Photo of Elina Vuola
  • PL 4 (Vuorikatu 3)

    00014

    Finland

20052020
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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Elina Vuola (born 1960 in Kankaanpää, Finland) is Professor of Global Christianity and Dialogue of Religions at the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki. She also acts as the vice dean of societal interaction and international affairs of the Faculty of Theolgy.In 2013-2017 she was Academy Professor of the Academy of Finland at the Faculty of Theology. Her research project Embodied Religion. Changing Meanings of Body and Gender in Contemporary Forms of Religious Identity in Finland developed an interdisciplinary research trajectory that combines research on religion as it is lived (ethnographic methods) with theological (textual) analysis in order to create a more comprehensive picture of how theology and religious identities interact, especially in contexts where these might be in tension with each other. The objective was to understand the complex relationship between certain Judeo-Christian religious traditions and their followers´ identities and sense of agency within them. The meaning of that heritage is largely debated and constructed over issues of women´s rights and sexuality.

Professor Vuola has also served as professor of Latin American studies (Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki, 2008-11), university lecturer of missiology (Faculty of Theology, 2011-12) and gender studies (Department of Gender Studies, 2007) as well as in the following full-time research positions: Academy Research Fellow (Academy of Finland, 2002-07), Research Associate and Visiting Lecturer (Women´s Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School, USA, 2002-03), post-doctoral research fellow (Academy of Finland, 2998-2001) and doctoral researcher (Academy of Finland, 1991-94).

She is adjunct professor (docent) in Philosophy of Religion and Theological Ethics and Gender Studies at the University of Helsinki and at the Åbo Akademi University in Finland.

Besides Harvard, Professor Vuola has been a visiting researcher at the Department of Religious Studies at Northwerstern University (2014-15 and Departamento Ecuménico de Investigaciones (San José, Costa Rica, 1991-93 and 1999-2000) and at the Chicago Theological Seminary (Chicago, USA, 1991).

Before the current research project, she has been the responsible director of three research projects: Conflicts over Resources and Representations. Environmental and Human Rights Struggles in Nicaragua (Academy of Finland, 2000-03); Gender, Body, and Ethics in Late Christian Culture and Theology (Academy of Finland, 2002-05); and Women, Indians, Poor? The Construction of Gender in Latin America from the Perspective of Intersectionality (University of Helsinki, 2008-10).

Her doctoral dissertation Limits of Liberation. Praxis as Method in Latin American Libera­tion Theology and Feminist Theology (Helsinki 1997) has been republished as Limits of Liberation. Feminist Theology and the Ethics of Poverty and Reproduction (Sheffield Academic Press and Continuum, 2002) and translated and published in Spanish as Teología feminista, teología de la liberación. Los límites de la praxis (IEPALA Editorial, Madrid, 2000) and as La ética sexual y los límites de la praxis. Conversaciones críticas entre la teología feminista y la teología de la liberación (Editorial Abya-Yala, Quito, Ecuador 2001).

Professor Vuola has been teaching in different disciplines at the University of Helsinki (development studies, gender studies, Latin American studies, theology). This reflects the multidisciplinarity of her research. Besides liberation theology and gender studies in theology she has been aiming at more nuanced dialogue, both theoretically and practically, between disciplines: gender studies and study of religion, development studies and religion, as well as the interplay of religion and gender in Latin American studies.

Professor Vuola is a board member of the doctoral school of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Helsinki since 2013. She also was a board member of the doctoral school of Gender, Culture and Society, 2013-2014). Outside the academic world, she served two terms as the spokesperson of Kepa (2012-15), the umbrella organization of over 300 Finnish non-governmental organizations working with issues of global development and social justice, and as a columnist at the weekly journal Suomen Kuvalehti (1997-99 and again 2013- ). She was the spokesperson of Helsinki Association of Women Researchers (2006-08) and The Finnish Association of Women´s Studies, Suomen Naistutkimuksen Seura, 1998-99).

Fields of Science

  • 614 Theology
  • Religion and Gender
  • Religion in Latin America
  • Feminist theology
  • Liberation Theology
  • Religion and Conflict
  • 5203 Development Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Latin American Studies

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2005 2020

Reinventions of an Old Tradition: Orthodox Processions and Pilgrimages in Contemporary Finland

Vuola, E., 2020, (Submitted) In : Numen. 67, 5-6

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Ei enää risti ja miekka? Uskonto ja politiikka Latinalaisessa Amerikassa

Translated title of the contribution: Religion and Politics in Latin AmericaVuola, E. I. T., Mar 2019, Uskonto ja maailmanpolitiikka. Pesonen, H., Sakaranaho, T. & Paukkunen, S. (eds.). Helsinki: Gaudeamus, p. 283-299 17 p. 13

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Gender, Ethnicity, and Lived Religion. Challenges to Contextual and Liberation Theologies.

Vuola, E., 2019, (Submitted) Liberating Theology, Contextual Theology. Bergmann, S. & Vähäkangas, M. (eds.). Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Intersections of Gender and Minority Status: Perspectives from Finnish Jewish Women

Vuola, E. I. T., 15 May 2019, In : Scandinavian Jewish Studies. 30, 1, p. 55-74 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Introduction

Kupari, H. & Vuola, E., 2019, Orthodox Christianity and Gender: Dynamics of Tradition, Culture and Lived Practice. Kupari, H. & Vuola, E. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 1-20 (Routledge Studies in Religion).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Projects 2010 2017

Gender Studies Research Community

Elomäki, A., Al-Sharmani, M., Dahlgren, S., Engelberg, M., Haritaworn, J., Holli, A., Honkasalo, J., Hoppania, H., Ihrche-Åberg, I., Jokila, H., Kalha, H., Kantola, J., Kinnarinen, K., Kornak, J., Korsisaari, E. M., Koskinen, T., Kuosmanen, P. K., Kupari, H., Leclin, J., Moisala, P., Moring, A., Muravyeva, M., Niemi, J., Norocel, O. C., Nousiainen, K., Oikkonen, V., Oroza, S., Paasonen, S., Pakkanen, J., Palin, T., Patosalmi, M., Paunu, H., Pulkkinen, T., Raevaara, E., Ratinen, S., Repo, J., Roman-Lagerspetz, S., Rossi, L., Rundgren, H., Ruuskanen, M., Saari, M., Saarikangas, K., Salmesvuori, P., Saresma, T. A. M., Sorainen, A., Soronen, A., Svanström, M. E., Tsokkinen-Männistö, A., Tuomaala, S., Tuomi, L. M., Uimonen, M., Urponen, M., Urrio, E., Utriainen, T., Weide, M., Werner, L., Vuola, E., Vänskä, A. & Xu-Susiluoto, Q.

01/03/2011 → …

Project: Research Evaluation 2011

Embodied Religion. Changing Meanings of Body and Gender in Contemporary Forms of Religious Identity in Finland.

Vuola, E., Hintsala, M., Merenlahti, P., Hurtig, J., Kalkun, A., Kupari, H., Alanko, V., Kejonen, M. E. L., Ratinen, T. & Jylhä, J.

SUOMEN AKATEMIA

01/01/201331/12/2017

Project: Research project

Women, Indians, Poor? The Construction of Gender in Latin America from the Perspective of Intersectionality

Vuola, E., Vuorisalo-Tiitinen, S. & Leskinen, A.

Hyr

01/01/201031/12/2011

Project: Research project

Activities 2006 2019

Kansalaisjärjestöt, uskonto ja kestävä kehitys

Elina Vuola (Speaker)
26 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Miksi uskonnon ymmärtäminen on tärkeää?

Elina Vuola (Speaker)
6 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Uskontolukutaito

Elina Vuola (Speaker)
16 Apr 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Islamofobia

Elina Vuola (Speaker)
31 Oct 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Juhlapuhe 40-vuotiaalle Sinapinsiemenelle

Elina Vuola (Speaker)
9 Nov 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Press / Media

Taantuvan tasa-arvon kirkko

Elina Vuola & Salo Henna

09/07/2019

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Uskontojen välinen rauhantyö

Elina Vuola

18/09/2018

1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

Professori Elina Vuola: Uskonnon merkitystä ei pidä yli- aikä aliarvioida

Elina Vuola

18/09/2018

1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

Tutkija tutuksi: Elina Vuola

Elina Vuola

01/02/2018

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media