The Helsinki Forum for Research of Sacred Songs and Hymnology affords a digital forum for scholars actively researching hymns and other songs connected to religious approach or spirituality. To be the ‘Helsinki’ forum is only to tell we are moderating the forum in Helsinki, Finland, using facilities of the University of Helsinki. We welcome you to follow the forum whether you are living in Finland, other Nordic or European countries, or anywhere else in the world!

Communal singing is an integral part of religious life. It combines the physical and the personal as an outlet for the emotions. The text of religious songs usually reflects doctrine or ideology. Corporate singing builds up the community and enables the enacting of the rituals. It fosters memories and continuity, and provides a diversity of structure. Hymns and songs resonate in people’s personal lives, in religious communities, and in wider society.

Here are some facts about the background of the academic research project of hymns and spiritual songs conducted in Finland during the years 2010–2014. The multidisciplinary Finnish project cooperated with the Nordic Hymnological Research Network (NordHymn), especially when organising the international hymnological conference in Espoo, Finland, in October 2014.

The existing need to combine the academic studies and networks in Finland with the international areas of researching sacred songs and hymns was discovered in the Espoo Conference and later on. It was also noticed for instance during The International Hymn Conference Cambridge 2015 where the Finnish project and some results of it were introduced.

Tapani Innanen
Contact person