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  • Hietamäki, Minna (2008)
    The purpose of this study is to analyse the development and understanding of the idea of consensus in bilateral dialogues among Anglicans, Lutherans and Roman Catholics. The source material consists of representative dialogue documents from the international, regional and national dialogues from the 1960s until 2006. In general, the dialogue documents argue for agreement/consensus based on commonality or compatibility. Each of the three dialogue processes has specific characteristics and formulates its argument in a unique way. The Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue has a particular interest in hermeneutical questions. In the early phases, the documents endeavoured to describe the interpretative principles that would allow the churches to together proclaim the Gospel and to identify the foundation on which the agreement in the church is based. This investigation ended up proposing a notion of basic consensus , which later developed into a form of consensus that seeks to embrace, not to dismiss differences (so-called differentiated consensus ). The Lutheran-Roman Catholic agreement is based on a perspectival understanding of doctrine. The Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue emphasises the correctness of interpretations. The documents consciously look towards a common future , not the separated past. The dialogue s primary interpretative concept is koinonia. The texts develop a hermeneutics of authoritative teaching that has been described as the rule of communion . The Anglican-Lutheran dialogue is characterised by an instrumental understanding of doctrine. Doctrinal agreement is facilitated by the ideas of coherence, continuity and substantial emphasis in doctrine. The Anglican-Lutheran dialogue proposes a form of sufficient consensus that considers a wide set of doctrinal statements and liturgical practices to determine whether an agreement has been reached to the degree that, although not complete , is sufficient for concrete steps towards unity. Chapter V discusses the current challenges of consensus as an ecumenically viable concept. In this part, I argue that the acceptability of consensus as an ecumenical goal is based not only the understanding of the church but more importantly on the understanding of the nature and function of the doctrine. The understanding of doctrine has undergone significant changes during the time of the ecumenical dialogues. The major shift has been from a modern paradigm towards a postmodern paradigm. I conclude with proposals towards a way to construct a form of consensus that would survive philosophical criticism, would be theologically valid and ecumenically acceptable.
  • Palola, Tuomas (Suomen Rauhanyhdistysten Keskusyhdistys ry, 2015)
    North American Laestadianism, also known as Apostolic Lutheranism, has been divided by schisms on several occasions, which in turn, have also had an effect on the development of schisms within the revivalist movement in Scandinavia. The revivalist movement s problematic history has been traditionally explained by members of the movement as being caused by the actions of individuals or different doctrines. No comprehensive, scientific study has examined the reasons behind the schisms. Those Laestadians who joined the revivalist movement in the original regions, from which they would later emigrate to North America, did not bring with them a monolithic dogmatic heritage. Into the doctrinal diversity of the Apostolic Lutheran melting pot were added the challenges brought forth by the movement s own independent free church status and Americanization. The revivalist movement s leadership in Fennoscandinavia attempted to guide the North American movement, without understanding the factors that were influencing its development. As a result, the leadership created additional conflicts, which precipitated a schism. The doctrinal views within this lay movement were not developed systematically, but rather situationally. The group formation was influenced by the fact that three different languages were spoken in the regions from which the immigrants departed: Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian. In addition to these languages, the immigrants adapted to English usage in North America. The assimilation process progressed at a different pace with different individuals and groups. Thus, they usually ended up having to respond to challenges without a vision, and as a result, the solutions were pragmatic. The chronologically uneven development of schisms in the revivalist movement s areas of influence in Scandinavia and North America also created a situation in which not all of the groups found a corresponding group on the other continent. This factor caused more tension within the movement. The aforementioned factors shaped from Apostolic Lutheranism, in terms of its identity, practices, organization, doctrinal emphases and group formation, a distinctive form of Laestadianism, which maintained contact with the Old Country . This slowed down the pace of Americanization in Apostolic Lutheranism, more so than in other Finnish American churches, and stoked divisions within Laestadianism in Fennoscandinavia. Thus, Apostolic Lutheranism diverged from the general developmental trends of other immigrant churches. Keywords: Finnish immigration to North America, assimilation, laestadianism,laestadian schisms, the third use of the Law, confession
  • Tervahauta, Ulla (2013)
    This study on the Authentikos Logos (NHC VI,3) analyses the writing and its story of the soul s descent and ascent. The aim of the work was to find a context to the little studied Nag Hammadi writing that has been thus far dated to the second century. On the basis of comparative analysis this study agues that that date is too early. It is proposed instead that AL was composed sometime between the third and the fifth centuries. The manuscript, language, and the genre of AL are first discussed, and the broad lines of late ancient Egyptian Christianity are sketched. To shed light on the Christianity of the text, use of scriptures in AL is analysed in several chapters. The story of the soul s descent and ascent is compared with Christian and Platonic authors. The closest point of comparison is The Exegesis on the Soul (NHC II,6), but despite the general similarity between the texts, this study argues that the emphasis in the AL is on the soul s struggle towards its goal, whereas Exeg. Soul emphasises repentance and the help of the heavenly Father. The relationship of AL with the Valentinian Wisdom myth is discussed, with the outcome that there is no firm evidence to connect the writing closely with Valentinian traditions. Comparisons with Plato, Origen, and Plotinus suggest a Platonic mind-set; however, no literary dependency can be assumed. AL contains four specific epithets attached to the soul: the invisible soul , the pneumatic soul , the material soul , and the rational soul . The combination of the epithets is unique, and the individual terms point in different directions. The invisible soul is not used otherwise in the Nag Hammadi library. The pneumatic soul is a rare term only used by Synesius of Cyrene and John Chrysostom. The material soul is known in Sethian and Valentinian texts, whereas the rational soul is widely attested in ancient texts, but in the Nag Hammadi library it only appears in the AL and the Asclepius excerpt (NHC VI,8). Analysis on the views on matter in the AL suggest an emphasis on ethics, and the evilness of matter. Matter is furthermore combined with Christian scriptural allusions. Views on the soul are connected with views on the body and human life. The body is the soul s place of contest and progress. To ascend, the soul, enveloped in a pneumatic body must pass aerial powers invisibly; the Pauline term is used allusively, but with a Platonic perspective. Several texts that circulated amongst Christians in late ancient Egypt and discuss the soul s ascent are brought into the discussion (The Apocalypse of Paul, The First Apocalypse of James, the Gospel of Mary, Asclepius, and Life of Antony). The comparison reveals that AL aligns more with the two latter that emphasise ethics and stands at some distance from the Codex V accounts and the Gospel of Mary.
  • Nisula, Timo (2011)
    This study analyses Augustine s concept of concupiscentia, or evil desire (together with two cognate terms, libido and cupiditas) in the context of his entire oeuvre. By the aid of systematic analysis, the concept and its development is explored in four distinct ways. It is claimed that Augustine used the concept of concupiscentia for several theological purposes, and the task of the study is to represent these distinct functions, and their connections to Augustine s general theological and philosophical convictions. The study opens with a survey on terminology. A general overview of the occurrences of the negatively connoted words for desire in Latin literature precedes a corresponding examination of Augustine s own works. In this introductory chapter it is shown that, despite certain preferences in the uses of the words, a sufficient degree of synonymy reigns so as to allow an analysis of the concept without tightly discriminating between the terms. The theological functions of concupiscentia with its distinct contexts are analysed in separate chapters. The function of concupiscentia as a divine punishment is explored first (Ch 3). It is seen how Augustine links together concupiscentia and ideas about divine justice, and finally suggests that in the inordinate, psychologically experienced sexual desire, the original theological disobedience of Adam and Eve can be perceived. Augustine was criticized for this solution already in his own times, and the analysis of the function of concupiscentia as a divine punishment ends in a discussion on the critical response of punitive concupiscentia by Julian of Aeclanum. Augustine also attached to concupiscentia another central theological function by viewing evil desire as an inward originating cause for all external evil actions. In the study, this function is analysed by surveying two formally distinct images of evil desire, i.e. as the root (radix) of all evil, and as a threefold (triplex) matrix of evil actions (Ch 4). Both of these images were based on a single verse of the Bible (1 Jn 2, 16 and 1 Tim 6, 10). This function of concupiscentia was formed both parallel to, and in answer to, Manichaean insights into concupiscentia. Being familiar with the traditional philosophical discussions on the nature and therapy of emotions, Augustine situated concupiscentia also into this context. It is acknowledged that these philosophical traditions had an obvious impact into his way of explaining psychological processes in connection with concupiscentia. Not only did Augustine implicitly receive and exploit these traditions, but he also explicitly moulded and criticized them in connection with concupiscentia. Eventually, Augustine conceives the philosophical traditions of emotions as partly useful but also partly inadequate to deal with concupiscentia (Ch 5). The role of concupiscentia in connection to divine grace and Christian renewal is analysed in the final chapter of the study. Augustine s gradual development in internalizing the effects of concupiscentia also into the life of a baptized Christian are elucidated, as are the strong limitations and mitigations Augustine makes to the concept when attaching it into the life under grace (sub gratia). A crucial part in the development of this function is played by Augustine s changing interpretation of Rom 7, and the way concupiscentia appears in Augustine s readings of this text is therefore also analysed. As a result of the analysis of these four distinct functions and contexts of concupiscentia, it is concluded that Augustine s concept of concupiscentia is fairly tightly and coherently connected to his views of central theological importance. Especially the functions of concupiscentia as a punishment and the function of concupiscentia in Christian renewal were both tightly interwoven into Augustine s view of God s being and God s grace. The study shows the importance of reading Augustine s discussions on evil desire with a constant awareness of their role in their larger context, that is, of their function in each situation. The study warns against too simplistic and unifying readings of Augustine s concupiscentia, emphasizing the need to acknowledge both the necessitating, sinful aspects of concupiscentia, and the domesticated features of concupiscentia during Christian renewal.
  • Lopes Pereira , Jairzinho (2012)
    This study analyses the relationship between Augustine and Luther in their understandings of the doctrine of Original Sin and the justification of sinners, taking as its main source Augustine's writings addressed against Julian of Aeclanum as well as Luther's Lectures on Romans. I argue that the radical anthropological and soteriological insights with which Augustine opposed the theologians associated with fifth century Pelagianism are the key for understanding the early stages of Luther's call for Reformation of the doctrine of the Catholic Church regarding Original Sin and justification. The study commences with a preliminary discussion on the terminology linked with Augustine's definition of sin. I claim that the Augustinian concept of sin was defined in intimate connection with a concept he inherited from his contact with neo-Platonism the concept of order. Sin is disorder. Original Sin was an expression of disorder which implanted disorder in the very core of human nature. This was a line of thought that Luther fully endorsed. The young Luther's doctrine of Original Sin, I point out, is essentially Augustinian. Although Augustine did not invent the doctrine of Original Sin, he certainly brought a new way of understanding the implications of the Adamic Fall in the human-divine relationship and in the salvation of human beings. I explain that whether Augustine first outlined his radical approach to salvation through the gracious mercy of God and only then developed his theological formulation of Original Sin (or came to it in the reverse order) may be open to dispute. What is certain is that the way Augustine approached the gravity of Original Sin is in harmony with the way he approached the issue of justification of the sinner and the salvation process as a whole. One of the main theses maintained in this study is that the way Augustine approached human beings and their salvation put him on a collision course with the very tradition of the Church Fathers he so eagerly claims to defend. Augustine's understanding of human salvation, I explain, constitutes a break with the patristic tradition precisely because he took the notion of a general condemnation in Adam to radical consequences. After some hesitations in the initial years of his literary career, Augustine broke with the line of thought according to which humans start their salvation by turning to God and God then accomplish their salvation. This turning point was crystallized in two major works authored by the Church Father, Ad Simplicianum and Confessiones. In these two works Augustine unequivocally claims that the very first step one takes towards God is itself a divine gift. The very will to believe is God's grace. This assessment constituted a break with the traditional view of the Fathers on the issue of salvation. It is precisely this crucial detail that explains Luther's reliance upon Augustine. Luther's doctrine of justification by faith alone was essentially a deliberate attempt to recover the old Augustinian claim according to which both the beginnings and the accomplishment of the salvation process belong to God and only to God. This is a crucial point because in this assessment lies the main reason why Luther preferred Augustine to any other Church Father. It was based on this Augustinian defense of the radical gratuity of the salvation process that Luther relied to oppose the Nominalist axiom of facere quod in se est Deus non denegat gratiam. The teaching of the Fathers according to which human beings start and God accomplishes the process of salvation may have seemed to Luther dangerously close to the teaching of the recentiores doctores he so vehemently opposed. I show my opposition towards the trend within modern Lutheran scholarship to argue that the young Luther's doctrine of justification found its inspiration elsewhere, not in Augustine's anti-Pelagian writings. Against the common argument that while Augustine taught justification by grace and by love, Luther taught justification by faith alone, I argue that such a claim is not consistent with the evidence in the sources by showing significant affinities between Augustine and Luther's positions. Augustine, some scholars argue, never conceived justification as fides Christi, but rather as a transformation of the human will or disposition for God's commands. A closer look into the two theologians' understandings of justification would suggest otherwise. Augustine taught justification by grace as well as justification as fides Christi. Luther taught justification by faith, justification as a declaration of righteousness on account of the fides Christi, but his doctrine of justification went beyond a mere declaration of righteousness. For both Augustine and Luther, justification starts with the bestowal of the grace of faith and keeps manifesting itself through moral progress throughout the entire earthly life of the justified sinner. I also try to shed some light upon the old discussion regarding Augustine's reading of Gal. 5:6. I argue that this passage was used by Augustine with no other purpose than to characterise the genuine Christian faith, the justifying faith. Augustine's reading of Gal. 5:6 does not collide with Luther's doctrine of justification by faith. The essence of Augustine's doctrine of justification states that humans are justified through or by the grace of faith (gratia fidei). Faith is not acquired by any merit, so it is a grace, that is, freely given. Justification is entirely God's doing since it begins once one is bestowed with the grace of faith and proceeds, impelled by the grace of perseverance (which is deep down what Augustine called gratia cooperativa, a reality not absent in Luther's understanding of the justification process). The Augustinian notion of grace is a very comprehensive one. Grace assumes many forms. Among its main expressions, according to Augustine, are the gifts of faith, hope and love. Luther did not deviate from this path. Perhaps there is only a slight difference in emphasis. Augustine elected love as the great distinctive characteristic of justifying faith, while Luther selected humility. For both theologians, however, faith is the only source of justification. This faith would obviously be useless without love, hope and humility. After all, without these ingredients it would not be the justifying faith.
  • Kitanov, Severin (Severin Valentinov Kitanov, 2006)
    This dissertation examines the concept of beatific enjoyment (fruitio beatifica) in scholastic theology and philosophy in the thirteenth and early fourteenth century. The aim of the study is to explain what is enjoyment and to show why scholastic thinkers were interested in discussing it. The dissertation consists of five chapters. The first chapter deals with Aurelius Augustine's distinction between enjoyment and use and the place of enjoyment in the framework of Augustine's view of the passions and the human will. The first chapter also focuses upon the importance of Peter Lombard's Sentences for the transmission of Augustine's treatment of enjoyment in scholastic thought as well as upon Lombard's understanding of enjoyment. The second chapter treats thirteenth-century conceptions of the object and psychology of enjoyment. Material for this chapter is provided by the writings - mostly Sentences commentaries - of Alexander of Hales, Albert the Great, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Peter of Tarentaise, Robert Kilwardby, William de la Mare, Giles of Rome, and Richard of Middleton. The third chapter inspects early fourteenth-century views of the object and psychology of enjoyment. The fourth chapter focuses upon discussions of the enjoyment of the Holy Trinity. The fifth chapter discusses the contingency of beatific enjoyment. The main writers studied in the third, fourth and fifth chapters are John Duns Scotus, Peter Aureoli, Durandus of Saint Pourçain, William of Ockham, Walter Chatton, Robert Holcot, and Adam Wodeham. Historians of medieval intellectual history have emphasized the significance of the concept of beatific enjoyment for understanding the character and aims of scholastic theology and philosophy. The concept of beatific enjoyment was developed by Augustine on the basis of the insight that only God can satisfy our heart's desire. The possibility of satisfying this desire requires a right ordering of the human mind and a detachment of the will from the relative goals of earthly existence. Augustine placed this insight at the very foundation of the notion of Christian learning and education in his treatise On Christian Doctrine. Following Augustine, the twelfth-century scholastic theologian Peter Lombard made the concept of enjoyment the first topic in his plan of systematic theology. The official inclusion of Lombard's Sentences in the curriculum of theological studies in the early universities stimulated vigorous discussions of enjoyment. Enjoyment was understood as a volition and was analyzed in relation to cognition and other psychic features such as rest and pleasure. This study shows that early fourteenth-century authors deepened the analysis of enjoyment by concentrating upon the relationship between enjoyment and mental pleasure, the relationship between cognition and volition, and the relationship between the will and the beatific object (i.e., the Holy Trinity). The study also demonstrates the way in which the idea of enjoyment was affected by changes in the method of theological analysis - the application of Aristotelian logic in a Trinitarian context and the shift from virtue ethics to normative ethics.
  • Hankela, Elina (2013)
    This study engages with ubuntu as a moral notion, and exclusionary social boundaries in the context of refugee ministry at the Central Methodist Mission (CMM) in inner-city Johannesburg. Ubuntu, a Nguni term that can be translated as humanity or humaneness, is often claimed to be the moral backbone of (South) African communities. According to the academic ubuntu discourse that scrutinises this notion, interdependence characterises human existence, as human beings only become, and exist, through other human beings, in a community. Virtues commonly attached to ubuntu include respect, hospitality and compassion. While the ubuntu discourse comprises the theoretical framework and dialogue partner in the study, international migration, socio-economic inequality and xenophobia are among the forces that defined the social location of the CMM. A praxis cycle framework informed the structure of this research, as it offered a way to combine ethnographic fieldwork with notions emphasized in grounded theory and an interest in patterns of socio-moral thinking invoked by the writer s training in systematic theology. Drawing, for instance, on emphases vocalized by liberation theologians, the praxis cycle also underlines the importance of questions about societal context and the researcher s agency. In 2009 when the fieldwork for the study was conducted, the CMM building, a six-storey church in inner-city Johannesburg, both served a large local congregation ( members ) and offered shelter to 2,000-3,000 international migrants and homeless South Africans ( dwellers ). The objective of the scrutiny of the tense relationship between these two groups is to understand grassroots meanings attached to being human(e) and factors that limited or enabled the actualization of ubuntu in this context. The study approaches these meanings and dynamics from two perspectives. Firstly, the liberation-theologically framed vision of the leader of the CMM, Bishop Verryn, is analysed and defined as a contextual Christian ubuntu vision. As the challenges in the vision s material application in the Refugee Ministry are examined, it is noted that the contestation of the notion of interdependence in community in the day-to-day managing of the ministry seemed to reinforce the often exclusionary member/dweller boundary; while, on the other hand, the preaching of the vision and the leader s lifestyle contributed to the bridging of the boundary. Secondly, the study explores the negotiation of exclusionary identities and boundaries within and between the members and the dwellers through examining the collective narratives of xenophobia and dirt circulating at the CMM. Attention is also paid to the forging of affirming relationships between the groups. On the basis of these dynamics the writer presents socio-moral patterns attached to ubuntu and being human(e) in the given context: they involve relational virtues that people were expected to embody; the rules of reciprocity and survival that regulated the actualization of these virtues; limiting structural elements external and internal to the CMM; and the enabling element of encounter.
  • Tanska, Juha (2011)
    The subject and methodology of biblical scholarship has expanded immense-ly during the last few decades. The traditional text-, literary-, source- and form-critical approaches, labeled historical-critical scholarship , have faced the challenge of social sciences. Various new literary, synchronic readings, sometimes characterized with the vague term postmodernism, have in turn challenged historicalcritical, and social-scientific approaches. Widened limits and diverging methodologies have caused a sense of crisis in biblical criticism. This metatheoretical thesis attempts to bridge the gap between philosophical discussion about the basis of biblical criticism and practical academic biblical scholarship. The study attempts to trace those epistemological changes that have produced the wealth of methods and results within biblical criticism. The account of the cult reform of King Josiah of Judah as reported in 2 Kings 22:1 23:30 serves as the case study because of its importance for critical study of the Hebrew Bible. Various scholarly approaches embracing 2 Kings 22:1 23:30 are experimentally arranged around four methodological positions: text, author, reader, and context. The heuristic model is a tentative application of Oliver Jahraus s model of four paradigms in literary theory. The study argues for six theses: 1) Our knowledge of the world is con-structed, fallible and theory-laden. 2) Methodological plurality is the neces-sary result of changes in epistemology and culture in general. 3) Oliver Jahraus s four methodological positions in regard to literature are also an applicable model within biblical criticism to comprehend the methodological plurality embracing the study of the Hebrew Bible. 4) Underlying the methodological discourse embracing biblical criticism is the epistemological ten-sion between the natural sciences and the humanities. 5) Biblical scholars should reconsider and analyze in detail concepts such as author and editor to overcome the dichotomy between the Göttingen and Cross schools. 6) To say something about the historicity of 2 Kings 22:1 23:30 one must bring together disparate elements from various disciplines and, finally, admit that though it may be possible to draw some permanent results, our conclusions often remain provisional.
  • Heimola, Minna (2010)
    Previous scholarship has often maintained that the Gospel of Philip is a collection of Valentinian teachings. In the present study, however, the text is read as a whole and placed into a broader context by searching for parallels from other early Christian texts. Although the Valentinian Christian identity of the Gospel of Philip is not questioned, it is read alongside those texts traditionally labelled as "mainstream Christian". It is obvious from the account of Irenaeus that the boundaries between the Valentinians and other Christians were not as clear or fixed as he probably would have hoped. This study analyzes the Valentinian Christian Gospel of Philip from two points of view: how the text constructs the Christian identity and what kind of Christianity it exemplifies. Firstly, it is observed how the author of the Gospel of Philip places himself and his Christian readers among the early Christianities of the period by emphasizing the common history and Christian features but building especially on particular texts and traditions. Secondly, it is noted how the Christian nature of an individual develops according to the Gospel of Philip. The identity of an individual is built and strengthened through rituals, experiences and teaching. Thirdly, the categorizations, attributes, beliefs and behaviour associated on the one hand with the "insiders", the true Christians, and, on the other, with outsiders in the Gospel of Philip, are analyzed using social identity theory the insiders and outsiders are described through stereotyping in the text. Overall, the study implies that the Gospel of Philip strongly emphasizes spiritual progress and transformation. Rather than depicting the Valentinians as the perfect Christians, it underlines their need for constant change and improvement. Although the author seeks to clearly distinguish the insiders from the outsiders, the boundaries of the categories are in fact fluid in the Gospel of Philip. Outsiders can become insiders and the insiders are also in danger of falling out again.
  • Hirvonen, Heidi (2010)
    This study describes and analyses two Lebanese Muslims and two Lebanese Christians ideas about Christian-Muslim dialogue, its nature, aims, and methods and its different dimensions, which include doctrinal, ethical, and social dimensions. On the basis of the analysis, the four thinkers contributions for promoting constructive dialogue are evaluated. The persons studied are two religious authorities, the Shiite Great Ayatollah Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah (b. 1935) and the Eastern Orthodox Metropolitan of Mount Lebanon, Georges Khodr (b. 1923), and two academic scholars, Doctor Mahmoud Ayoub (b. 1935) and Doctor, Father Mouchir Aoun (b. 1964), from the Shiite and Greek Catholic communities, respectively. The method of the study is systematic analysis. The sources consist of the four thinkers writings on Christian-Muslim relations, the most of which have been published in Lebanon in the 1990s and 2000s in the Arabic language. In their general guidelines for Christian-Muslim dialogue, the four authors do not offer any novel or unusual insights. However, their dialogue visions are multi-faceted, motivating interreligious encounter both on religious and practical grounds and clarifying the theological grounds and socio-political conditions of this endeavour. The major challenge appears to be the tension between loyalty to one s own convictions and taking into account the particular self-understanding of the other. While this tension may be ultimately unsolvable, it is obvious that linking dialogue tightly to missionary motivations or certain theological agenda imposed on the others is not conducive for better mutual understanding. As for how diverse theologies of religions affect interreligious dialogue, narrow exclusivism hardly promotes mutual knowledge and appreciation, but also inclusive and pluralistic positions have their particular dilemmas. In the end, dialogue is possible from diverse positions on theology of religions. All the authors discuss the theological themes of divine revelation, concept of God, and human condition and ultimate destiny. The two religions particular views on these issues cannot be reconciled, but the authors offer diverse means to facilitate mutual understanding on them, such as increasing mutual knowledge, questioning certain traditional condemnations, showing theological parallels between the two religions, and transcending doctrinal disagreements by stressing common religious experience or ethical concerns. Among the theological themes, especially the concept of God seems to offer possibilities for better understanding than has traditionally been the case. Significantly, all the four authors maintain that Christians and Muslims share the faith in the one God, irrespective of their disagreements about the nature of his oneness. Basic ethical principles are not discussed as widely by the four authors as might be expected, which may reflect the shared cultural background and common ethical values of the Lebanese Muslims and Christians. On this level, Christians alienation from the Islamic law appears as the most significant challenge to mutual understanding, while neighbourly love and the golden rule of ethics offer a fruitful basis for further dialogue. As for the issue of political power-sharing in Lebanon, it is clear that the proposal of an Islamic state is problematic in a country with a sizable Christian minority and a heterogeneous Muslim population. Some form of democracy seems more viable for a multireligious country, but the question remains how to retain religion as a vital force in society, which is felt to be important by all the four Lebanese authors.
  • Varkemaa, Jussi (Jussi Varkemaa, 2009)
    This study focuses on the theory of individual rights that the German theologian Conrad Summenhart (1455-1502) explicated in his massive work Opus septipartitum de contractibus pro foro conscientiae et theologico. The central question to be studied is: How does Summenhart understand the concept of an individual right and its immediate implications? The basic premiss of this study is that in Opus septipartitum Summenhart composed a comprehensive theory of individual rights as a contribution to the on-going medieval discourse on rights. With this rationale, the first part of the study concentrates on earlier discussions on rights as the background for Summenhart s theory. Special attention is paid to language in which right was defined in terms of power . In the fourteenth century writers like Hervaeus Natalis and William Ockham maintained that right signifies power by which the right-holder can to use material things licitly. It will also be shown how the attempts to describe what is meant by the term right became more specified and cultivated. Gerson followed the implications that the term power had in natural philosophy and attributed rights to animals and other creatures. To secure right as a normative concept, Gerson utilized the ancient ius suum cuique-principle of justice and introduced a definition in which right was seen as derived from justice. The latter part of this study makes effort to reconstructing Summenhart s theory of individual rights in three sections. The first section clarifies Summenhart s discussion of the right of the individual or the concept of an individual right. Summenhart specified Gerson s description of right as power, taking further use of the language of natural philosophy. In this respect, Summenhart s theory managed to bring an end to a particular continuity of thought that was centered upon a view in which right was understood to signify power to licit action. Perhaps the most significant feature of Summenhart s discussion was the way he explicated the implication of liberty that was present in Gerson s language of rights. Summenhart assimilated libertas with the self-mastery or dominion that in the economic context of discussion took the form of (a moderate) self-ownership. Summenhart discussion also introduced two apparent extensions to Gerson s terminology. First, Summenhart classified right as relation, and second, he equated right with dominion. It is distinctive of Summenhart s view that he took action as the primary determinant of right: Everyone has as much rights or dominion in regard to a thing, as much actions it is licit for him to exercise in regard to the thing. The second section elaborates Summenhart s discussion of the species dominion, which delivered an answer to the question of what kind of rights exist, and clarified thereby the implications of the concept of an individual right. The central feature in Summenhart s discussion was his conscious effort to systematize Gerson s language by combining classifications of dominion into a coherent whole. In this respect, his treatement of the natural dominion is emblematic. Summenhart constructed the concept of natural dominion by making use of the concepts of foundation (founded on a natural gift) and law (according to the natural law). In defining natural dominion as dominion founded on a natural gift, Summenhart attributed natural dominion to animals and even to heavenly bodies. In discussing man s natural dominion, Summenhart pointed out that the natural dominion is not sufficiently identified by its foundation, but requires further specification, which Summenhart finds in the idea that natural dominion is appropriate to the subject according to the natural law. This characterization lead him to treat God s dominion as natural dominion. Partly, this was due to Summenhart s specific understanding of the natural law, which made reasonableness as the primary criterion for the natural dominion at the expense of any metaphysical considerations. The third section clarifies Summenhart s discussion of the property rights defined by the positive human law. By delivering an account on juridical property rights Summenhart connected his philosophical and theological theory on rights to the juridical language of his times, and demonstrated that his own language of rights was compatible with current juridical terminology. Summenhart prepared his discussion of property rights with an account of the justification for private property, which gave private property a direct and strong natural law-based justification. Summenhart s discussion of the four property rights usus, usufructus, proprietas, and possession aimed at delivering a detailed report of the usage of these concepts in juridical discourse. His discussion was characterized by extensive use of the juridical source texts, which was more direct and verbal the more his discussion became entangled with the details of juridical doctrine. At the same time he promoted his own language on rights, especially by applying the idea of right as relation. He also showed recognizable effort towards systematizing juridical language related to property rights.
  • Tervanotko, Hanna (Bookwell, 2013)
    The task of this study is twofold. First, it aims to analyze the treatment and the development of the figure of Miriam as a literary character in ancient Jewish texts by taking into account all the references to this figure preserved in the ancient Jewish literature from the exilic period to the early second century C.E.: Exodus 15:20-21, Numbers 12:1-15; 20:1; 26:59, Deuteronomy 24:8-9, 1 Chronicles 5:29, Micah 6:4, the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q365 6 II, 1-7; 4Q377 2 I, 9; 4Q543 1 I, 6 = 4Q545 1 I, 5; 4Q546 12, 4; 4Q547 4 I, 10; 4Q549 2, 8), Jubilees 47:4, Ezekiel the Tragedian 18, Demetrius Chronographer frag. 3, texts by Philo of Alexandria: De vita contemplativa 87; Legum allegoriae 1.76; 2.66-67; 3.103; De agricultura 80-81; Liber antiquitatum biblicarum 9:10; 20:8, and finally texts by Josephus: Antiquitates judaicae 2.221; 3.54; 3.105; 4.78. The passages referring to Miriam demonstrate that the picture of Miriam preserved in the ancient Jewish texts is richer than the Hebrew Bible suggests. Her function extends beyond the household-responsibility role that is often assigned to women in antiquity. The peak of Miriam traditions falls to the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.E. when this figure was used to promote the family of Levi. After this period, the figure of Miriam lost, at least partly, her prominence, and she became the target of different interpretations. She did not fit into the ideal of a woman in the Roman era, and she became more marginalized in a number of texts. Second, in light of poststructuralist literary studies that treat texts as reflections of specific social situations, I argue that the treatment of Miriam in ancient Jewish literature mostly reflects a reality in which women had little space as active agents. In particular, the interpretation of Miriam in the Greco-Roman era shows that when the political goals in the texts are emphasized, the room for women gets narrower. Despite this general tendency, prominent women may have enjoyed occasional freedom. Miriam continues to be given the title prophetess during the Greco-Roman era. That demonstrates that female prophecy was a known phenomenon even in a context that generally downplayed women.
  • Peiponen, Matti (Luther-Agricola-Seura, 2012)
    Ecumenical Action in World Politics. The Creation of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA),1945 1949 The World Council of Churches in Process of Formation (WCC) entered the ecumenical scene on the eve of the Second World War. Soon, it emerged as the new flagship for the ecumenical work of the ecumenically involved Orthodox and Protestant churches. The architects of the WCC were also determined to incorporate international affairs into the scope of the new council as an area of central concern. This newcomer within the modern ecumenical movement induced the gradual dissolution of the World Alliance movement, which had been the first organisational expression of churches concern for international affairs, and especially for world peace. American ecumenists pressed for the creation of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) soon after the end of the Second World War. Their proposal for a new ecumenical body was adopted by the Provisional Committee of the WCC at its first post-war meeting. The aims and functions of the CCIA were further discussed by the International Conference of Church Leaders on the Problems of World Order. At this Conference, 60 church leaders, mostly from Britain, Western Europe and the U.S., gave the green light to the creation of the CCIA in August 1946. The organisational structure of the CCIA was formed and the CCIA was officially established by its parent bodies, the WCC and the International Missionary Council (IMC). The actual work was done by the key office-holders of the CCIA, Mr Kenneth Grubb, Professor O. Frederick Nolde, and Dr Willem A. Visser t Hooft. In spite of their being located in London, New York and Geneva, these three men dynamically, although not without personal tensions, completed the task entrusted to them by the parent bodies. As the CCIA began carry out its appointed tasks, the post-war period threatened to degenerate into an era of conflict between the superpowers. A third world war seemed close because tensions between the Soviet Union and the U.S. were deepening alarmingly in the international arena. The modern ecumenical movement, especially the WCC and its CCIA, could not prevent these political rivalries entering their agenda and affecting their work. The international situation became a testing ground for the efficiency and utility of the CCIA. The usefulness of the CCIA was first tested at the Amsterdam Assembly of the WCC in the summer of 1948. The CCIA was entrusted to prepare and introduce topics addressing war and peace, international law, human rights, religious freedom, and communism. All these themes provoked broad discussion in an atmosphere overshadowed by the Cold War. In the end, the Amsterdam Assembly chose not to take sides in the political dispute between the East and the West and thus managed to establish its neutrality and impartiality between the two political blocs. In addition to the ecumenical arena, the CCIA was also expected to achieve results in the international arena. The leadership of the CCIA prioritised human rights and religious freedom as the main issue of concern where Christian principles ought to be borne in mind, and the CCIA saw the United Nations (UN) and the formulation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as the area in which it should press its interests. The incorporation of a broad set of religious freedoms into the UDHR was ensured at the General Assembly of the UN in December 1948, allowing the CCIA also to pass the second test of its efficiency and utility.
  • Krapu, Jenni (Suomen kirkkohistoriallinen seura, 2009)
    This study explores ecumenical activity of professor and bishop E. G. Gulin (1893 1975). Gulin was one of the key figures in the Finland s Evangelical Lutheran Church during the twentieth century. He was also one of the leading persons who imported ecumenical influences from abroad. However, unlike other churches, the Church of Finland did not recognise his importance. For example, in the 1950s Gulin was seen by the Anglicans as a future archbishop for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Gulin s career as an ecumenist can be divided to three parts. Between 1917 and 1929, Gulin learned ecumenical working methods in Finland s World Student Christian Federation. He had a background in the revivalist movement, and his parents supported him in his studies. The Evangelical Lutheran Church did not originally play a major role for Gulin, although he was a member. Between 1930 and 1944, Gulin had more and more responsibility as a leading ecumenist in Finland. He became a member of Finland s ecumenical board, Yleiskirkollinen toimikunta. During the Second World War Gulin tried to solicit assistance for Finland s war effort at theological conferences, where Finnish theologians often discussed cooperation among Christians. A third period started in 1945, when Gulin became the bishop of Tampere. His new status in the Evangelical Lutheran Church placed him in a challenging position in ecumenical questions. He had responsibility for inter-church aid in Finland. He also participated in the World Council of Churches (WCC) assemblies in Evanston in 1954 and in New Delhi in 1961. Gulin s role was quite insignificant in those meetings. Closely related to Gulin s texts about ecumenism is kokemus, experience. Gulin wrote about his ecumenical experience or ekumeeninen kokemus. He believed that it was vital for the churches to appreciate their own experiences, since experience was the basis for further development. Yet Gulin mentioned very little about Christian dogma. The main reason seems to have been that he did not believe that a union between churches could be built on dogma.
  • Heikkerö, Topi (2009)
    This study addresses the following question: How to think about ethics in a technological world? The question is treated first thematically by framing central issues in the relationship between ethics and technology. This relationship has three distinct facets: i) technological advance poses new challenges for ethics, ii) traditional ethics may become poorly applicable in a technologically transformed world, and iii) the progress in science and technology has altered the concept of rationality in ways that undermine ethical thinking itself. The thematic treatment is followed by the description and analysis of three approaches to the questions framed. First, Hans Jonas s thinking on the ontology of life and the imperative of responsibility is studied. In Jonas s analysis modern culture is found to be nihilistic because it is unable to understand organic life, to find meaning in reality, and to justify morals. At the root of nihilism Jonas finds dualism, the traditional Western way of seeing consciousness as radically separate from the material world. Jonas attempts to create a metaphysical grounding for an ethic that would take the technologically increased human powers into account and make the responsibility for future generations meaningful and justified. The second approach is Albert Borgmann s philosophy of technology that mainly assesses the ways in which technological development has affected everyday life. Borgmann admits that modern technology has liberated humans from toil, disease, danger, and sickness. Furthermore, liberal democracy, possibilities for self-realization, and many of the freedoms we now enjoy would not be possible on a large scale without technology. Borgmann, however, argues that modern technology in itself does not provide a whole and meaningful life. In fact, technological conditions are often detrimental to the good life. Integrity in life, according to him, is to be sought among things and practices that evade technoscientific objectification and commodification. Larry Hickman s Deweyan philosophy of technology is the third approach under scrutiny. Central in Hickman s thinking is a broad definition of technology that is nearly equal to Deweyan inquiry. Inquiry refers to the reflective and experiential way humans adapt to their environment by modifying their habits and beliefs. In Hickman s work, technology consists of all kinds of activities that through experimentation and/or reflection aim at improving human techniques and habits. Thus, in addition to research and development, many arts and political reforms are technological for Hickman. He argues for recasting such distinctions as fact/value, poiesis/praxis/theoria, and individual/society. Finally, Hickman does not admit a categorical difference between ethics and technology: moral values and norms need to be submitted to experiential inquiry as well as all the other notions. This study mainly argues for an interdisciplinary approach to the ethics of technology. This approach should make use of the potentialities of the research traditions in applied ethics, the philosophy of technology, and the social studies on science and technology and attempt to overcome their limitations. This study also advocates an endorsement of mid-level ethics that concentrate on the practices, institutions, and policies of temporal human life. Mid-level describes the realm between the instantaneous and individualistic micro-level and the universal and global macro level.
  • Nikkinen, Janne (2007)
    The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze and explicate the ideological content, which is often implicit, in the health care rationing discussion. The phrase "ideological content" refers to viewpoints and assumptions expressed in the rationing discussion that may be widespread and accepted, but without clear evidential support. The study method is philosophical text analysis. The study begins by exploring the literature from the 1970s that affects the present-day rationing discussion. Since ideological contents may have different emphases in realm of health care, three representative cases were studied. The first was a case study of the first and best-known rationing experiment in the American state of Oregon, namely, an experimental rationing plan within the public health program Medicaid, which is designed to provide care for the poor and underprivileged. The second was a study of the only national-level public priority setting that has been conducted in New Zealand. The third examined the Finnish Care Guarantee plan introduced in March 2005. The findings show that several problematic and scientifically mostly unproven concepts have remained largely uncontested in the debate about public health care rationing. Some of these notions already originated decades ago in studies that relied on outdated data or research paradigms. The problematic ideological contents have also been taken up from one publication into another, thereby affecting the rationing debate. The study suggests that before any new public health care rationing experiments are undertaken, these ideological factors should be properly examined, especially in order to avoid repetitious research and perhaps erroneous rationing decisions.
  • Häkkinen, Seppo (Kirkon tutkimuskeskus, 2010)
    The subject of the study is the ideal and reality of commitment to membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland from the 1960s to the 2000s. The research task is to ascertain what manner of commitment the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland expects from its members (the ideal) and how in reality membership of the Church is realized (empiria). The research object is also to study the extent to which the ideal of commitment evinced by the Church and the actual relation of commitment to the Church changed during the research period. Additionally, those factors were analysed which influence the relation between the ideal and reality of commitment. In the analysis of the ideal of commitment the research data are official documents of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. They include confessions of the Church, Catechisms, Christian doctrine, joint strategies and plans of the Church, likewise the Church Act and Church Order. The reality of commitment is explored on the basis of Church membership, participation in parish activity and the private practice of religion, likewise attitude to Christian faith. The empirical data of the study comprise Church statistics, material from Statistics Finland and relevant surveys implemented during the research period. The ideal of commitment alongside membership includes knowing the basic tenets of Christian faith and family life based on prayer and participation in liturgical cycles. A member of the Church is expected to take care of his/her faith by living in participation of the Word and sacrament, bearing responsibility for the parish and faithfully discharging his/her worldly obligations. There have been no major changes in the ideal of commitment during the research period. On the contrary, the reality of commitment has changed. Although the majority of Finns are still members of the Church, there has been a constant decline in their share of the population. The same can be stated with respect to parish life. This has its own strengths, among them Church rites, parish activity around feast days and also work with children and confirmation training. However, the general trend is towards a decline in participation. There has also been a decrease in commitment to belief in God as taught by the Church. On the other hand, private religious observance has not changed at all. From the perspective of commitment the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland exists in a state of tension between the theological ideal and sociological empiria. Matters exerting a particular influence over the relation between ideal and reality are communality and varying conceptions of the Church, likewise contextuality and the related private Christianity. Societal change poses a challenge to traditional Church communality. A decline in communality has in turn led to a decline in belonging to the Church. Weakening awareness of membership has undermined the handing down of the tradition among younger generations. Modernization has influence the identity of the Church and brought the Church to an internal divergence. This way it has been able to retain its structure as a folk church but at the same time it has lost its opportunities for the formation of a clear identity. The Church has adjusted to societal change by outward-directed activities (performance) alongside the purely religious message (function). The tension between an unchanged message and a changed operating environment has increased. The challenge of contextuality has led the Church to review parish life, the nature of teaching and activity and the language used by the Church, likewise the cultural modus. Increasingly privatized Christianity challenges above all the theology and teaching of the Church, but also the life of worship and relation to cultural life.
  • Rinne, Heimo (Suomen Kirkkohistoriallinen Seura, 2006)
    The Ideal of Volunteerism. An institutional approach to social welfare work in the parishes of the Diocese of Porvoo especially in the deaneries of Iitti and Tampere, Finland, in the years 1897-1923 Social welfare work (also known as diakonia) has achieved a high status in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Since 1944, provisions of the Finnish Church Act have obliged each parish to employ at least one deacon or deaconess. This study sets out to examine the background and development of social welfare work in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland from the 1890s to the 1920s, by which time social welfare work had become an established practice in the Church. The study investigates the development of social welfare work on the level of parishes. The main source material was collected from sixteen parishes in the Diocese of Porvoo especially in the deaneries of Iitti and Tampere. In the 1890s, two approaches were used in church social work in Finland. The dioceses of Kuopio, Savonlinna and Turku pursued a congregational approach to social work, while the Diocese of Porvoo employed an institutional approach, mainly because of the influence of Bishop Herman Råbergh. This study charts the formation of church social work in Finnish parishes, which took place during a period of tension between the two approaches. The institutional approach to church social work adopted by the Diocese of Porvoo was based on the German system of Asisters= houses@, in which deaconess institutes sent parish sisters to serve congregations. The parish or, in many cases, a separate association dedicated to church social work paid an annual fee to the deaconess institute, which took care of the parish sisters in old age. In the institutional approach, volunteers were recruited to carry out church social work. It was considered as inappropriate to use tax revenue or other public funding for church social work, which was supposed to be based on Christian love for one=s fellow humans and the needy, and for which only voluntary financial contributions were supposed to be used. In the congregational approach, church social work was directly based on the efforts of the parish. The approach relied on the administrative bodies of parishes and the Church, and tax revenue collected by the parishes, as well as other forms of public funding, could be used to carry out the social welfare work. The parishes employed deacons and deaconesses and paid their salaries. The approaches described above were not pursued in their ideal forms; instead, many variations existed. However, in principle, the social welfare work undertaken by the parishes of the Diocese of Porvoo was based on the institutional approach, while the congregational approach was largely employed elsewhere in Finland. Both of the approaches were viable. Parishes began to employ deacons and deaconesses as of the 1890s. The number of parishes which had hired a deacon or deaconess increased particularly in the 1910s, by which time 60% of parishes had employed one. This level was maintained until 1944 when each parish in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland was obliged to employ a deacon or deaconess. Deaconesses usually worked as travelling nurses. The autonomous status of Finland as part of the Russian Empire did not give Finns the right to develop legislation on social affairs and health care. Consequently, the legislation process did not begin until Finland gained its independence in 1917. The social welfare work carried out by parishes and a number of voluntary organisations satisfied the emerging need for medical treatment in Finnish society. Neither the government nor the municipalities had sufficient resources to provide this treatment. Based on the ideal of volunteerism, the institutional social work practiced in the Diocese of Porvoo ran into serious difficulties at the end of the First World War. Because of severe inflation, prices began to rise as of 1915 and tripled in 1917-1918. During the same period, Finnish society went through a deep crisis which escalated into Civil War in spring 1918. This period of economic and social turmoil marked a turning-point which led to a weakening of the status of institutional social work in parishes. Voluntary efforts were no longer sufficient to maintain the practice. In contrast, congregational social work, which was based on public funding, was able to cope with the changes and survived the crisis. The approach to social work adopted by the Diocese of Porvoo turned out to be no more than a brief detour in the history of social work in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. At the start of the 1920s, the two approaches were integrated into a common vision for establishing church social work as a statutory practice in parishes.
  • Koivisto, Jussi (Jussi Koivisto, 2012)
    This article dissertation examines Luther s idea of evil in his Biblical interpretation. In Luther s central works and in his various comments on Biblical passages he seems to repeat over and over again the idea that individual human beings or other creatures cannot avoid being part of evil or becoming victims of evil. In short, evil seems to be an inevitable part of human life and the Creation. This article dissertation studies this kind of inevitability of evil from various perspectives. In order to provide a multiple perspective on the inevitability of evil in Luther s works, this dissertation studies the following themes in these works: the terminological definition of the inevitability of evil; the manifold phenomenon of fascinare; the serpent (Gen. 3) possessed by the Devil; did the first human choose evil? (Gen. 3); was God the origin of evil?; how was God involved in evil?; the problem of evil. Various methods have been used: systematic argumentation and concept analysis, contextualizing Luther in the history of doctrines and ideas, using reception criticism or the Wirkungsgeschichte of Biblical texts, and source criticism. Using these methodological approaches to Luther, this dissertation offers new insights on Lutheranism and the various traditions preceding it. It introduces the ancient tradition which dominated early, medieval and early modern Christianity, but is not recognized in modern exegesis: the idea that the serpent of Genesis chapter three was possessed by the Devil. The main results of this dissertation can be summarized as follows: Luther considered evil in its various forms as an inevitable part of human life and the Creation. Luther avoided giving the impression that God was the causal, ontological or active origin of evil. However, Luther thought that God had permitted evil to slither into the world. The active origin of evil in the fall of angels and the first human was the Devil. However, after these two falls, God has been involved more actively in evil: He uses and is even present in evil so that He can execute His good plans for the salvation of humankind and for His own glory. Luther also suggested that (an omnipotent) God allowed the Fall to occur, because through Christ s salvific sacrifice humankind could truly comprehend how much God cared for humans. In other words, Luther deemed that God permitted evil for executing His good aims. On the other hand, Luther thought that liberation from various forms of (inevitable) evil, including sin, possession, and bewitchment, was only possible through pastoral care or spiritual healing orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.
  • Pihkala, Panu (Unigrafia, 2014)
    This study analyzes early twentieth-century ecotheology about which it provides a great deal of new information. The focal point is the work of Joseph Sittler (1904 1987), an American Lutheran and ecumenical theologian. Through the use of systematic analysis and historical methods, Sittler s thought is placed in context in relation to other early ecotheology and environmentalism. Many strands of early ecotheology are here reintroduced into the discourse on ecotheology, such as the British contributions by both Anglican and Reformed theologians. For the first time, a relatively comprehensive overview of early ecotheology is given. American and British sources are the most prominent, although some discussion about Scandinavian ecotheology is included. German sources are not used, but early German ecotheology is briefly discussed. The study confirms that there were significant forms of Christian environmental thought and action well before the age of environmentalism began in the 1960s. This fact has consequences for the definition of ecotheology. The study includes substantive discussion of definitions, typologies and methods of environmental theology. It argues that ecotheology (or ecological theology) has many benefits as a general term for the subject matter. The existence of early ecotheology requires that the concept be widened to include these early forms, even though a significant change took place in the 1960s, when a wider ecotheological movement was born. For the first time, the growth of ecotheology is placed in the historical context of theological developments in the twentieth century. One of the findings is that certain socially-oriented forms of Christian theology included environmental concerns early on. Especially significant in this regard is Walter Rauschenbusch, the famous Social Gospel theologian, whose ecotheology receives a close reading for the first time in this study, and the multitalented Liberty Hyde Bailey. The study shows that their concerns were picked up by different post-liberal (in a general sense) and neo-liberal theologians, such as several of the realist theologians in the United States. Paul Tillich s theology of nature evidently made a powerful impact. The most influential early ecotheologians combined insights from both liberalism and neo-orthodoxy. Through their work, the legacy of early ecotheology was carried on to the next generation, who made their mark in the age of environmentalism. In this study, Sittler s early theological development is comprehensively examined for the first time. Although Sittler grew up in a traditional American Lutheran environment, he was affected by ecumenical currents relatively early on. Already in his youth he manifested a strong interest in the natural world and the fine arts, both of which later became major themes in his theology. Sittler was shaped by neo-orthodoxy and Scandinavian theology as propounded by his teachers John O. Evjen and Walter M. Horton, and he later became closely involved with the realist theologians, including Tillich. Sittler contributed to the changes in American Lutheranism, especially with his first book, The Doctrine of the Word (1948), and he soon moved in an ever more ecumenical direction. He was influenced by process thought, but developed his (eco)theology in a more traditionally theistic manner. Sittler began addressing environmental concerns in the early 1950s, especially in his seminal essay A Theology for Earth (1954). At the same time he found his theological stance: Sittler wanted to develop neo-orthodoxy-influenced theology in a more earth-affirming direction. Many of the ecotheological arguments Sittler used are already found in some form in earlier ecotheology, but out of these arguments, Sittler constructed a more comprehensive ecotheology in a creative fashion. He included basic notions of stewardship, yet Sittler was exceptional in emphasizing the status of nature as man s sister and the interdependence of humans and the rest of nature. He further developed many of his insights in his later work, which is a topic for future research. Overall, early ecotheology emerges from this study as multifaceted. There was dominion (Horton) and stewardship ecotheology (the agrarians, Walter C. Lowdermilk, the Malvern Conference 1941); there were eco-justice elements (Daniel Day Williams, Sittler), emphasis on spiritual experiences in nature (Bernard E. Meland) and ecological subjectivity (Charles E. Raven, Herbert H. Farmer, Tillich, Sittler). There was both strong and weak anthropocentrism, and some early ecotheologians emphasized the theocentric, intrinsic value of nature (Bailey, Tillich, Sittler). Numerous themes are featured, such as aesthetics, eschatology, Christology, Incarnation, sacraments and theological anthropology. The role of these early ecotheologians is discussed in relation to environmental history and environmental education. The findings show that ecotheology was not as emphatically separate from other kinds of environmentalism as it was after the end of the 1960s and the Lynn White debate. Early ecotheologians contributed to the general development of environmental thought and action.