Teaching ritual

The Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, offers regularly interdisciplinary courses on ritual studies, organized in cooperation between biblical studies, practical theology and religious studies. More information in Finnish on Risto Uro’s teaching website.

In March and April 2015, Vojtěch Kaše and Rikard Roitto teach a course on Ritual and Early Christian Religion.

Contents: What was the role of ritual in the emergence of early Christian religion? Why is ritual theory important for understanding Christian origins? This course introduces the student to recent advances in the field of ritual studies, especially to cognitive theories of ritual, and emphasizes their application to early Christian rituals. Particular examples discussed in the course are: 1) purification and baptismal practices; 3) rituals of forgiveness and conflict resolution; 2) ritualization of early Christian meal; 4) funerary rituals; and 5) the cult of the saints. The course is based on the work carried out in the Academy of Finland research project “Ritual and the Emergence of Early Christian Religion”.


  1. Introduction into the subject (Vojtěch Kaše)
  2. Development of baptismal practices and theology (Rikard Roitto)
  3. Rituals of forgiveness and conflict resolution (Rikard Roitto)
  4. Ritualization of early Christian meal practices (Vojtěch Kaše)
  5. Funerary rituals and the cult of saints (Vojtěch Kaše)