Katharina Kunter

  • PL 3 (Fabianinkatu 33)




Research activity per year

Personal profile

Curriculum vitae


Katharina Kunter is a full professor of Contemporary Church History at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Helsinki, Finland, since 2020. She studied History and Protestant Theology at the Universities of Giessen and Heidelberg in Germany and has worked at various German and European universities and research projects, including an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowship at the University of Aarhus in Denmark (2004-2005), a DAAD fellowship at the University of Tartu in Estonia (2012), and a fellowship at the University of Helsinki (2018).

Her research focuses on the history of the long 20th century in Europe, with an emphasis on the intersections between political history, religion and culture. In her 2000 PhD thesis, she analysed the role of churches during the 1970s détente period and how Christian actors advocated for dialogue, democracy, and human rights in divided Europe. Kunter's subsequent studies, including her 2004 Habilitation thesis and 2016 book 'Churches and Communism', explore Christian political opposition and Eigensinn in communist Central and Eastern Europe, with a particular emphasis on Protestantism in the GDR.

Research interests

Christianity and European Geopolitics (20th and 21st century)

Katharina Kunter's new research project and book focus on Christianity and Geopolitics in Europe.

Here she looks at the broad lines of European Christianity in the 20th century, analysing why and where churches have lost power and  investigating new Christian influences as civic and soft spiritual power.

Further fields of research:

Christianity and the Russian War against Ukraine

Churches, Communism, and the Cold War

Protestantism and Enforced Migration (20th and 21st) Century

Churches, the Welfare State and European Integration

Being a Protestant in the 20th century


Fields of Science

  • 614 Theology
  • Church History
  • Religious History
  • History of the Ecumenical Movement
  • European Contemporary History
  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Contemporary History
  • Religious History
  • European HIstory
  • Transnational History
  • Geopolitics
  • Politcal History

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.