Teologinen tiedekunta: Recent submissions

Now showing items 21-40 of 68
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Isotalo, Leena (Suomen kirkkohistoriallinen seura, 2013)
    This study examines the policy of Kokoomus, the Finnish National Coalition Party, towards religious instruction in Finnish primary schools between 1918 and 1923. The issue is explored in the context of the party s ideology and activities. Kokoomus was established in December 1918 by the monarchists of the Finnish Party ( Old Finns ) and the Young Finnish Party ( Young Finns ). It was the third largest party in the Finnish Parliament during the period examined in this study. Approximately one-fifth of its Members of Parliament were pastors. Previous tensions between the Old Finns and the Young Finns were reflected in the policies of Kokoomus in its early years. Other factors that affected the party s policies included the Finnish Civil War in early 1918. Kokoomus strived to ensure social stability and security, and its followers widely believed that schools and their religious instruction could play a role in this. The issue of religious instruction was especially advocated by the large number of theologians within the party. In practice, religious instruction proved a key issue of contention between 1918 and 1923 in conjunction with the enactment of three pieces of legislation: the Compulsory Education Act (101/1921), the Freedom of Religion Act (267/1922) and the act on the foundation of the primary school system (137/1923). Left-wing parties in the Finnish Parliament opposed the continued inclusion of denominational religious instruction in the school syllabus. The parliamentary group for Kokoomus disagreed, with most members taking a more favourable view. In Kokoomus, the issue of religious instruction was usually regarded as part of church policy rather than school policy, but rifts within the party emerged. Four separate factions can be distinguished in Kokoomus according to the emphasis they placed on religious instruction. The most significant faction in terms of church and school policy comprised the theologians of the Young Churchmen movement, for whom religious instruction in schools was especially important. They emphasised its necessity for religious, national and moral reasons and deemed the coming into force of the Freedom of Religion Act as necessary for both church and society. Furthermore, they declared that children exempted from religious instruction must be offered other non-denominational instruction in ethics. Another key faction within Kokoomus represented the party s mainstream, whose political ideas were similar to those of the above group. Although church policy issues were less central to their political platform, members of this second faction also supported religious instruction as part of a primary school system with a sound value base, primarily on national and moral grounds. They emphasised that children should be educated to know the religious traditions of their people. The third faction within Kokoomus consisted of the theologically conservative Christian revival wing, which opposed the Freedom of Religion Act and advocated religious instruction mostly on religious and moral grounds. It also disagreed with the teaching of non-denominational ethics in schools. Although this faction wielded relatively little influence in the party s parliamentary group, many candidates representing the faction won a seat in the summer 1922 elections. The fourth faction, the party s cultural radicals, subscribed to non-denominational religious instruction. This faction remained quite small, and none of the members of the party s parliamentary group belonged to it. The lack of success of cultural radicals in Kokoomus can also be attributed to the emphasis placed on religious instruction in the party s election propaganda, particularly during the 1922 election cycle. Publicly, the cultural radicals never challenged their party s church policy, but internal party debate and private statements show that this faction also had its adherents in Kokoomus. The official position of Kokoomus regarding religious instruction shifted slightly during the period examined in this study. In the party s early years, it used the rhetoric of public good, stability and security to justify its support for religious instruction. Later, however, when the Finnish Parliament enacted the Freedom of Religion Act and addressed the issue of ethics instruction in primary schools, the idea that religious instruction was not only a public good, but also a private right gained traction.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Vähäkangas, Päivi (Bookwell Oy, 2012)
    Eugnostos and Recognitions represent diverging early Christian traditions. Eugnostos, a religious-philosophical treatise from the Nag Hammadi library, was born on Egyptian soil and read in Gnostic Christian circles. It describes the divine realm from the Primal God up to the completion of his emanations. Recognitions arose out of Syrian Jewish Christian speculations and shows an interest in earthly affairs: the missionary journeys of the apostles, the history of the early Church, the right teaching and praxis. What connects these writings is their concern with philosophy. Both sources contain an explicit refutation of philosophy and philosophers. They use similar arguments and a similar pattern: first they point out how philosophers have erred, and then they reveal what constitutes the source of the truth. Both consider knowledge gained in the right manner and from a proper source antithetical to philosophy. In presenting the concept of philosophy as something voluntarily adopted and maintained they simultaneously sketch an idea of religion in a similar way: becoming a Christian means adopting and maintaining a distinct way of life and a set of beliefs. Eugnostos and Recognitions stress the correct teaching concerning God and the origin of the world. It is a crucial theme that dominates their theology. The interest Platonists showed in the distinction between the nature and functions of the first and the second principles was also reflected in Christian theology. Eugnostos stresses the importance of making a distinction between the absolute transcendent Primal God and his emanations that represent the beginning of multiplicity and the visible things. Recognitions also offers a philosophically oriented exposition of the distinction between the Father and the Son as regards their nature. Another major theme in Eugnostos and Recognitions is salvation. The Platonic emphasis on saving knowledge also holds a special position in these writings. Salvation is connected with possessing the right kind of knowledge of God and the origin of the cosmos. The key position in the process of salvation belongs to the figure that originally brought the revelation to the ignorant/erring humankind and to those who faithfully transmit the correct teaching for future generations.
  • Valkama, Kirsi (2012)
    This study presents the archaeological evidence dated to the time after the invasion of Judah by the Neo-Babylonian forces during the early sixth century BCE and before the appearance of the distinctive Persian Period material culture by the end of the same century. This is done in order to understand what the material culture reveals of the reality in Judah during the mid-sixth century BCE and why the material is interpreted in various ways by scholars. The aim of this study is to understand the process of the collapse and reconstruction of the society during the sixth century BCE in Judah. This process is approached using the model of post-collapse societies. Publications in which archaeological finds are dated to the mid-sixth century are used as source material. Thirteen sites and several possible sites are discussed. Most of the finds come from mixed contexts which are complicated to interpret. Stratified finds of this period are few. The archaeological finds clearly indicate that several sites were destroyed during the early sixth century but the occupation in the region continued in a diminished form. The material culture of Judah during the mid-sixth century reflects all the major features of a post-collapse society: decline of population, limited resources, little building activity and reorganization of the administration. The size of the population was reduced to a third of that of the previous period. The society was limited in resources and very little was built during this phase, but instead, old structures were modified. While the building traditions ceased, the local pottery was produced continuously even though there were few types and only very few indicative types can be recognized. No resources were invested in high quality pottery. Trade was minimal, bringing in few imports. The old capital, Jerusalem, was abandoned and the regions north and south of Jerusalem became the new central regions. Administrative centers like Tell en-Nasbeh and Ramat Rahel controlled their surroundings, attracting population to these areas. The central position of the region north of Jerusalem is reflected in the Hebrew Bible; otherwise, the realities of this period are not evident in the texts, only the reflections of the trauma of the destruction. Judah started to recover slowly only during the fifth century BCE. The Neo-Babylonian overlords did not invest in the region. This was one of the reasons which slowed down recovery. The little material evidence left from mid-sixth century BCE Judah has been interpreted as evidence of both continuity and discontinuity of the Iron Age II culture. Both interpretations are right concerning some aspects of the culture; others ceased while others continued through the sixth century but in a revised form.
  • Pajunen, Mika Sakari (2012)
    The main focus of this study is the collection of apocryphal psalms in manuscript 4Q381 (4QNon-Canonical Psalms B). The foremost goals of this investigation are to determine what the function and setting(s) of the 4Q381 psalm collection were. No suggestions regarding these central issues have been made by scholars prior to this study. Consequently most of this research revolves around the actual manuscript 4Q381 and its contents. The analysis of the psalm collection begins with a material reconstruction of the manuscript. All of the large and medium sized fragments belonging to manuscript 4Q381 have been placed in this reconstruction. With this material reconstruction the research situation of 4Q381 is significantly altered from the state of affairs preceding this investigation. Instead of a hundred and ten separate individual fragments there is now a large sequence of consecutive, albeit fragmentary text from the last nine columns of a scroll. Also, the exact number of psalms in the preserved parts of the scroll can now be estimated as eight. In the next stage of the study each of these eight individual psalms is analyzed thoroughly in order to evaluate how they contribute to the overall psalm collection. The exact extent of the psalm and any possible additional fragments deriving from it are presented first. This is followed by a critical Hebrew text of the psalm with some notes on uncertain readings and the first English translation of the complete psalm. The exploration of the content is then begun with a basic outline of the psalm s content, followed by short comments on how the details of the text of the psalm are understood. Finally the psalm is investigated for direct links with other texts, and the message of the psalm as a whole is discussed. Each of the eight psalms in 4Q381 discusses specific periods of time. The first extant psalm covers a period from the Creation to the Flood and centers on humankind as the chosen species. The second psalm concentrates on the time of Israel as the elect nation and takes up events from the wilderness period to the Exile. The third psalm brings up the expected future of a group identified as the current chosen ones of God. These three psalms are followed by five royal psalms written expressly as psalms with pseudepigraphic attributions to different kings. These psalms have been named in this study as Praise of the Man of God (David), Praise of Hezekiah, Penitential Prayer of Manasseh, Lament of Josiah, and Penitential Prayer of Jehoiachin. After completing the analysis of the individual psalms, the collection as a whole and the central question of its function are explored in depth. Things common to the psalms of 4Q381 in matters of style and language, the use of earlier compositions, connections with wisdom, and on a larger thematic level are investigated. On the basis of this evidence the 4Q381 psalm collection is argued to be the work of a single author and to function as a unified lesson on the justice of God toward his elect, which was meant to be recited in a communal gathering. Such a degree of unity within a psalm collection is remarkable, and the only directly comparable psalm compilation in this respect seems to be the Psalms of Solomon, which is argued to be a similar collection. In the course of the investigation, 4Q381 is placed into its proper place inside some of the larger developments and ideologies perceivable within the broader framework of the late Second Temple period. In this discussion some suggestions are also made regarding possible developments in the general use of psalms and psalm collections in this period and their connections with wisdom circles. 4Q381 is part of the general trends discernible in psalmody of this period, namely, a general increase in reflection upon the past and the use of wisdom motifs. In addition, 4Q381 gives evidence of a perception of psalms as sources of history, which is argued to be a prominent point of view on the psalms in the second century BCE. Additionally, 4Q381 is connected to more traditional wisdom works from the same time period by its structure and style of discourse, and it seems to be a practical application of the contemporary ideology of looking at past events in order to learn to live properly in the present and to be able to predict the future. Finally, two specific settings are explored in connection with 4Q381, the psalm collection s original historical setting and its setting in the Qumran movement. The amount of information in 4Q381 concerning the historical setting is limited, but it seems that the 4Q381 sage led a particularistic group somewhere outside Jerusalem around the middle of the second century BCE. In the Qumran movement, 4Q381 could have been used as a lesson that in practice demonstrates the worth of the ideology of looking at past events in order to predict the future. Moreover, the particularistic group angle used in 4Q381 would have been directly applicable to the situation of the Qumran movement and its sectarian outlook. All in all, this study primarily contributes to the study of manuscript 4Q381 and its content, but it is also of interest to the ongoing general search for the functions of psalmody in the late Second Temple period.
  • Ketola, Hanna-Maija (2012)
    My aim in this study is to find how the official relations between the Church of England and the Russian Orthodox Church were created and developed during the Second World War. I look at the events mainly from the British point of view, asking who took the first steps, how the attempts were handled within the Church of England and what the motives were of those who promoted friendship between the churches. The position of the Russian Orthodox Church changed on the eve of and during the war and the Soviet government allowed it to establish relations with churches abroad. One of the first churches that the Russian Church contact was established with was the Church of England. The relations between the churches were also important in supporting the alliance between Britain and the Soviet Union. The main events concerning the relations between the Church of England and the Russian Orthodox Church were the visit of an English Church delegation to Moscow in 1943, discussion about translating a book published by the Moscow Patriarchate, and the return visit to England by the Russian delegation in 1945. The decisions concerning the relations were made in a small circle in the Church of England. The Ministry of Information and the Foreign Office were deeply involved, although they wanted to give the impression in public that the visits were a purely religious affair. In its actions the Church of England supported the British government s aims concerning the alliance, but at the same time it had its own agenda. Its leaders wanted to support Christians in the Soviet Union by establishing contacts with them in an attempt to guarantee that the concessions which Stalin had made to the Orthodox Church would become permanent. That meant that the English church leaders chose to be quiet in public about some difficult matters concerning, for instance, the fate of the Baltic States, because they thought that it would make the situation worse for the victims. However, they tried to influence politicians privately. The main archival sources on the church s side are the Archbishops (Lang, Temple) and Bishops (Headlam, Bell) papers and the papers of the Church of England Council on Foreign Relations at Lambeth Palace Library. The papers of the Ministry of Information and the Foreign Office at the Public Record Office (National Archives) reveal how those government bodies were involved in developing the connections. I also use Archbishop Garbett s papers from the York Minster Archives and Swedish Bishop Yngve Brilioth s papers from Carolina Rediviva in Uppsala.
  • 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.
  • Hanhimäki, Eija (Waxmann, 2011)
    The aim of this study was to investigate educators relational moral voices in urban schools and to listen to what they told about moral professionalism and moral practices in challenging urban schools. Their relational moral voices were investigated through the following three questions: 1. What are the educators moral voices in relation to themselves and other people? 2. What are the educators moral voices in relation to their work and society? 3. What kind of interaction process lies between the educators moral voices and the urban school context? The research data of this study were gathered in four urban schools in Jyväskylä and Helsinki. The research schools were chosen for this study according to the criteria of the international Socrates Comenius project called Leading Schools Successfully in Challenging Urban Context: Strategies for Improvement. This study formed part of this project, which investigated successful urban schools as challenging learning environments in nine European countries and explored the principals success in leadership in particular. The data, which included 37 narratively constructed interviews with four principals and key informants selected by the principals, were gathered in interviews conducted in 2006. In other words, the data comprised three interviews with each of four principals, and interviews with two teachers, two parents, and two pupils from each school. In addition, the school deacon from one school was also interviewed. Furthermore, part of the data from one of the research schools included a medium report of the school deacon s work. This study combined the case study method, the narrative approach and the critical incident technique as the methodological framework. In addition, all of these methods served as practical tools for both analyzing and reporting the data. The educators' narrations and the results of the study appear in the original articles (Hanhimäki & Tirri 2008; Hanhimäki 2008b; Hanhimäki & Tirri 2009; Hanhimäki 2008a). The educators moral voices in relation to themselves and other people emerged through the main themes of moral leadership, the development and evaluation process, moral sensitivity, gender, values, and student well-being. The educators moral voices in relation to their work and society emerged through the main themes of multiprofessional cooperation, families and parental involvement, and moral school culture. The idea of moral interaction connected moral professionalism and the methodological combination of this study, which together emphasized social interaction and the creation of understanding and meaning in this interaction. The main point of this study was to state that the educators moral voices emerged in the interaction between the educators themselves and the urban school context. In this interaction, the educators moral professionalism was constructed and shaped in relation to themselves, other people, their work and society. The loudest relational moral voices heard through the main themes were those of caring, cooperation, respect, commitment, and professionalism. When the results were compared to the codes of ethics which guided these educators moral professional work, the ethical principles and values of the codes were clearly visible in their moral practices. The loudest message from the educators narration could be summarized in the words caring, respect and cooperation: at its best, there is just a human being and a human being with caring, respect and cooperation between them. The results of this study emphasize the need for practical approaches such as case studies and the narrative approach in teacher education to encourage educators to become moral professionals capable of meeting the needs of people of varied backgrounds. In addition, opportunities for moral, religious and spiritual education should be noticed and utilized in the plural interaction of urban schools when nurturing pupils and creating a moral school culture. Furthermore, multiprofessional cooperation and parents as the school s primary cooperation partner are needed to carry out the shared duty of moral education in urban schools. Keywords: moral professionalism, educator, relational moral voice, interaction, urban school
  • Kauhanen, Tuukka (2011)
    The Lucianic text of the Septuagint of the Historical Books witnessed primarily by the manuscript group L (19, 82, 93, 108, and 127) consists of at least two strata: the recensional elements, which date back to about 300 C.E., and the substratum under these recensional elements, the proto-Lucianic text. Some distinctive readings in L seem to be supported by witnesses that antedate the supposed time of the recension. These witnesses include the biblical quotations of Josephus, Hippolytus, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Cyprian, and the Old Latin translation of the Septuagint. It has also been posited that some Lucianic readings might go back to Hebrew readings that are not found in the Masoretic text but appear in the Qumran biblical texts. This phenomenon constitutes the proto-Lucianic problem. In chapter 1 the proto-Lucianic problem and its research history are introduced. Josephus references to 1 Samuel are analyzed in chapter 2. His agreements with L are few and are mostly only apparent or, at best, coincidental. In chapters 3 6 the quotations by four early Church Fathers are analyzed. Hippolytus Septuagint text is extremely hard to establish since his quotations from 1 Samuel have only been preserved in Armenian and Georgian translations. Most of the suggested agreements between Hippolytus and L are only apparent or coincidental. Irenaeus is the most trustworthy textual witness of the four early Church Fathers. His quotations from 1 Samuel agree with L several times against codex Vaticanus (B) and all or most of the other witnesses in preserving the original text. Tertullian and Cyprian agree with L in attesting some Hebraizing approximations that do not seem to be of Hexaplaric origin. The question is more likely of early Hebraizing readings of the same tradition as the kaige recension. In chapter 7 it is noted that Origen, although a pre-Lucianic Father, does not qualify as a proto-Lucianic witness. General observations about the Old Latin witnesses as well as an analysis of the manuscript La115 are given in chapter 8. In chapter 9 the theory of the proto-Lucianic recension is discussed. In order to demonstrate the existence of the proto-Lucianic recension one should find instances of indisputable agreement between the Qumran biblical manuscripts and L in readings that are secondary in Greek. No such case can be found in the Qumran material in 1 Samuel. In the text-historical conclusions (chapter 10) it is noted that of all the suggested proto-Lucianic agreements in 1 Samuel (about 75 plus 70 in La115) more than half are only apparent or, at best, coincidental. Of the indisputable agreements, however, 26 are agreements in the original reading. In about 20 instances the agreement is in a secondary reading. These agreements are early variants; mostly minor changes that happen all the time in the course of transmission. Four of the agreements, however, are in a pre-Hexaplaric Hebraizing approximation that has found its way independently into the pre-Lucianic witnesses and the Lucianic recension. The study aims at demonstrating the value of the Lucianic text as a textual witness: under the recensional layer(s) there is an ancient text that preserves very old, even original readings which have not been preserved in B and most of the other witnesses. The study also confirms the value of the early Church Fathers as textual witnesses.
  • Vuori, Timo (Timo Vuori, 2011)
    The main purpose of this research is to shed light on the factors that gave rise to the office of Field Bishop in the years 1939-1944. How did military bishophood affect the status of the head of military pastoral care and military clergy during these years? The main sources of my research are the collections in the Finnish National Archives, and I use a historical-qualitative method. The position of the military clergy was debated within both the Church and the Defence Forces before 1939. At that stage, Church law did not yet recognize the office of the leading military priest, the Field Dean. There had been a motion in 1932 to introduce the office of a military bishop, but the bishops' synod blocked it. The concept of Field Bishop appeared for the first time in 1927 in a Finnish military document, which dealt with pastoral care in the Polish military. The Field Dean in Finland had regularly proposed improvements to the salary of the military clergy before the Winter War. After the Winter War, arguments were made for strengthening the position of the military clergy: these arguments were based on the increased respect shown towards this clergy, especially due to their role in the care of the fallen, which had become their task during the war. Younger members of the military clergy in particular supported the demands to improve their position within the Church and the army. The creation of a Field Bishop was perceived as strengthening the whole military clergy, as the Field Bishop was envisioned as a bishop within the Church and a general within the Defence Forces. During that time the Field Dean was still without any military rank. The idea of a Field Bishop was recommended to Mannerheim in June 1940, after which the Defence Forces lent their support to the cause. The status of the military clergy, in Church law, made it to the agenda of the Church council in January 1941, thanks largely to the younger priests' group influence and Mannerheim's leverage. The bishops opposed the notion of a Field Bishop mostly on theological grounds but were ready to concede that the position the Field Dean in Church law required further defining. The creation of the office of Field Bishop was blocked in the Church law committee report issued close to the beginning of the Continuation War. The onset of that war, however, changed the course of events, as the President of the Republic appointed Field Dean Johannes Björklund as Field Bishop. Speculation has abounded about Mannerheim's role in the appointment, but the truth of the matter is not clear. The title of Field Bishop was used to put pressure on the Church, and, at the same time, Mannerheim could remain detached from the matter. Later, in September 1941, the Church council approved the use of the Field Bishop title to denote the head of military pastoral care in Church law, and Field Bishops were assigned some of the duties formerly pertaining to bishops. Despite all expectations and hopes, the new office of Field Bishop did not affect the status of the military clergy within the Defence Forces, as no ranks were established for them, and their salary did not improve. However the office of the Field Bishop within Army HQ was transformed from a bureau into a department in the summer of 1942. At the beginning of the Continuation War, the Field Bishop was criticized by certain military and Church clergy for favouring Russian Orthodox Christians in Eastern Karelia. Björklund agreed in principle with most of the Lutheran clergy on the necessity of Lutheranizing East Karelia but had to take into account the realities at Army HQ. As well, at the same time the majority of the younger clergy were serving in the army, and there was a lack of parish priests on the home front. Bishop Lehtonen had actually expressed the wish that more priests could have been released from the front to serve in local parishes. In his notes Lehtonen accused Björklund of trying to achieve the position of Field Bishop by all possible means. However, research has revealed a varied group of people behind the creation of the office of Field Bishop, including in particular younger clergy and the Defence Forces.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ruokanen, Katariina (2009)
    In my dissertation I have studied St Teresa (1515-1582) in the light of medieval mystical theories. I have two main levels in my research: historical and theological. On the historical level I study St Teresa s personal history in the context of her family and the Spanish society. On the theological level I study both St Teresa s mysticism and her religious experience in the light of medieval mysticism. St Teresa wrote a book called Life , which is her narrative autobiography and story about her mystical spiritual formation. She reflected herself through biblical texts interpreting them in the course of the biblical hermeneutics like allegory, typology, tropology and anagogy. In addition to that she read others life stories from her period of time, but reflected herself only slightly through the sociological point of view. She used irony as a means to gain acceptance to her authority and motive to write. Her position has been described as a double bind because of writing at the request of educated men and to the non-educated women as she herself was uneducated. She used irony as a means to achieve valuation to women, to gain negative attributes connected to them and to gain authority to teach them mystical spirituality, the Bible and prayer. In this ironic tendency she was a feminist writer. In order to understand medieval mysticism I have written in the first chapter a review of the main trends in medieval mysticism in connection with the classical emotional theories. Two medieval mystical theories show an important role in St Teresa s mysticism. One is love mysticism and the other is the three partite way of mysticism (purification, illumination and union). The classic-philosophical emotional theories play a role in both patterns. The theory of love mysticism St Teresa interpreted in the traditional way stressing the spiritual meaning of love in connexion with God and neighbors. Love is an emotion, which is bound with other emotions, but all objects of love don t strengthen spiritual love. In the three partite way of mysticism purification means to find biblical values in life and to practice meditative self-knowledge theologically interpreted. In illumination human understanding has to be illuminated by God and united to mystical knowledge from God. St Teresa considered illumination a way to learn things. Illumination has also psychological aspects like recognition of many trials and pains, which come from life on earth. Theologically interpreted in illumination one should die to oneself, let oneself be transformed and renewed by God. I have also written a review of the modern philosophical discussion on personal identity where memory and mental experiences are important creators of personal identity. St Teresa bound medieval mystical teaching together with her personal religious experience. Her personal identity is by its character based on her narrative life story where mental experiences play important role. Previous researchers have labelled St Teresa as an ecstatic person whose experiences produced ecstatic phenomena to the mysticism. These phenomena combined with visions have in one respect made of her a person who has brought physical and visionary tendencies to theology. In spite of that she also represents a modern tendency trying to give words to experiences, which at first seem to be exceptional and extreme and which are easily interpreted as one-sided either physical or sexual or unsaid. In other respect I have stressed the personality of St Teresa that was represented as both strong and weak. The strong personality for her is demonstrated by religious faith and in its practice. The weak personality was for her a natural personal identity. St Teresa saw a unifying aspect in almost all. Firstly, her mysticism was aimed towards union with God and secondly, the unifying aspects and common rules in human relations in community life were central. Union with God is based on the fact that in a soul God is living in its centre, where God is present in the Trinitarian way. The picture of God in ourselves is a mirror but to get to know God better is to recognize his/her presence in us. When the soul recognizes itself as a dwelling place of God, it knows itself as God knows him/herself. There is equality between God and the soul. To be a Christian means to participate in God in his Trinitarian being. The participation to God is a process of divinization that puts a person into transformation, change and renewal. The unitive aspect concludes also knowledge of opposites between experience of community and solitude as well as community and separateness. As a founder of monasteries St Teresa practiced theology of poverty. She renewed the monastic life founding a rule called discalced that stressed ascetic tendencies. Supporters of her work were after the difficulties in the beginning both society and churchly leaders. She wrote about the monasteries including in her description at times seriousness at times humor and irony. Her stories are said to be picaresque histories that contain stories of ordinary laymen and many unexpected occasions. She exercised a kind of Bakhtinian dialogue in her letters. St Teresa stressed the virtues like sacrifice, determination and courage in the monastic life. Most of what she taught of virtues is based on biblical spirituality but there are also psychological tendencies in her writings. The theological pedagogical advice is mixed with psychology, but she herself made no distinction between different aspects in her teaching. To understand St Teresa and her mysticism is to recognize that she mixes her personal religious experience and mysticism, which widens mysticism to religious experience in a new way, although this corresponds also the very definition of mysticism. St Teresa concentrated on mental-spiritual experiences and the aim of her mystical teaching was to produce a human mind well cured like a garden that has God as its gardener.
  • Spännäri, Jenni (Käytännöllisen teologian laitos, 2008)
    "Prayer, a heritage from generation to generation" The elderly and religion in Finland at the turn of the 21st century The strong demographic changes in Europe mean that research on the elderly is highly needed, and also from the viewpoint of their resources and opportunities. Further, it is important to determine, how the elderly could find a meaningful place as members of the chain of generations in our rapidly changing society. The aim of this study was to find out how the elderly build and perceive their place in the society through religious texts. The study was based on religious texts written by elderly people in the study groups of the Finnish pensioners organization Pension Union (Eläkeliitto). These 943 short prayers, poems, and aphorisms were collected during the Tree of Life (Elämänpuu) project in 1998-1999 and were then analysed applying qualitative content analysis and grounded theory methodology. The social construction of aging and the view of communication as a collective signifying process were used as the mainstays of the research perspective. The themes brought forward by the elderly writers were grouped around three key themes: the self, the world and religion. In this examination religion with its forms of expression appeared to be deeply rooted to each of these themes and thus seems a vital part of the elderly writers' culture. In connection with the theme of the self, the religious forms of expression provided a means of building a coherent and culturally accepted self-image which is further supported by positive views of personal history and current life situation. In relation to the world theme, the elderly writers stressed the importance of close social relationships and at the same time expressed anxiety with regard to the changing world. Concerning the theme of religion, the religious forms of expression were first and foremost used in building and creating a sense of personal safety and a belief in the future. The study suggests that skill in the use of religious language enable the elderly to cope with equivocal life events and cognitive dissonance. At the social level the religious forms of expression seemed to connect the writers to the Finnish linguistic culture and identity, as well as to the collective memory, where religion plays a central part. By using religious language the elderly both exploit and maintain these considerable social resources. The key result of the study is that the elderly were found to have a significant and separate role in the continuity and well-being of society. Bound to the religious tradition, the elderly seem to carry significant information as regards the identity of the Finnish people, information which is essentially passed on to future generations. By sustaining traditions and thus the collective identity, they perform a uniquely productive task and their life experience could be seen as a particular type of capital in the society. This result also raises a grave question: Will the elderly of the future be able to undertake this task that so profoundly requires religious literacy?
  • 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.
  • Latvala, Piia (Suomen kirkkohistoriallinen seura, 2008)
    Light to the East? The Finnish Lutheran Mission and the Soviet Union 1967 1973 The Cold War affected the lives of Christian churches, especially in Europe. Besides the official ecumenical relations between east and west, there existed unofficial activity from west to east, such as smuggling Bibles and distributing information about the severe condition of human rights in the USSR. This study examines this kind of unofficial activity originating in Finland. It especially concentrates on the missionary work to the Soviet Union done by the Finnish Lutheran Mission (FLM, Suomen Evankelisluterilainen Kansanlähetys) founded in 1967. The work for Eastern Europe was organised through the Department for the Slavic Missions. FLM was founded within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, but it was not connected to the church on an organisational level. In addition to the strong emphasis on the Lutheran confession, FLM presented evangelical theology. The fundamental work of the Department for the Slavic Missions was to organise the smuggling of Bibles and other Christian literature to the Soviet Union and other countries behind the iron curtain. They also financed several Christian radio programmes produced and aired mainly by the international Trans World Radio. The Department diversified its activity to humanitarian help by distributing material help such as clothes and shoes to the unregistered evangelical and baptist groups, which were called the underground churches . In Finland the Department focused on information services. It published its own magazine, Valoa idässä (Light in the East), 5 to 6 times per year. Through the magazine and by distributing samizdat material received from the unregistered Christian groups, it discussed and reported the violations of human rights in the Soviet Union, especially when the unregistered Christian groups were considered the victims. The resistance against the Soviet Union was not as much political but religious: the staff of the Department were religious and revivalist young people who thought, for instance, that communism was in some way an apocalyptic world power revealed in the Bible. Smuggling Bibles was discussed widely in the Finnish media and even in parliament and the Finnish Security Police (SUPO, Suojelupoliisi) and in the Lutheran Church. From the church s point of view, this kind of missionary work was understandable but bothersome. Through their ecumenical connections, the bishops knew the critical situation of churches behind the iron curtain very well, but wanted to act diplomatically and cautiously to prevent causing harm to ecumenical or political relations. The leftist media and members of parliament especially accused the work of the Department of being illegal and endangering relations between Finland and the Soviet Union. SUPO did not consider the work of the Department as illegal activity or as a threat to Finnish national security.