Reflections on the Religion and Spirituality as Sites of Learning Conference

For three days, Åbo Akademi’s Arken was filled with happy chatter as the Donner Institute and the LeNeRe project jointly organized the Religion and Spirituality as Sites of Learning conference from 15 May to 17 May. LeNeRe’s research assistant Siiri Virta writes about her first conference experience.

Approaching Religion Vol. 12 No. 3 (2022): Rituals and Ritualization.

Special issue dedicated to Professor Terhi Utriainen (University of Helsinki). Guest Editors: Helena Kupari (University of Eastern Finland) & Maija Butters (University of Helsinki). Published: 2022-11-07.

Tiina Mahlamäki & Minna Opas (eds): ‘Uushenkisyys’ [New Spiritualities], an open access edited volume in honor of Professor Terhi Utriainen. Finnish Literary Society 2022.

Contrary to the secularism thesis of the 20th century, religion did not disappear from the Western experience. Rather, religiosity took on new forms, which emphasized individuality, experientiality, and corporeality, and highlighted lifestyle consumption. These new spiritualities came to be understood as the opposite of religiosity: people identified themselves as being not religious, but spiritual. The book examines new spiritualities as a concept, a phenomenon, and a subject of research. It introduces the history of the concept and the different past approaches in the research field, and discusses the diversity of the phenomenon of new spiritualities, especially in 21st century Finland, through various case studies. The book shows the multiple ways in which new spiritualities intertwine with different sectors of the society and blur spirituality’s boundary with religion, health care, art, and popular culture, for example. The book is the first book-length presentation in Finnish of the field of new spiritualities

LeNeRe at the Science Forum 2023.

LeNeRe researchers in a panel discussion “New Beginnings: Therapy and Spirituality in Life Crises” on Saturday, January 14 at Think Corner. University of Helsinki.

The Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture in Turku awarded Dr.Phil. Maija Butters the institute’s Research Prize 2022 .

Maija Butters is rewarded for her book Death and Dying Mediated by Medicine, Rituals, and Aesthetics: An Ethnographic Study on the Experiences of Palliative Patients in Finland (University of Helsinki, 2021). Her research is described as a “courageous and subtle study of a theme that has both scientific and societal relevance”, namely how dying persons meet their own mortality and how the environment supports them in this situation.

The conference Religion and Spirituality as Sites of Learning, organized by the Donner Institute and the LeNeRe-project, will take place on site in Åbo/Turku, May 15-17, 2023.

Keynote speakers Mulki Al-Sharmani (Associate Professor, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Helsinki), Kim Knott (Professor Emerita, Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University) and Daniel Winchester (Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Purdue University). Please submit your abstract by January 3, 2023.

European Association for the Study of Religions conference at University College Cork. 27 June – 1 July 2022

LeNere panel at the EASR 2022 conference: ‘Disciplined freedom: Contemporary religious and spiritual milieus as sites of learning’. Session 1 and session 2.

Mighty Forces of Life: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on Transformative Moments and Crossroads. June 6-8, 2022, University of Helsinki

LeNeRe is co-organizing an interdisciplinary symposium on the ‘mighty forces of life’ that set something transformative in motion.

LeNeRe launched internationally at the TUTP Research Conference in Theology and Religion. September 10–11, 2020.

LeNeRe-project had a session at the TUTP Research Conference in Theology and Religion. Research doctor Maija Butters writes about the session and reviews the comments by the international discussants.

Professor Mulki Al-Sharmani, Professor Arniika Kuusisto, and Professor Kim Knott following the presentation. Screenshot from the session.

Starting the project

Project launch celebrations with the LeNeRe research crew in September 2019.