The Finnish Research Project of Hymns and Spiritual Songs (2010-2014)

The Finnish research project of hymns and spiritual songs was conducted in Finland during the years 2010–2014. The project was multidisciplinary. The theological, musicological, educational, and historical approaches were used, along with literature and sociological studies. A special emphasis was paid on researching the contemporary situation of hymns and songs in the society.

The multidisciplinary research project began its work among university students making their master thesis. Their supervisors, i.e. professors and docents, were actively involved all the time during the years. Step by step the project recruited new PhD-students. Altogether seven doctoral students were involved, and probably the first of the doctoral theses are published in 2016.

The initiative and most of the funding were given by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. The organizing unit was the University of Helsinki, but several other communities were involved as well, for instance the University of Eastern Finland, the University of the Arts Helsinki (or its Sibelius Academy, to be more precise), and the Church Research Institute. Cooperation was done with the Nordic Hymnological Research Network (NordHymn).

The conclusive seminar of the project took place in the University of Helsinki, November 21st 2014. A compilation book of reviewed articles in Finnish, titled Virsi ja laulu Suomessa (Hymn and song in Finland), was published in the seminar as a final report of the national five years long project. The representatives of the main partners funding the project, i.e. The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Church Research Institute, and the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, were asked to comment the results. All of them strongly emphasized both the good possibilities and the importance of continuing the research on international areas.