Research

The Faculty of Theology conducts research on the individual, cultural and social significance of religions from the past to the present. Research-based advanced and diverse knowledge helps us understand global change and societal phenomena, such as multiculturalism, the interconnections between values and wellbeing, and religious extremism.

Religious radicalisation, immigration and other major societal changes have increased and also reshaped the demand for religious expertise and knowledge pertaining to religions. In addition to research-based knowledge of a high standard, the need for applied knowledge that responds to societal issues is increasing further. Gaining in-depth knowledge of the content of various religions and understanding the relationships between religions also require the study of sacred texts in their original language.

Research focus areas at the Faculty:

  • Religious interaction in cultural contexts: Identities, conflicts, dialogue and peaceful interaction
  • The establishment, historical development as well as societal and cultural impact of theological, religious and belief-based ideas and conceptual systems
  • Religious diversity in global and local contexts
  • The effect of religions, beliefs and values on wellbeing and sustainable development
  • The multidisciplinary nature and methodological development of theology and religious studies

Emerging and new fields:

  • Ecotheology
  • Religion and inequality
  • Effect of migration on religion and culture
  • Interaction between Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the past and today’s global, European and Finnish cultural contexts
  • Ideological and ethical questions related to the application of artificial intelligence and socio-technical innovations
  • Corporeality, spatiality and materiality of religion/spirituality
  • Islamic theology
  • Research and teaching cooperation as well as networks related to Africa

Several international assessments have found that the research conducted at the Faculty is of a high quality. In the field- and discipline-specific QS World University Rankings by Subject, the field of theology and religious studies at the University of Helsinki reached 36th place in 2021. In the assessment of research at the University of Helsinki carried out in 2019, the Faculty of Theology was commended specifically for its research strategy, where strong historically-oriented research and known strengths are combined with the ability to identify and take up new and topical research topics.

Learn more about our research