Category Archives: Research

Women and the Bible: a Wikipedia Story

 By Rick Bonnie and Helen Dixon

Last week Friday’s Wikipedia edit-a-thon on “Women and the bible” was a great success. The edit-a-thon was organized by the CSTT and was open for all faculty and students of Helsinki’s Faculty of Theology. (If you’re unfamiliar with what an “edit-a-thon” is and would like to know more, check out this site.) And, though we were only around a dozen in number, the participants from Theology and the volunteers of Wikimedia Suomi created and edited around a dozen of entries in the Finnish and English Wikipedia. Continue reading Women and the Bible: a Wikipedia Story

Naiset ja Raamattu: Wikipedian kertomana

By Rick Bonnie and Helen Dixon (translated by Ville Mäkipelto)

Viime viikon perjantaina järjestetty ”Naiset ja Raamattu” Wikipedian muokkausilta (”edit-a-thon”) oli menestys. Tapahtuman järjesti Pyhät tekstit ja traditiot muutoksessa -huippuyksikkö ja se oli avoin kaikille Helsingin Teologisen tiedekunnan henkilökunnan jäsenille ja opiskelijoille. Huolimatta siitä, että paikalla oli vain noin tusina ihmistä, osallistujat ja Wikimedia Suomen vapaaehtoiset loivat ja täydensivät kymmeniä artikkeleita suomen- ja englanninkieliseen Wikipediaan. Continue reading Naiset ja Raamattu: Wikipedian kertomana

Scriptural Interpretation and Research Cooperation within Helsinki’s Centres of Excellence

By Anna-Liisa Tolonen & Elisa Uusimäki

The two Centres of Excellence at the Faculty of Theology – Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions and Reason and Religious Recognition – are characteristically interdisciplinary. Thus, the research conducted should not only be of high quality within specific disciplines, but also reflective of cooperation that breaks down boundaries between fields. Having both of these goals as our aims, we should strive to deepen and broaden our notions of, for example, historical phenomena, philosophical concepts, or the meanings of “holy scriptures” within ever-changing religious traditions. Continue reading Scriptural Interpretation and Research Cooperation within Helsinki’s Centres of Excellence

CFP: Soisalon-Soininen Symposium on the Septuagint (Helsinki, June 2017)

We are organizing a centennial symposium — Soisalon-Soininen Symposium on the Septuagint — in celebration of the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of our esteemed teacher Professor Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen on 4th June, 2017. Professor Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen did pioneering research on the Septuagint syntax, applying what we call the translation technical method, and was the founding father of Septuagint studies in Finland. The symposium is organised by the courtesy of the Centre of Excellence in Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions (CSTT) funded by the Academy of Finland. The symposium will take place 1-3 June 2017 at the University of Helsinki. The actual symposium will be followed by a small anniversary party on Sunday 4 June at noon.

Keynote speakers are:

JAN JOOSTEN, “Grammar and Style in the Septuagint: On Some Remarkable Uses of Preverbs.”

JAMES K. AITKEN, “Standard Language and the Place of the Septuagint within Koine.”

SILVIA LURAGHI and CHIARA ZANCHI, “New Meanings and Constructions of Prepositions in the Septuagint: a Comparison with Classical and New Testament Greek.”

JOHN A.L. LEE, “Back to the Question of Greek Idiom.”

THEO VAN DER LOUW, “The Dynamics of Segmentation in the Greek Pentateuch.”

RAIJA SOLLAMO, “The Usage of the Article with Nouns Defined by a Nominal Genitive.”

ANNELI AEJMELAEUS, “Translation Technique and the Recensions.”

SEPPO SIPILÄ, “Soisalon-Soininen meets Grice: The Cooperational Principle and the Septuagint Syntax.”

ANSSI VOITILA, “Middle Voice as Depiction of Subject’s Dominion in the Greek Pentateuch.”

We invite proposals for papers to be presented during this symposium. Slots of papers will be 30 minutes (20 minutes presentation, and 10 minutes discussion). The papers should relate to Septuagint syntax, Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen’s research on the topic and / or the Septuagint language as part of the broader development of the Greek language. We ask you to submit your paper proposals with the title and a short abstract not later than 31st October 2016. The papers accepted for presentation will be announced before the end of the year. The symposium webpage (http://blogs.helsinki.fi/soisalon-soininen-centennial) is now opened.

Paper proposals as well as inquiries concerning the symposium should be sent to Anssi Voitila by e-mail to anssi.voitila@uef.fi.

Best regards,
Raija Sollamo, Anneli Aejmelaeus, Seppo Sipilä and Anssi Voitila

Continue reading CFP: Soisalon-Soininen Symposium on the Septuagint (Helsinki, June 2017)

Academy of Finland grants a 4-year project funding to the ‘Semantic domains in Akkadian texts’-project

The Academy of Finland has recently announced the funding decisions for research projects and has granted the ‘Semantic Domains in Akkadian texts‘ funding for four years! Our congratulations to all the researchers involved in this exciting project!

The project is given funding from Sept. 2016 to Aug. 2020 and is directed by Krister Lindén (language technology, Doc.) and its members are Heidi Jauhiainen (Egyptology, PhD; language technology, MA) and Tommi Jauhiainen (language technology, MA), as well as CSTT member Saana Svärd (Assyriology, Doc.).

The Semantic domains in Akkadian texts-project aims at generating contextual semantic domains for Akkadian lexemes using state-of-the-art methods from language technology. For Assyriology, the project will enable cultural understanding of concepts in ancient Mesopotamia in a totally new way. For language technology, dealing with difficult remains of cuneiform texts will provide an opportunity to develop methods that are useful for the analysis of other extinct languages as well as small and fragmented corpora. The main source of Akkadian texts for the project is the Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus (Oracc), but we will make use of all relevant corpora available to us. The diachronic perspective is important as the 2500 years of written Akkadian yield significant opportunities for modeling linguistic and cultural change.

CSTT’s input is valuable in that it provides insights regarding the methodologies used in connection with the semantic domains of the Hebrew Bible.

When the Set Task is Imperial: Judaeans under Persian Forced Labor

By Jason Silverman

The experience of involuntary labor is widespread in human history. For reasons varying from slavery to economic imperatives, humans are often compelled to work. The impacts of the various imperial systems that have resorted to compulsion have been extensively studied by sociologists. Despite scholarly acknowledgments that the Persians also continued previous Ancient Near Eastern policies of using forced migration and forced labor, surprisingly it has received little to no sustained discussion. Continue reading When the Set Task is Imperial: Judaeans under Persian Forced Labor

From Sectarianism to Expression of Broader Hellenistic Culture: Some Notes from the Fifth Groningen-Leuven Meeting on the Dead Sea Scrolls

by Hanna Tervanotko

The Groningen–Leuven network of the Dead Sea Scrolls was established in 2012 as an open and informal forum primarily for the scholars of the universities of Groningen and Leuven, to get together frequently to discuss their ongoing work and current developments in the field of the Qumran studies. Soon after the first meeting the gatherings also attracted other colleagues’ attention and we have been happy to welcome numerous visitors. This year, for the first time, we published a call for papers, and about 30 people from all over the world joined to explore the theme of our meeting, “Dead Sea Scrolls and Hellenism.” Continue reading From Sectarianism to Expression of Broader Hellenistic Culture: Some Notes from the Fifth Groningen-Leuven Meeting on the Dead Sea Scrolls