Research

The Intercultural Encounters programme covers a wide spectrum of research projects on the University of Helsinki’s City Centre Campus. In recent years, the focus has especially been in interdisciplinary cultural studies such as:

  • interpersonal communication
  • Indigenous studies
  • religious conflicts
  • nationalism
  • social media
  • globalisation

Below you can find examples of on-going research projects.

Religion plays a significant role in recent global developments. Religions contribute to global challenges but they are also a part of innovative solutions. 

The new multidisciplinary research centre at the University of Helsinki provides in-depth research on the role of religion in conflict and its resolution. Special emphasis is placed on gender, which is often neglected in the study of peace, conflict and religion. The research centre builds on the long-standing reputation of Finland and other Nordic countries in international conflict resolution and is placed in the Faculty of Theology.

Religion, Conflict and Dialogue - homepage

This research project explores how Indigenous research methodologies are applied in academic teaching and learning. Indigenous research methods emphasize qualitative, collaborative, participatory methods and empowerment frameworks (e.g. Tuhiwai Smith 1999; Wilson 2008; Denzin at al 2008; Chilisa 2012). Indigenous Research Methods in Academia gathers 20 Nordic researchers from Indigenous Studies, Sami research, Educational Sciences, Linguistics, Environmental Studies, Development Studies, Religious Studies, and Anthropology to address the use of Indigenous epistemologies as well as Indigenous research methodologies and their evaluation in academia.

Aims of the network are:

  • to compare previous and novel data on Indigenous research methods globally
  • to explore the experiences of applying different Indigenous research methods in university teaching and learning 
  • to advance the use of Indigenous research methods in academia
  • to develop the evaluation of Indigenous research methods used in academia.

This project is funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Indigenous Methods Network - homepage

The Centre of Excellence in Reason and Religious Recognition aims to discover historical patterns and elaborate systematic models of rational recognition and mutual tolerance in religious world-views.

The key question is how religious groups have accepted or recognised other social actors, and how religions have been accepted in different societies. The CoE uses both historical and philosophical research methods.

The goal of the CoE is to write the first comprehensive historical report on the development of religious recognition. The researchers strive to map out the historical development of religious thinking and behaviour as well as to create the kinds of models of religious recognition for today which could help increase mutual respect in a multicultural society.

The research results will be of particular benefit in discussion processes and conflict resolution situations between religions, but also between religion and secular society. Thus one of the goals is to present the academic basis for the idea that despite their differences, all religions can share an understanding of the potential and limits of rational discussion. In addition, the project will seek to gain a better understanding of the treatment of different minorities (ethnic, sexual, religious).

Reason and Religious Recognition - homepage