanimous and particularly the affluent group exhibited nearly opposing tendencies in their readings at times. Thus, based on this case study it is acknowledged that the claims of liberation theologians about the poor as biblical interpreters are broadly correct though they lack nuance and clarity. It is also argued that the Bolivian groups hermeneutical processes and readings may be useful for academic biblical scholars. The Bolivian readers use of imagination and contextual realities elicited comments about poverty, marginalization, and societal corruption that bring fresh perspectives into certain biblical texts. Nevertheless, perhaps the greatest contribution of the Bolivian readers is to hermeneutics. As such their perspectives and comments challenge biblical scholars to reevaluate their presuppositions and assumptions by locating themselves into the privileged world of academia in which biblical texts are analyzed from a distance rather than appropriated existentially in the midst of life s debilitating circumstances.
  • Rissanen, Inkeri (Waxmann, 2014)
    This qualitative case study examines the practices of Islamic education in Finnish schools. Through analysing the Finnish approach to religious education from the perspective of education according to Islam, this study participates in the European discussion concerning the search for legitimate and successful forms of religious education. The aim is to investigate how common aims given to liberal religious education in contemporary European multicultural societies can be pursued in a single-faith approach to religious education, and what kind of processes of negotiation are involved in teaching and studying Islam in a modern liberal context. These issues are studied through the following research questions: 1) How are the students religious identities developed in the classroom? What are the practical implications of the shift from religious socialisation to the aim of identity development? 2) How is the students willingness to deal with difference developed in the classroom? How do the ways to develop the willingness to encounter a) interreligious b) cultural c) intrareligious difference differ from each other? 3) How do the students deal with religious and cultural difference? What kind of ideological influences can be detected in their understandings of difference and tolerance? 4) How do teachers mediate contested meanings and practices of Islam as well as values and ideals of liberal democracies as these are negotiated through the Finnish curriculum for religious education? What kind of representation of Islam do these negotiations lead to? The data of the study consist of 1) observations of three courses of Islamic education in comprehensive and upper secondary schools in the metropolitan area of Helsinki, and 2) interviews of teachers (n=3) and students (n=16). The methodological design draws from educational ethnography and critical ethnography. The data were analysed by means of qualitative content analysis. Both Islamic education teachers and their students were found to negotiate between Islamic tradition and liberal ideals. Teachers introduced liberal educational values, such as autonomy, tolerance and citizenship, through religion. Students identities as Finnish Muslims as well as their willingness to deal with difference were supported in many ways and these educational practices were grounded on the representation of autonomy, tolerance and responsible citizenship as Islamic virtues. Besides negotiating liberal educational values in the Islamic framework, the teachers also negotiated Islam in relation to its context. They represented Islam in a way that emphasised its compatibility within a Finnish, and more generally, within a modern Western context. This required them also to negotiate the diversity in Islam which was done by distinguishing between culture and religion and focusing on commonalities. Students negotiations on diversity and tolerance brought out distinct challenges in dealing with interreligious, intrareligious and cultural differences. Furthermore, students different understandings of tolerance in the Islamic and liberal frameworks caused confusion. The conclusion, however, was that through offering a space for these kinds of negotiations of teachers and students, Islamic education contributed to the emergence of Finnish Islam and the organisation of a peaceful, multicultural society.
  • Rohkimainen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The main purpose of this study was to find out motives of the Lutheran Church of Finland for its activities in Sweden during years 1945-1967. Work as itself was made by a national ecclesiastical organization Suomen kirkon seurakuntatyön keskusliitto (SKSK). Church of Sweden had already organized activities for Finnish speaking inhabitants especially in northern Sweden. It also had a Finnish congregation in Stockholm. The main sources for the study were the archives of the Diaspora committee of the SKSK which are located in the National Archive of Finland and the in Unit for Ministry to Finns Abroad, which is under the Department of International Relations of Lutheran Church of Finland. During 1945-1949 the Diaspora committee sent pastor Aarne Siirala to Stockholm to organize all kinds of help from Sweden to Finland. The other task for him was to serve as a Finnish speaking pastor among Finns in Stockholm and nearby. He had time only for the charitable duties. And when fundraising collapsed because of some malpractices, pastor Siirala moved back to Finland. Year 1947 Finnish pastor Yrjö Knuutila got a short message from Sweden. The message was sent by an Ingrian, who wanted to get some Lutheran spiritual guidance to Borås where they lived. Political situation in Finland was very vulnerable because of the cautious relationship with Soviet Union. Knuutila discussed with SKSK s General Secretary Toivo Laitinen what to do. They had both participated the Winter war and the Continuation war and were members of a new theological movement Asevelipapit. This new group believed that that the Lutheran Church should take part to everyday life and follow brothers wherever they go. Knuutila and Laitinen descided to act. They organized Finnish pastors to travel to Sweden to give a finnish sermon to Ingrians. In 1950 s immigration from Finland to Sweden increased. The consequences were of many kinds. First most of the Finns stayed in Stockholm and its neighboring area and later even western and southern parts of Sweden. The Lutheran Church of Finland started a wide social work in Finland. The state of Finland couldn t act in Sweden. So, church was the only Finnish organization that could help Finns in need. Social work was a large investment for SKSK during 1950 s. It cost a half of its incomes. Because of the lack of money Diaspora committee tried to find suitable partners. It started to co-operate f. ex. with the Kummikuntaliitto and Suomi-Seura, Finland Society. In 1960 s the Diaspora committee started to activate laymen. Together with active laymen several ecclesiastical groups were initiated in central Sweden. Even the church of Sweden could open some post for Finnish pastors. Finns organized together a national ecclesiastical event in Sweden in 1961. The church of Sweden reacted when the Ingrians stayed in Sweden in 1948. Swedish Lutheran bishops founded a church committee for refugees. They helped Ingrians by employing a Finnish speaking pastor Hugo Grape and by founding a newspaper called Isien Usko. Later in 1960 s Swedish bishops supported somehow the Finnish speaking ecclesiastical work, but their efforts were restrained by the state of Sweden. In northern Sweden Finnish speaking ecclesiastical work continued during the years as a normal function of a Lutheran congregation. Diaspora committee sent pastors to north quite actively till the beginning of 1953, but after that quite seldom. The Church of Sweden reacted to the needs of the Finns, but slowly. The Finns in Sweden regarded that the tact was too slow. They decided to act themselves. In May 1967 the Finns founded a new national organization in Sweden called Ruotsin suomenkielisen seurakuntatyön keskus (RSSK). The new organization was ment to serve as an interest group for the Finns and specially for the Finnish speaking ecclesiastical activities. First the motives of Lutheran church to organize activities in Sweden were slightly affected by the Finnish nationalism. Then the motive was to give social help because Lutheran church was the only organization to be able to act in Sweden. Lutheran Church could concentrate to spiritual work in 1960 s when it started to train laymen and the Church of Sweden could employ some pastors.
  • Ala-Prinkkilä, Jouko (Suomalainen teologinen kirjallisuusseura, 2014)
    The Most Probable Alternative: Richard Swinburne on the Rationality of Christian Theism The relationship between faith and reason is a fundamental theme in philosophy of religion. In recent decades it has been dealt with in new ways. The focus has shifted from the question is faith rational? to the question what kind of rationality should faith be required of? This new focus reflects the breaking of the philosophical consensus concerning rationality, which in turn has given rise to a vivid discussion on the nature and terms of the rationality of religious faith. A significant contribution to the discussion has been made by apologetically oriented British philosopher and theologian Richard Swinburne (1934- ). The aim of this study is to explicate and evaluate Swinburne s conception of the rationality of Christian theism. The study employs a conceptions and argumentation analysis. I analyse Swinburne s cumulative argumentation on behalf of Christian theism and the key concepts in that argumentation. I also evaluate his views by taking into account their assessment in the critical discussion, and their refinement and modification by him. The most important sources are the books included in Swinburne s trilogy of theism and his tetralogy of Christian theism, as well as his epistemological works. According to Swinburne, approving the rationality of Christian theism requires showing that the Christian Creed is more probable than the creeds of other religions. The process of doing so requires three steps: first, a demonstration that it is probable to some degree on reasonably believed evidence that there is a God; secondly, a demonstration that it is more probable, if there is a God, that the other items of the Christian Creed are true than the other items of some rival theistic creed; and thirdly, a demonstration that it is more probable that the Christian Creed as a whole is true than any non-theistic religious creed. This study attempts to prove that Swinburne's cumulative argumentation does not reach the universalist goal of his apologetic program: it fails in its efforts to show the probability of Christian theism with respect to generally accepted inductive principles and basic beliefs. I draw particular attention to his objective Bayesian epistemology, as it includes some problems that undermine the credibility of his cumulative argumentation on behalf of Christian theism. This study is the first to attempt to give a detailed and comprehensive picture about Swinburne s philosophy of religion.