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  • 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 Aside from the extensive archival and printed material of the WCC, the study is also based on both published and unpublished sources in Finland and Britain concerning the response to the PCR in these countries.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.
  • Tuisku, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The authority of a Cathedral chapter or of the parishioners? A case study of election process for vicars. A vicar s post as a leader in a Finnish Evangelical-Lutheran parish is a significant post. Selection to this position has been a multi-phased process since the Middle Ages. The election of a vicar has been an important event for parishioners for centuries. At the turn of the decade (2010s), the election system for vicars came under strong pressure for change. In this study the election process for vicars is viewed through four vicar elections in the Oulujoki, Tyrnävä, Herttoniemi and Salo parishes. The research material was collected in 2009 2011. The research method was a qualitative case study. Altogether 32 interviews were conducted for the study, and election samples, panels and selected parts of events, and the installations of four elections were observed. In addition, election-related meeting records and the communication and press materials of the election boards of the Cathedral chapters and parishes were analysed. Vicar elections were viewed in this study following Pierre Bourdieu´s field theory. According to Bourdieu, a field is an arena in which people compete for resources and access to them. On a field people are in pursuit of the capital needed to win. In the study the candidates and the nomination of candidates contributed to the development of the elections and the kind of capital that was needed for success in the field. Social and cultural capital in different forms received a deciding role in the elections. A candidate won when he or she had enough social capital (familiar parishioners, networks and regionality), cultural capital (election position, official rank, sex, age and experience) and a suitable habitus (way of being, following the church tradition). In the election process for vicars, the actors differentiated themselves from the others through wielding their power and position. In the vicar election process the authority was divided mainly between the Cathedral chapter and the parishioners. The Cathedral chapter used discretionary power and the parishioners executive power. The Cathedral chapter used power especially when the number of applicants for the vicar position exceeded three. The parishioners used power especially when they supported a candidate as a group. In this study, three different kinds of election types were identified in the vicar elections. The first group was given the name a former vicar to a new vicar . In this group a reverend who had lost a vicar s post through a consolidation of parishes and who applied for the position of a vicar in a new parish won the election. In this election regionality significantly affected the result. The second group formed the our reverend for the vicar s post type. The parish clearly voted for a candidate from their own parish. This kind of election is typical in rural parishes. The third vicar s election type was categorized as our own candidate does not receive an official elected position . In this group the election was unpredictable. The voters were forced to select another candidate besides their own candidate or a totally new candidate. In this type, the election position and the mental picture process played significant roles.
  • Stenlund, Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The purpose of this study is to seek a definition of freedom of belief and opinion which would allow this freedom to be seen as a human right for a person with psychosis. This study has four research questions: 1) How can the freedom of belief and opinion be understood as a human right? 2) In what kinds of discourses, concepts and presuppositions are the different views of freedom of belief and opinion based? 3) What aspects are relevant when the realization of and interferences with freedom of belief and opinion are considered in the case of an individual with psychosis? 4) How are views about freedom of belief and opinion challenged in the case of an individual with psychosis? In this study materials from different fields are analysed by philosophical conceptual analysis in order to realize interdisciplinary two-way interaction in human rights theory. The material includes: (1) legislation and ethical principles which guide psychiatric care, (2) human rights theory, legislation and conventions concerning the freedom of belief and opinion, (3) textbooks on psychiatric diagnosis, (4) discussions concerning philosophy and the ethics of psychiatry, (5) (political) philosophical discussions concerning freedom and human rights and (6) studies and reports which concentrate on the views and experiences of patients with psychotic disorder. In this study necessary criteria of irrationality (with a loss of insight), being unwell and alienation are presented for a psychotic view of reality in order to distinguish it from other exceptional views of reality. However, it is noted, that in human rights theory the concepts of thought and opinion are defined in such a manner that they also seem to include delusions. Because it is also declared that there is an absolute right to hold thoughts and opinions (forum internum), it seems to follow that a person has an absolute right to hold a delusion. This conclusion challenges the formulations presented in human rights theory and reveals that there is a tension between human rights theory and views on, and the practice of, psychiatry. In order to arrive at an appropriate view of freedom of belief and opinion, three different views concerning the freedom of belief and opinion are analysed in this study and their applicability and the challenges they present in the case of an individual with psychosis are clarified. First, freedom of belief and opinion has been understood in classical human rights discussion in the negative sense, which means that other people do not interfere technically or physically with an individual holding and manifesting his or her beliefs and opinions. Non- and involuntary treatment is seen as an interference in an individual s negative liberty. One problem with this point of view is that when it is applied to a person with psychosis, the consequences seem to be ethically problematic. It seems to follow from this view that the use of involuntary antipsychotic medication is absolutely against an individual s human rights. Alternatively, it might be argued that a person with psychosis is no longer deemed to be entitled to freedom of belief and opinion because as an incompetent person he or she does not fulfil the requirements of this right. This view of freedom does not take into account that the person with psychosis may need help in order to develop and manifest his or her beliefs and opinions and in order to live a life which is sufficiently in accordance with his or her values. If the forum internum was redefined as a negative right to competence, the view of negative liberty might be partly helpful in understanding freedom of belief and opinion. Second, especially in some philosophical and ethical discussions freedom of belief and opinion is understood in terms of authenticity, which means the right to hold such beliefs and opinions which are really one s own and the right to manifest them in a way that is in harmony with them. From this viewpoint, a psychotic disorder which distorts a person s beliefs and opinions can be defined as a violator of authenticity. One problem with this viewpoint is that there are different views about how such authenticity should be evaluated. Moreover, the criteria for any such evaluation seem to be, on the one hand, too demanding in order to understand freedom of belief and opinion as a human right in general. On the other hand, some people with delusions still fulfil these criteria, and should be regarded, because of that, as holding authentic beliefs and opinions and left without treatment. Third, freedom of belief and opinion can be understood in terms of capability, which signifies that the individual is capable of choosing a way of life which he or she considers valuable and which is worthy of human dignity. For example, stigmatization and the undesirable effects of both a psychotic disorder and antipsychotic medication can be seen as impediments to such a capability. This view encourages patients to participate in the treatment and to find their place in society and encourages carers to listen to patients voice including their existential considerations. Because of its background suppositions, the view of capability also seems to be relevant to people with psychosis. For example, the view of capability guides one to understand the forum internum not as something which protects holding thoughts and opinions or believing and thinking processes, but instead as something which protects the abilities needed in believing and thinking. This kind of redefinition would allow one to see the forum internum also as an absolute human right for a person with psychosis. However, one problem with this view is that the relationships between legal rights and what is ethically good are undefined. Moreover, it seems that many decisions are left to be considered individually in each case. This is why a capabilities approach is difficult to apply in a juridical context. However, the view of freedom in terms of capability could be developed in interdisciplinary discussion and cooperation so that juridical challenges concerning freedom of belief and opinion could be discussed and resolved in more detail. In psychiatry, the approach of values-based practice could be used in order to develop the view of freedom of belief and opinion in terms of capability. Developing human rights theory also requires more cooperation between conceptual research and practical psychiatry in order to clarify what we really want to protect under the term freedom of belief and opinion.
  • Klingenberg, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The aim of this thesis is to investigate the interplay between individual and collective dimensions in personal understandings of religious affiliation. Thirty-one interviews with Swedish-speaking nineteen year olds from three localities in Finland provide the raw material for the study. The data is analyzed through an abductive qualitative content analysis. The theoretical lenses employed are socialization theory and role-identity theory. Membership patterns are also analyzed as reflections of societal majority or minority positions. Most of the young people interviewed were members of the Lutheran Church along with their families, and found it challenging to discuss their religious affiliation: they referred to it as something you do. Church membership implies complex patterns of collective belonging and individual interpretation. The religious majority related its membership to family tradition and cultural convention, and described religious practice as being social in character. The way in which church membership was anchored in significant relationships made it personally meaningful. In addition, church membership was explained as connected to personal beliefs and values. However, regardless of personal religiousness, most young people expressed reluctance towards being categorized socially as a Christian or a believer . There were also a few members of Christian minority communities and non-affiliated young people in the data. In contrast, these minority members shared a more distinct understanding of their religious affiliation status and its meaning and described it as part of their personal identity. While majority membership entailed social conformity, the accounts of minority members testified to a different experience. It is argued that these findings reflect Finnish religious affiliation patterns at large rather than the specific Finland-Swede setting of this study. Regardless of religious affiliation status, patterns of religious socialization were subtle, yet evident. Religious transmission in Finnish homes had seldom taken explicit and verbal forms; yet it was influential for the informants negotiations between personal and social identity markers. Here, minority members differed because of their more precise descriptions of their parents religious attitudes. Furthermore, peers exerted significant influence by constituting the social context in which institutional contexts for religious matters were encountered. Theoretically, this study addresses and challenges the diverse understandings of religious affiliation presented in previous research and theory. The findings point to the influence of majority and minority positions and common understandings of socially desired and undesired social categories in how personal religious identities are negotiated. Furthermore, the study suggests that these notions are not found only in the youth population, but amongst adults as well. Furthermore, this study directs attention to the poor fit between academic understandings of religious socialization as a verbal, active process, and cultural settings where religious matters are understood as private and are seldom verbalized, and also direct attention to the influence of peers on how religious matters are discussed and negotiated.
  • Laitakari-Pyykkö, Anja-Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This study addresses the theological contribution to the English Reformation of Martin Luther s friend and associate, Philip Melanchthon. The research conveys Melanchthon s mediating influence in disputes between Reformation churches, in particular between the German churches and King Henry VIII from 1534 to 1539. The political background to those events is presented in detail, so that Melanchthon s place in this history can be better understood. This is not a study of Melanchthon s overall theology. In this work, I have shown how the Saxons and the conservative and reform-minded English considered matters of conscience and adiaphora. I explore the German and English unification discussions throughout the negotiations delineated in this dissertation, and what they respectively believed about the Church s authority over these matters during a tumultuous time in European history. The main focus of this work is adiaphora, or those human traditions and rites that are not necessary to salvation, as noted in Melanchthon s Confessio Augustana of 1530, which was translated into English during the Anglo-Lutheran negotiations in 1536. Melanchthon concluded that only rituals divided the Roman Church and the Protestants. The five adiaphora issues are the disputed articles on the power of the bishops, the marriage or celibacy of priests, monastic vows, the Mass, and communion in both kinds in the Lord s Supper and to which he made a significant contribution. Melanchthon regarded these five as adiaphora (from the Greek  indifferent things ) that is, as matters that were not essential to faith or salvation. Although English theologians never used the word adiaphora, they were familiar with the concept, as will be demonstrated in the historical presentation. These issues are examined within the framework of Scripture and Tradition and the doctrine of justification by faith. The idea of the Scriptures as divine mandate changed the concept of authority in matters of doctrine and practice. From the perspective of both the German Reformers and the reform-minded clergy in England, justification by faith belonged to Scripture and was necessary for salvation. For them, the remainder of Church law (adiaphora), such as ecclesiastical policies, had become secular issues and were not of divine authority. Whereas the Wittenberg Articles were intended as an agreement between the Germans and the English, they did not produce what was hoped for on adiaphora matters, so that the parties could formulate a practice they could defend against the pope s General Council. They did agree on what was necessary for salvation. The disputed articles in which adiaphora was a question were left open for further negotiations. ---------- The method employed in this study is historical-genetic; that is, the chapters are arranged in chronological order, and Melanchthon s contribution to the English Reformation is viewed in the historical context in which the documents were produced. The chapters begin with the supremacy crisis in England (1534) and end with the Act of Six Articles (1539). Chapters Three, Five, Six, and Twelve are divided into two parts the first is a historical account, while the second delineates the documents produced during the negotiations. In other chapters, the author presents the negotiations and their historical background. The doctrine of justification by faith is essential in relation to adiaphora for evaluating Melanchthon s position in his negotiations with the German and English theologians, during the discussions between Catholics and Protestants, in the Anglo-Lutheran negotiations, and within the English Church in the documents produced: the Advice of 1534, the Wittenberg Articles of 1536, the Ten Articles of 1536, the Bishops Book of 1537, the Thirteen Articles of 1538, and the Six Articles of 1539. The major discussion involves Melanchthon s writing of the Loci Communes of 1535 as a doctrinal basis for the unification talks. The Confessio Augustana and the Apologia were translated into English. This is important because many of Melanchthon s concepts acquired somewhat different interpretations as they were translated from Latin into English. The differences in the two texts will be compared to find the degree to which Melanchthon s confessional writings were accepted in England and used by the English Reformers.
  • Lehtinen, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Local parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland have participated in European Social Fund (ESF) projects since 1995. This research examines the participation and the visibility of the parishes as well as the visibility of the role of religion in ESF projects. The results of the research are published in four articles, each dealing with a separate aspect of the participation of the parishes in ESF projects: networking, communitarianism, social issues and religion. The research material is based on the records from 45 projects from 1995 to 1999 as well as the records from 46 projects from 2000 to 2006. Additional research material comes from 18 interviews with project leaders and parish representatives. The methods of analysis used were the specification of content and deductive content analysis. The research results prove that the social status of the local parishes is unique through their ability to exert an influence in regional and national fields through their role in the public sector while also attaining influence on the supranational level through their involvement in the European Union. Regional activity as a part of civil society as well as the demands of economic efficiency, national and municipal social politics, and social work as a part of the public sector all set the context for cooperation in projects dealing with local social- and employment-related problems. The area of operation, the economy, social- and employment-related policies, and the neutrality policy of the public administration set additional margins and conditions on the participation and visibility of the parishes in the projects. The research results show that the parishes that participated in ESF-funded projects aiming at employment performed social work with unemployed persons, immigrants, and persons in danger of being excluded. The parishes provided economic resources and worked for the common good from diaconal theological premises in order to promote the local people and the local community. The parishes also functioned as intermediary organisations between citizens and public services, while also functioning as parapolitical mouthpieces criticising systemic social injustices and demanding fairer treatment for citizens with a weak social standing. The research results show how the internal specialisation of the parishes further improved their possibility of functioning as a partner of the public administration. The social work of the church work functioned particularly well as an intermediary between both the public administration and the target groups, as well as within the parochial structure itself. Any religious aspect of the parishes participation in ESF projects was not visible, remaining instead implicit in accordance with the neutrality policy of public administration. Religion was seen as a private matter and was only visible as a cultural or historical aspect. Through a contract agreement, the resources of the parishes and its objectives, such as promoting the use of public welfare services, were adjoined to local social services and to the European Union social dimension, but without religion. Local parishes were given an equal standing with other actors in the field of social work, simultaneously becoming local representatives within civil society while also functioning as an extension of public administration.
  • Uuksulainen, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This study explores how the ideals of motherhood and the obligation to procreate are displayed and dealt with in the ritual practices of low caste women in India. The study identifies and classifies religious rituals and practices of mothering that women adhere to, and deciphers the meanings and motives underlying their ritual conduct. The mothers rituals are approached from the viewpoint of reciprocity, the exchange of gifts that takes place between the devotee and the deity in the ritual context. The main research questions are: What are the functions and meanings of gift-giving and gift exchange in low caste mothers rituals? and how do these women s ritual activities influence their self concept and social status? The study presents two key arguments: First, it assumes that a gift offered is not a mere gift, but involves a deal. Thus, by offering gifts to deities the mothers make deals for a better life for their children and husband. The second argument challenges the idea of low caste women as truly low. The primary source for this study is the data collected among low caste communities in the state of West Bengal during three distinct fieldwork periods between 2002 and 2008. In the research fields, the common methods of ethnographic recording, participant observation and interviews were applied. The research data consist of fieldwork notes and interviews of thirty-two mothers, all members of the three low caste neighbourhoods of the metropolitan area of Kolkata. The study uses and develops the concept of the mothering ritual as a dominant category under which the mothers rituals are grouped. The mothering ritual is understood in a broad sense, covering a wide spectrum of religious practices related to motherhood. The main types of mothering rituals comprises the prenatal situation; the rituals performed to improve fertility; the birth and postnatal rites; and the various practices by which women seek protection and cures for their maturing children. A chronological definition, based on the different phases of motherhood, serves as a signpost to the analysis. The understanding of gift-giving is inspired by the gift theory of Marcel Mauss and his successors. It is shown that the idea of reciprocity and gift exchange especially giving promises and vows in exchange for rewards appear as the very essence of the informants ritual behaviour, to the extent that their ritual conduct can be conceptualized in terms of business making. Even though the women s rituals conformed to the conventions of the patriarchal discourse, performing rituals was not only a social obligation, but also a personally empowering experience for most women interviewed. Women, of their own accord, sought assistance and a chance for a supernatural encounter in diverse circumstances. By performing rituals women won the respect of their community, but also articulated their unspoken feelings and experiences and gained confidence in themselves. Keywords: low caste women, mothering ritual, reciprocity, gift exchange, Kolkata
  • Joenperä, Ann-Maarit (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    GOD´S CHILDREN CLASPED IN FATHER´S ARMS Worship as Meaning for Churchgoers on Tuusula Parish In preindustrial circumstances and in times when the culture was more coherent, people regularly attended worship services of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. In those days, it was a strong norm of community life. After the Second World War, however, the social order changed. Social order changed rapidly, and with it, so too did the norms of the former way of life. Industrialization displaced the traditional agriculture. Secularization and social complexity started to grow while, simultaneously, participation in worship services began to decrease. At the same time started participation to worships decrease. The statistics of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Fin-land show that the number of those who attend services on Sundays has continued to decrease. These decreasing numbers were one of the reasons why the Church carried out a renewal of its´ wor-ship. This renewal was also carried out in Tuusula parish, on which this study focuses. Although the statistics show that the numbers of those attending services is decreasing, there are still people who attend services on ordinary Sundays. The worship must somehow be meaningful to them, because they go to church on Sunday mornings. The aim of this study was to find out which things build up the experience of meaningful wor-ship in Tuusula parish. The study was made in two different churches: Tuusula church, which is an old, traditional and wooden building near a lake and Jokela church, which is a modern red brick building. Examining two different buildings made it possible to examine how the visual appearance affects the worship experience. The research material consisted of open theme interviews of 24 people in Tuusula parish. The theoretical background of this study was social construction while the approach was a narrative one. The data was analysed by qualitative content analysis and narrative analysis. The themes that ex-pressed meaningful worship in the material were worked up into micro-stories. The subject of these stories is someone I call Kaino. In the end, the micro-stories were collected in one macro-story: Kaino`s meaningful worship . In this one macro-story are all the things that build meaningful wor-ship in this research. In the material of this research, there were four things, which build meaningful worship. First (1) the worship must become a holy drama in a holy place and in holy time. Worship can then bring to present time its` own tradition. Worship can become transitive space in which it is possible to delib-erate upon one`s own deep questions of life on a conscious or semi-conscious level. In order for this to come about, people must be able to read the manuscript of the holy drama. To go into this transi-tive space of worship means that one has to know the language and the habits of worship. The second (2) thing, which builds up meaningful worship, is that people can deliberate upon existential questions. Worship can become a tool used against the forces, which destroy life. Thirdly (3) worship can strengthen the religious identity, which exists in worship, which is called to be God´s child . Fourthly (4) becomes the church in which the worship happens; in Jokela church stresses nearness, warmth and cosines, whereas the traditional, wooden Tuusula church stresses solemnity, holi-ness and being separate from other people. The results of this study challenge us to discuss how and by what means worship might maintain its` significance in the future. Although religious behaviour is nowadays is mostly individual and private matter, this study shows that there is still the need for a public and common religious activity.
  • Ranssi-Matikainen, Hanna (Kirkon tutkimuskeskus, 2012)
    The research focused on relationship crisis in couples who reported receiving help from peer support group activity to maintain their relationship. The research has drawn upon Erik H. Erikson s life course theory and Talcott Parsons theorising on the family. The research project highlighted how the interplay between history, theories and the present created its own tensions. An important interpretative tool in the research was the transformation wrought by a woman participating in working life. My prior assumptions of how friction arises in intimate relationships were based on how in private life, unfinished self-development and the work-life balance relates to psychological homeostasis. This is illustrated through a pendulum model which I devised as an analytical tool, by which the analysis of conflicting societal and individual interests from the mid 1800s to the present day is mediated. The objective of the research was to ascertain how the themes featured in the pendulum model were manifest in couples who remained together through a relationship crisis. The research material comprised of eleven interviews from couples who participated in family counselling peer support groups, organised by the Helsinki branch of YMCA, in the late 1990s and the ensuing decade. Throughout the research, the most common reason for a relationship crisis proved to be the all encompassing strains of everyday life. This was chiefly expressed as difficulties in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Problems arose from the frustrations of incompleted projects and the phenomena of parallel life crisis compounding and exasperating the relationship crisis. Other reasons identified were communication issues, differing expectations or basic assumptions concerning the relationship, gender-role related pressures and affairs. Both genders were affected by the daily competition between career and home-life interests, which reflected in the family by an increased pace of life: spare time left over from work was primarily devoted to meeting the needs of a child rather than the partner. The partner s unmet needs and lack of communication raised dissatisfaction towards the relationship. The globalisation of labour has reinforced traditional gender specific roles. More often than not, in families with children, the woman takes on the role of home-maker while the man becomes emphatically career-orientated. Alienation occured in the face of diminishing support networks for the family, thereby increasing the loneliness experienced by the partner while the other was away. For women, the chief reason behind a relationship crisis involved imitating the behaviour of a role model. This was described as taking on a self-sacrificial posture charecterised by over-responsibility, which involved expending excessive personal resources and making burdensome sacrifices for the family. This arrangement was being propped up by following the example set by one s own mother and the parental leave years, during which the workload in chores became established and ingrained, becoming difficult to alter. A mother model based upon a dual role, tainted in turn by self-sacrificial undertones had clear negative implications for the relationship. This type of situation created loneliness in both partners. In a first instance, the woman was isolated with family-related commitments while in a second instance, the man was left unsure of his role after circumstances changed even though expectations were in place for the man to consistently contribute to the raising of children and chores around the home. For men, the central reason for a relationship crisis upheaval was an affair. Results showed that affairs are the result of a malfunctioning relationship, not its primary cause. The clash between the attainment of individualistic and familial objectives in the 21st Century has fostered with it unbalanced lifestyles. Based upon the research findings, these two realms of life should not be cast as competing forces or be in conflict with each other. These are not in opposition to one another, but balancing them required flexibility from both partners. Based on the findings, it was deemed necessary to make changes in these relationships. One such practical change related to the management of time: those couples remaining together restructured their priorities in life. This restructuring process was initiated by a reviewing of individual value-systems with love as its cornerstone, whereby world-view and daily activity is determined by the objects of one s love and how these are ranked in the new value-system. As a result of a relationship crisis, individual value-systems were modified leading to the couples spending more time together. Other important drivers of change were the quality of interaction between couples and the strengthening of one s identity. Regardless of societal changes the results showed that basic individual needs remained the same: partners expected safety and appreciation within their relationship. Based on the findings, the stability of the family unit depended upon its ability to meet the basic needs of its members. According to the findings, the principle function of the peer support groups was to provide a forum for positive survival stories of relationship crisis. This involved the formation of generative links through productive discourse: the altruistic peer support received encouraged participants with relationship crisis to extend similar support to others. The research produced new information regarding the reasons behind divorce and elucidated the interplay between relationship crisis and the function of peer support groups. In light of the results it would seem that a relationship crisis was primarily a stepping stone for further personal development, bringing to the fore prior unresolved development issues. The strengthening of one s personal identity had postive implications for the distribution of chores around the home: recognising and expressing one s own wishes resulted in fairer distribution of the work load. An interesting facet in this situation was the role of the woman in the reallocation of duties: a fairer structure within the home often emerged as the woman chose to leave certain chores undone or verbally passed the responsibility over these tasks to the man. The results indicated that relationship models based on a more equitable division of responsibilities engendered better welfare for the whole family. Peer support groups were a fitting environment for resolving relationship crisis. The results showed the fundamental role of orientation towards generativity within peer support groups to produce this added benefit: helping others in similar circumstances became embedded in one s personal life cycle as a result of resolving a private crisis. The significance of the research results were assessed within the broader framework of church and society at large, and propositions were made regarding further research innitiatives.
  • Inkala, Anna-Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    This research presents and analyzes author Zacharias Topelius' (1818-1898) ideas about religions, ideologies and God's love in a historical novel "Planeternas skyddslingar" (Tähtien turvatit) and connects the novel with different contexts. This research also examines the novel's message concerning the transition in which society and also the national Lutheran church were in the 1880´s. The research is interdisciplinary, including theology, literature research, and philosophy. Previous research about Topelius is presented as well. In this study we examine Lutheran theology and the relationship to other religions. A difference is made between Lutheranism during the Reformation and Lutheran orthodoxy. We examine the significance of Sweden's seventeenth-century Queen Christina, who was an important starting point for Topelius to write the novel. We also look at women's rights in the novel. Through the characters we examine the religious and social status of women, women as active members in the religious field and questions dealing with their education. A fresh aspect deals with the theory of shame and the theory of Kierkegaard's existential stages, both of which are new in research on Topelius. The principal method in this research is systematic analysis. With regard to theological analysis, important concepts include God, message, divine dispensation, eschatology, religions, belief and love. This research looks at three major world religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Within Christianity we examine its Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Reformed branches. Popular beliefs and superstition are also examined in the novel. Alongside systematic analysis, a vehicle in this research is the theory of contexts, which is used in literature research and historical research. This research shows that this last one of Topelius' novels saw daylight in the midst of a theological crisis. The Lutheran tendency in the novel is connected to the genre of tendency novel. This research shows that Topelius did not stand for Lutheran orthodoxy. Instead he gave special value to Luther's Large and Small Catechisms, and one can find theology of the Reformation widely throughout the novel. Topelius makes a difference between human love and God's divine love. A message of divine love is central in the novel, where we find love and service connected to one another. The final solution represents Lutheran doctrine. Moreover, a reader can see that the negative attitude towards the Catholic Church is alleviated in the end of the novel, as emphasis is put on the faith common to all Christians. This gives the idea that the church of Christ is one.