Approaching Religion


Approaching Religion is an academic open access journal published by the Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History in Åbo, Finland. Its purpose is to publish current research on religion and to offer a platform for scholarly co-operation and debate within the field. The journal appears twice a year and consists of articles, book reviews and discussions. It addresses an international readership and, as the title suggests, approaches the field of religion from a broad perspective, engaging contributors from different theoretical and methodological traditions.

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Uusimmat viitteet

  • Critical-feminist studies of funerals. A way to grasp the rite’s complexity 

    Jarnkvist, Karin (The Donner Institute, 08.03.2023)
    This article aims to show how critical-feminist studies can improve research on funerals by contributing to a more complex understanding of ritualization and how it can be explored. The article discusses central issues ...
  • Until death do us part? Swedish cemeteries from and inter-faith and no-faith perspective 

    Wirén, Jakob (The Donner Institute, 08.03.2023)
    In life, identity is based on many things. In death, people tend to be identified more on the basis of religion: separate cemeteries for Jews, Buddhists and the Plymouth Brethren, separate quarters for Muslims, Yezidis, ...
  • ‘It is the greenness, the nature, it looks as if someone has taken care of the place very well’. Experiences from St Eskil cemetery in Sweden 

    Nordh, Helena; Wingren, Carola (The Donner Institute, 08.03.2023)
    This article is about experiences of a cemetery landscape: a physical space that was chosen as a depository for human remains, and where different memorial and disposal practices have developed behavioural patterns that ...
  • The role of flowers in the personalization of Christian funerals in Denmark 

    Reintoft Christensen, Henrik (The Donner Institute, 08.03.2023)
    Flowers are a common element in Danish funerals. Drawing on fieldnotes, interviews and survey data on funeral practices in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark as well as theories of ritualization, meaning-making and ...
  • Forest burials in Denmark. Nature, non-religion and spirituality 

    Warburg, Margit (The Donner Institute, 08.03.2023)
    Burial in the forest is a recent, non-confessional alternative to the established cemeteries owned and run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark. Danish forest burials fulfil common criteria for non-religion and ...
  • Accommodation of ash scattering in contemporary Norwegian governance of death and religion/worldview 

    Høeg, Ida Marie (The Donner Institute, 08.03.2023)
    With the analysis of the scattering ashes in a Norwegian context as its point of departure, the article sets out to explore ash scattering and how it relates to the governance of deathscape and religion/worldview in the ...
  • Pandemic funerals in Norway. Hartmut Rosa’s resonance as a sensitizing concept 

    Schuerhoff, Carsten (The Donner Institute, 08.03.2023)
    During the Covid-19 pandemic, funerals have been conducted consistently in Norway, but, of course, the ceremonies were subject to rules and regulations, while digitization was on the increase. Against the background of ...
  • Deathscapes in Finnish funerals during Covid-19 

    Vähäkangas, Auli (The Donner Institute, 08.03.2023)
    The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted and reshaped experiences of bodily disposal and memorialization around the world. One key characteristic of almost all religious practices and traditions is the centrality of face-to-face ...
  • Death and beyond. Thoughts and preparations for the final journey 

    Butters, Maija (The Donner Institute, 08.03.2023)
    Based on extensive ethnography, this article investigates how contemporary Finnish hospice patients talk – or remain silent – about their own approaching death, and the imageries relating to death and the possible afterlife. ...
  • Editorial. Funerals in the north of Europe Similarities and differences 

    Middlemiss Lé Mon, Martha; Nordin, Magdalena; Broo, Måns; Illman, Ruth (The Donner Institute, 08.03.2023)
    Editorial of Approaching Religion, Vol. 13 Issue 1
  • Independence Day in a would-be Christian nation 

    Kallinen, Timo (The Donner Institute, 07.11.2022)
    When the West African nation of Ghana attained its independence from colonial rule in 1957, its traditional culture was to be promoted in all sectors of public life. Similarly, what was construed as Ghanaian traditional ...
  • Innovation, adaptation, and maintaining the balance 

    Pesonen, Heikki (The Donner Institute, 07.11.2022)
    The environmental crisis has challenged faith traditions to take a stand and act both globally and locally. Statements and action build on reinterpretations of tradition, which also produce a variety of ritual applications. ...
  • An interview with Terhi Utriainen 

    Woodhead, Linda (The Donner Institute, 07.11.2022)
    An interview with Terhi Utriainen by Linda Woodhead.
  • Between art and ritual 

    Korte, Anne-Marie (The Donner Institute, 07.11.2022)
    This article analyses the short performances of Drag Sethlas at the yearly Gran Canaria Drag Queen Contest in Spain (2017–20) from the perspective of religious studies and gender studies, following on from an earlier article ...
  • Out of many modes and motivations 

    Kyyrö, Jere; Mantsinen, Teemu T. (The Donner Institute, 07.11.2022)
    This article explores a sequence of events, a combination of Orthodox Christian village and chapel festivals, associated processions and a cross-border procession, through the theoretical concept of ritualisation. The ...
  • Editorial. Rituals and ritualization 

    Butters, Maija; Kupari, Helena (The Donner Institute, 07.11.2022)
    This issue of Approaching Religion is dedicated to Terhi Utriainen, Professor of the Study of Religions at the University of Helsinki. It is published on the 7 November 2022, Terhi’s sixtieth birthday, and contains reflections ...
  • Religious practice among Finnish converts to Orthodox Christianity 

    Kupari, Helena (The Donner Institute, 07.11.2022)
    In this study, I discuss the devotional lives of Finns who have joined the Orthodox Church of Finland as adults. The analysis is based on interviews conducted with 29 converts to Orthodoxy. My specific focus is the interplay ...
  • Praying with Blathmac 

    Bergholm, Alexandra (The Donner Institute, 07.11.2022)
    The mid-eighth-century Old Irish text known as the poems of Blathmac is a long devotional composition meditating on the mystery of Christ’s cross and its significance for salvation history. Since the discovery and subsequent ...
  • Salafi Sufism? 

    Sorgenfrei, Simon; Stjernholm, Simon (The Donner Institute, 14.06.2022)
    The aim of this article is to analyse a local expression of the transnational Ahbash Sufi movement in light of recent scholarship on the relationship between Salafism and Sufism as well as Islamic neo-traditionalism. Some ...
  • ‘One of the most important questions that human beings have to understand’ 

    Olsson, Susanne; Svensson, Jonas (The Donner Institute, 14.06.2022)
    In the present article, the authors argue that the study of Salafism as a contemporary Islamic new religious movement could benefit from an analytical perspective separating fundamentalism into the modes of inferentialism ...

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