The researchers of the LegitRel project have backgrounds in the study of religion and economic sociology from the University of Turku and from the University of Helsinki.
Titus Hjelm is Associate Professor in the Study of Religion at the University of Helsinki. Finland. Previously he was Reader in Sociology at University College London, UK. His publications include Peter Berger and the Sociology of Religion: 50 Years after The Sacred Canopy (ed., Bloomsbury Academic, 2018) in addition to several other books and many journal articles on the sociology of religion. He is the co-editor of the Journal of Religion in Europe and the founding chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Sociology of Religion Group.
Tuomas Äystö is a Postdoctoral Researcher in study of religion graduated from the University of Turku. His main expertise is on the questions of religion and society, particularly those involving politics or the officials. He defended his doctoral dissertation addressing the contemporary themes of official categorizations of religion in 2019 and has published articles on topics such as religion and the parliamentary politics, and the transgression of societal moral boundaries.
Anna Haapalainen (MA) is finalizing a doctoral dissertation on the relationship between the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church and the changes in the religious landscape. Haapalainen’s research has focused on the themes of institutional religious communities, power, agency and gender. Central publications include an edited volume (with Minna Opas) titled Christianity and the Limits of Materiality (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), and the articles “Spiritual Senses as a Resource (Temenos 52:2, 2016) and “An emerging trend of charismatic religiosity in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland” (Approaching Religion 5:1, 2015).
Jere Kyyrö works as University Teacher in the Study of Cultures at the University of Turku, Finland. He has degrees in Study of Religion (PhD) and Sociology (MSocSc). His research interests focus on the various relations and interactions between religion, national identity and media. His published doctoral thesis monograph analyzes cultural controversies around the figure of field marshal Mannerheim in Finnish media in the 2000s and 2010s. He has written several research articles and book chapters on various topics, such as civil religion, nationalism and the visibility of religion in Finnish party politics.
Aki Koivula, DSocSc, holds a title of docent (adjunct professorship) in economic sociology at the University of Turku. Currently, Koivula works as a University Lecturer and Head of Discipline in Economic Sociology at the University of Turku. Koivula has special expertise within the survey methodology and diverse theoretical knowledge from social science fields. He has been involved in multiple research projects, and he has published more than 35 refereed articles in academic journals from a variety of fields.