Focus areas of 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.

Research focus areas at the Faculty of Theology

  • The multidisciplinary nature and methodological development of theology and religious studies
  • Religious interaction in cultural contexts: Identities, conflicts, dialogue and peaceful interactio
  • 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

The multidisciplinary and suitably compact research community of the Faculty of Theology brings together a considerably broad spectrum of methodology expertise in the humanities and social sciences, which is applied to investigating phenomena associated with theology, religions and beliefs in the past and in the present.

New methodological areas and development targets:

  • Development of open data and research
  • Cooperation on the City Centre Campus of the University of Helsinki (Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities HSSH)
  • Promotion of interaction and cooperation among the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences: Digital humanities, cognitive science, cultural evolution

Religious interaction in cultural contexts: Identities, conflicts, dialogue and peaceful interaction

  • Relationship between cultural shifts in ancient Near East and antiquity, and Jewish and Christian texts, traditions, identities and communities
  • Transmission and impact of sacred and authoritative religious texts
  • Connections between religions and beliefs, and conflicts and peace, as well as peaceful interaction and dialogue between religions
  • Religion in our society: The interrelations and reciprocal effects of religious communities and society

Emerging and new fields:

  • Interaction between Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the past and today’s global, European and Finnish cultural contexts
  • Effect of migration on religion and culture

The establishment, historical development as well as societal and cultural impact of theological, religious and belief-based ideas and conceptual systems

  • Study of the roots of Western Christian traditions and associated trends, particularly in Finland and Europe
  • Religion, gender and intersectionality (e.g., ethnicity)
  • Religion, media, popular culture and society

Emerging and new fields:

  • Ideological and ethical questions related to the application of artificial intelligence and socio-technical innovations

Religious diversity in global and local contexts

  • Lived religion
  • Irreligiousness
  • Religion and emotions
  • Religion and beliefs in urban space

Emerging and new fields:

  • Corporeality, spatiality and materiality of religion/spirituality
  • Islamic theology
  • Research and teaching cooperation as well as networks related to Africa

The effect of religions, beliefs and values on wellbeing and sustainable development

  • Questions of fairness related to religion and beliefs
  • Religion and wellbeing/health/care
  • Meaningful human life cycle
  • Religions and beliefs in upbringing

Emerging and new fields:

  • Ecotheology
  • Religion and inequality