1.1 2013 - 31.12. 2017
Elina Vuolais Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki. Her research field is theology. Vuola is an internationally esteemed researcher of religion and gender and a recognised expert in Latin American studies. She has established active research networks and collaborations with scholars in The United States, Latin America and Europe. Her research has a highly interdisciplinary approach.
Vuola’s research plan for her Academy Professorship is entitled “Embodied Religion. Changing Meanings of Body and Gender in Contemporary Forms of Religious Identity in Finland”.The project combines ethnographic and textual methods in studying three minority religious (partly also ethnic) communities (Laestadianism, the Jewish community, the Orthodox church) considered ‘conservative’ in Finland on their views of gender, the relationships between men and women and how these are related to the ideals of the surrounding society. The project aims at developing a research tradition that would combine research on religion as lived religion (ethnography) with a theological analysis, to give a more comprehensive picture of how theology and the religious identity interact, particularly in contexts where these might be in tension with each other. This includes issues related to gender and sexuality, but also to poverty, ethnicity and the overall meaning of the Judeo-Christian tradition in relation to secular understandings of equality and human rights.