Kategoriarkiv: systematisk teologi

Abstracts of Key Note lectures

Marianne Moyaert:

Ricoeur and a social justice approach to interfaith dialogue

In this lecture, I develop a social justice approach to interfaith dialogue in conversation with the work of Paul Ricoeur. Scholars interpret the notion of social justice in different ways; in this lecture, I follow the work of Sachi Edwards, who understands “social justice as an umbrella concept which provides a vision for society where all forms of oppression (racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, transgender oppression, religious oppression, ageism, ableism, sizeism, and others) are eradicated, and where all people are able to fully and equally participate ‘in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs’”(Edwards, 2016). A social justice approach to interreligious dialogue draws specific attention to issues of power, privilege and systemic injustice and treats the category of religion not as a descriptive category with universal scope but as a power category; i.e. as a category implicated in political processes of boundary making and unequal power distribution. Understanding religion in terms of power also has implications for the way I study interreligious dialogue. Most scholars understand interreligious dialogue in terms of an interpersonal encounter intent on overcoming religious prejudice on the one hand and cultivating mutual understanding, respect and ideally deep appreciation for difference; I rather approach the so-called dialogical turn as a hermeneutician of suspicion: I trace the ideological framework that forms the blue print for the dialogical project; examine the systems of inequality that are woven into the dialogical turn and takes action to dismantle those systems.

I will explain why Ricoeur, who as a philosopher attached great importance to dialogue on the one hand and who also paid attention social justice issues, nevertheless did not consider the possibility of a social justice approach to interreligious dialogue. Rather, Ricoeur considered dialogue from the perspective of hermeneutics, anthropology and ethics, three perspectives intertwined in his work. That the encounter between religions also has to do with injustice and oppression is not a thought that seems to have occurred to him. I will explain in this lecture why I think it is, however, appropriate to approach interreligious dialogue from the perspective of critical theory and with particular attention to unequal power relations.

Brian Gregor:

Peace and Violence in the Ontology of Creation

Brian Gregor’s presentation will show how Ricoeur’s hermeneutics of creation helps us to envision an ontology of peace, rather than an ontology of violence–in other words, that peace is more fundamental than violence. Central to this view is Ricoeur’s conviction that creation is a fundamentally good gift of God.  Gregor examines this conviction in three of Ricoeur’s works: The Symbolism of Evil, where Ricoeur contrasts the book of Genesis with the Babylonian epic of creation, Enuma Elish; his 1971 essay ”On the Exegesis of Genesis 1:1-2:4a”; and his chapter ”Thinking Creation” from the volume with Andre LaCocque, Thinking Biblically.  These essays reflect Ricoeur’s developing thinking about the goodness of creation, but one feature that runs through them is his attempt to avoid the idea of creation ex nihilo, and his readiness to use the language of chaos.  These tendencies allow Ricoeur to ”think creation” in terms of its fragility.  At the same time, they also create difficulty for his desire to think of creation in terms of a good gift, insofar as these tend in the direction of a tragic view of being, in which violence is more fundamental than peace. One possible answer to this problem is to return to Ricoeur’s Symbolism of Evil, where he indicates a way beyond the tragic view, through Christology and eschatology. These biblical sources can nourish an eschatological imagination capable of seeing peace as the ultimate end and fulfillment of creation.

Abstracts of the presentations during the paper sessions

Abstracts Ricoeur workshop

Abstracts of Key Note lectures – click here!

Abstracts of paper sessions:

  1. Jonghyuk Chang
  2. Marco Franceschina
  3. Patrik Fridlund
  4. Dagmar Kusá
  5. Karl Racette
  6. Michele Kueter Petersen
  7. Terhi Törmä
  8. Anna Seppänen
  9. Michael Deckard
  10. Jari Visto
  11. Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson
  12. Maria Cristina Vendra
  13. Björn Vikström
  14. Timo Helenius


1. Refiguration of narrative identity through eschatological perspective

Jonghyuk Chang, Jena University

Individual stories and memories always emerge from collective history. The individual constitutes his life story through a series of rectifications made on previous narratives of a collective. Due to its open structure, a subject exists in hybridity, insofar as the subject proves to be a place of impure intersections, combinations, interrelated differences and referrals. The constitution of meaning of the self is to be understood entirely in terms of the other, by whom it experiences itself as infiltrated and haunted, but also inspired and enriched, in ambiguous, disparate experiences.

Ricoeur regards history as collective singular which aims reconciliation of the whole humanity. If history is a collective singular, the oscillation of narrative identity between the lower boundary of the dialectic of sameness-identity and selfhood-identity and the upper boundary of the dialectic of self and other is not to be closed by my self-same, but to be kept open by dialogical dimension of self and others to be able to transform this oscillation into a spiral forward movement for reconciliation.

Ricoeur emphasizes the significance of the utopian element being a component of our identity, what we expect and yet we are not. Identity comes not only from the present and past, but also from expectations of the future. In this respect, Ricoeur says our identity is a “prospective identity” that is still suspended and to be hoped for. In this sense, eschatological perspective can function as horizon for re-cognition of others, in that eschatological perspective opens new horizon of memory of ‘seeing differently’ on the one hand and new horizon of expectation of ‘seeing more’ on the other hand. Eschatological perspective transforms the given reality through metaphorical re-cognition of ‘seeing-as’.


2. The memorial writing of W.G. Sebald. A Ricoeurian approach

Marco Franceschina, University of Milan

My intervention focuses on the relationship between peace and understanding with respect to the theme of memorial narrative. I would like to analyse in Ricoeurian terms the literary style of W.G. Sebald, which is linked to the avoidance of oblivion of the Holocaust, the disintegration of Germany and the inexplicable amnesia associated with these events.

This kind of writing contrasts to Aristotelian intuitions: the characters described are not figures of an events unification, and the author cedes his omniscience in favour of an endless search for what must be rescued from human forgetfulness. Author and characters are witnesses to a continuous juxtaposition of fragmentary events that, in the instant of writing, are restored to a human time that is thus not merely a devouring one. Sebald’s novels trace a path with no certainty of a destination, other than that, which never really happened, of the subtraction from an otherwise inexorable destruction – a Natural History of Destruction, as he would say.

Thus, this process could find an echo in the Ricoeurian aesthetic reflection dedicated to the overlap between historical and fictional writing. Specifically, I believe it is suggestively interesting to test its application to Sebald’s narrative modes of memorial writing. In fact, by drawing attention to the above-mentioned intersection, Ricoeur outlines the possibility of the writing of a human time: a time that overlaps, in the moment of being narrated, the quasi-past tense proper to fictional writing on the actual past proper to historical writing, stressing the conditions of possibility of a writing such as Sebald’s. Thus, we should approach Sebald’s work taking seriously what Ricoeur says about this overlap: the construction of a quasi-past of fiction becomes a “revealer of the possible hidden in the actual past”, rescuing them from oblivion and guaranteeing them – although painful and unspeakable – respectful understanding.



  1. Ricoeur, Time and narrative, 3 voll., University of Chicago Press, Chigago 1990
  2. Valentini, Vincere il tempo: mito e memoria in Sebald, in «Scenari», Apr. 2020
  3. Giloldi, W.G. Sebald tra memoria e frammento
  4. Tedesco, Fuoco Pallido. W.G. Sebald, l’arte della trasformazione, Meltemi, Palermo 2019
  5. Fuchs & J. J. Long (eds.), W. G. Sebald and the Writing of History, Königshausen & Neumann, Wurzburg 2007.


3. Populist Post-truth Politics, and Ricœur’s Hermeneutics

Patrik Fridlund, University of Lund

Today, we are facing questions of war, abuse of power, and violence, as counterparts to the notion of peace in a very concrete way. To a large extent, the contemporary political landscape seems to be marked by harshness and even hatred in a spiral of polarisation and non-understanding. Peaceful exchanges are seemingly becoming rare, and debates appear to be emphasising a perpetual conflict in which the parties have little or no common ground. In the present situation, phenomena such as ‘alternative facts’, and various conspiracy theories, as well as what is rather broadly labelled ‘post-truth politics’, seem to break the peace and obstruct dialogue and understanding in their way of undermining the idea of a shared reality and rather cherish conflict and division, difference and opposition. In a way, this can be said to be a normal aspect of politics, as the political discourse can be analysed as an exchange of opinions not primarily contributing to a ‘true description of the world’ but rather being a struggle for power. Now, an interesting aspect of Ricœur’s hermeneutical philosophy is the claim that we should rather appreciate that there are different interpretations and that a conflict of interpretations is the condition for human knowledge. In this fashion, one would turn to Ricœur for insights and for guidance regarding action in the contemporary situation. The idea is that Ricœur’s hermeneutics may both illuminate contemporary post-truth politics and contribute to the formulation of new theoretical tools for developing a ground for public debate and political critique. An exploration of Ricœur’s hermeneutics in relation to post-truth politics is called for. In this paper, an outline will be given regarding the question: Can Ricœur’s philosophy around the conflict of interpretations be of help in a situation of post-truth politics, which goes against efforts to build peace and friendship?


4. Memory Work as a Precondition of Just Society

Dagmar Kusá, Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts

The war between Russia and Ukraine will come to an end, eventually, but it has already caused enormous trauma and will impact lives and relations for generations ahead. What lies ahead is the reconstruction of society, healing of memories and broken lives. This paper will offer a Ricœurian approach to the transition goals in Ukraine for the near future.

Ricœur’s approach to a peaceful and just society involves three levels: individual, focusing on a “capable subject,” ethical and responsible, intersubjective, that emphasizes reciprocity and care, and the level of just institutions, which create the normative environment and the neutral “view from nowhere” that allows to War upends all levels of a balanced society, causing injury and trauma on all levels. Personal traumas and interpersonal relations will require working through and healing—process that is closely connected to society’s choices of transitional justice tools and personal capabilities to cope and achieve closure. Ricoeur places high value on forgiveness, which brings release from hate and liberates towards possibility of healing. On the level of institutions, forgiveness however does not enter the plane, as it cannot be legislated, adjudicated or prescribed. Institutions however do form normative base and channels for discourse, for memory work. In the absence of criminal justice, which will inevitably be limited in scope, memory work mediated through institutions will form an important space where personal healing (with the possibility though not inevitability of forgiveness) can take place. This work is not crucial only in relation to individual healing but is a precondition for the rebuilding of a democratic society in Ukraine after the war.


5. Memory and Burial. To make Peace with one’s Past

Karl Racette, Université de Montréal

In his Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Hegel, when presenting the task of the historian, evokes the need to reaffirm the word of Christ: “Let the dead bury their dead; arise, and follow Me” (Matthew, 8:22). For Hegel, the task of the historian is not so much to show an interest in the past for its own sake, but rather to participate in the future advent of truth in history.

In many ways, we can understand Paul Ricoeur’s thought as a firm response to Hegel’s interpretations of the passage quoted. In La mémoire, l’histoire et l’oubli, Ricoeur asserts that Happy Memory (La mémoire heureuse) is the guiding star of the whole phenomenology of memory. The book concludes with the question of forgiveness, a human faculty with miraculous powers: although the past itself cannot be altered, it nevertheless remains open to new reinvestments of meaning. In this context, Ricoeur compares the task of the historian to an act of burial: if, as Walter Benjamin asserts, the historian is unable to wake the dead, he can nevertheless, according to Ricoeur, bury them. The philosophy of history is thus transformed into the work of remembrance and the work of mourning, understood in the light of the power of forgiveness.

The aim of the presentation is to present and develop Ricoeur’s conception of the historian’s task, understood as an act of burial. My analysis of Ricoeur’s work will focus on the question of forgiveness, the work of remembrance, the work of mourning and the fragile possibility of Happy Memory. I intend to show that Ricoeur’s thought illuminates several contemporary issues, e.g., the Canadian neo-colonial context and the need to integrate several new historical perspectives into our common history. In this way, it may be possible to contribute to the task of the historian: to make peace with the past.


6. Ricoeur and the Possibility of Constitutive Ethics as a Path of Peace

Michele Kueter Petersen, St. Ambrose University

Given the priority of the ethical aim and the ethical intention for Ricoeur, this paper explores the meaning of that priority in relation to issues having to do with war, power, violence, and social justice—especially cases of systemic injustice and oppression. Further, initiatives aimed at inclusivity, for example, can be epistemically limited when we consider that sometimes we do not know what we do not know so that intellectual humility is called for. That is, we are continually confronted with new situations, contexts, and circumstances that challenge us to agility in ”living a ’good life’ with and for others, in just institutions.” How is it that we can create space to invite the level of meaningful dialogue, conversation, and engagement required to be with and for the other in the sharing of our humanity even as we disagree and there is miscommunication? How can we mindfully be with and for one another even as we negotiate the challenge of conflict and try to resolve it? A good question to pose is, ”What are we doing when we are doing what we are doing?” which emphasizes an understanding of both person and process as involving mutual discovery and creativity. We can learn to appreciate the different ways we think and approach the task at hand. The possibility of transforming situations wrought with fear and power requires extending hospitality and issuing the invitation to begin again. Ricoeur’s notion of solicitude is an integral foundation in a hermeneutical approach to navigating the nuances of constitutive ethics. Constitutive ethics creates the invitational condition for shared meaning and engagement that makes peace a possibility.


7. The Narrative Identity of Peace. A Ricoeurian aspect on living together in a world of polarized views.

Terhi Törmä, Diocese of Tampere

We live in a world where polarization affects many areas of discussion and decision-making. How to embrace different opinions, experiences and feelings? How to find a way of living together? How to take a step further instead of being stuck in defending stereotypical identities?

Ricoeur’s whole philosophical journey may be seen as a mediation and bridge building between opposing concepts. He has a unique way of constructing philosophical ideas on discussion with other thinkers. This kind of philosophy seems itself a way towards peace and hospitality.

More specifically, Ricoeur’s concept of narrative identity seems quite fruitful to be applied with respect to the notion of peace. In my paper, I propose to think about the narrative identity of peace. Following Ricoeur’s understanding of narrative as composing different kinds of episodes, motivations, situations and actors into one unity, I try to think about how the identity of peace between opposing views also could be formed and thought in a similar way. The idea of narrative identity of peace takes seriously all that is different in a narrative, but it also describes the identity of peace as a unity, something that holds together and is unique and precious as well.

Following Ricoeur might help to renounce from competing who has the best opinion and instead challenge us on construing the narrative of peace among the topics that are hard for us. And as Ricoeur’s theory on narrative is based on the world of action and on the creative capability of language to write and talk about it, it relates the idea of peace to our everyday life instead of theoretical concepts. In a world full of hard discussions, this is something quite inspiring.


8. Peace in business? Applying Ricœur’s vocabulary of recognition in business ethics

Anna Seppänen, CoHumans, University of Helsinki

Business discourse is full of metaphors originating from war: tactics, strategy, dead line… The mechanisms of competition are embedded in capitalism. The anthropological image of selfinterested homo economicus1 orients both the research2 and praxis3 of commercial life. Is peace in business possible?

Experiences of peace between people in business are not evident. Two thirds of Finns witness bullying in their workplaces4. Leaders use up to 7 weeks per year for mitigating the consequences of incivility between employees.5 In many organisations living a good (working) life with and for others seems to be a distant ideal.6

I will explore the notion of peace within and between business organizations with a particular focus on the interpersonal relationships. I derive my theoretical approach from Paul Ricœur’s Course of Recognition.7 In The Course Ricoeur introduces the idea of states of peace as a contrast to the struggles of recognition. A focal social form of a state of peace is gift-giving. Ricoeur draws from Marcel Hénaff8, who argues that the reality of gift exists even if we live in a society permeated by commercial logics.

I will answer the following questions:

  • How can the focal concepts of Ricœur’s Course be applied in business ethics in the analysis of intra- and inter-organizational relationships?
  • How does Ricœur’s analysis in The Course provide help understand the preconditions of peace in business organizations?
  • Which normative moral principles apply when the focal ideas of Course of recognition are applied in business organizations?

I will argue that Ricoeur’s philosophy provides insightful ways for understanding and assessing the ethical quality of interpersonal relationships in business organizations9 but it also has some limitations. As a practical suggestion I will present a tool for the pedagogy of business ethic, building on Ricoeur’s idea of mutual recognition and peace.


1 Persky 1995.

2 Barber 2009, 85-87; Seppänen 2022, 90–98.

3 Wang et al. 2011.

4 Lyly-Yrjänäinen 2016.

5 Pearson & Porath 2009.

6 Ricœur 1990; Wijnberg 2000.

7 Ricœur 2004.

8 Hénaff 2002

9 Tentatively suggested also in Rendtorff 2014 & 2019.



Barber, William J. (2009). A History of Economic Thought. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

Hénaff, Marcel (2002). Le prix de la vérité. Le don, l’argent, la philosophie. Paris: Seuil.

Lyly-Yrjänäinen, M. (2016). Työolobarometri Syksy 2015. Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriön julkaisuja. Työ ja yrittäjyys 17/2016.

Persky, Joseph (1995). The Ethology of Homo Economicus. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(2), 221-231.

Rendtorff, Jacob Dahl (2014). French Philosophy and Social Theory. A Perspective for Ethics and Philosophy of Management. Dordrecht/Heidelberg/New York/London: Springer.

Rendtorff, Jacob Dahl (2019). Philosophy of Management and Sustainability. Rethinking Business Ethics and Social Responsibility in Sustainable Development. Emerald Publishing.

Ricœur, Paul (1990). Soi-même comme un autre. Paris: Seuil.

Ricœur, Paul (2004). Parcours de la reconnaissance. Paris: Éditions Stock.

Wang, L., Malhotra, D., & Murnighan, J. K. (2011). Economics education and greed. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 10, 643–660.

Wijnberg, Nachoem M. (2000). Normative Stakeholder Theory and Aristotle: The Link Between Ethics and Politics. Journal of Business Ethics, 329–342.


9. Violence and Narrative in Just Institutions: Ricoeur’s Oneself as Another after Marx

Michael Deckard, Lenoir-Rhyne University

It has commonly been understood that Paul Ricoeur’s ’little ethics’ consists of studies 7- 9 of his Oneself as Another. However, his ’little ethics’ is also within a text on embodied and narrative identity. The question of ethics not only runs through Oneself as Another but also many of Ricoeur’s other works, from History and Truth to Love and Justice. Broadly speaking, Ricoeur’s ’ethics’ is not only concerned with the question of narrative and embodiment, but also the question of violence. In situating the question of personal identity as well as narrative to a country’s identity, is there a role for violence in understanding oneself or one’s nationality? How might the question of personal and state identity help us understand ethics and politics as mirroring one another? This paper attempts to do three things. First, I will examine the section of Oneself as Another on narrative in order to frame the question of narrative identity and violence, whether a person’s or a country’s using a few particular case studies, such as Algeria, BosniaHerzegovina, South Africa, and/or Ukraine. Already at this stage, there is the problematic nature of defining the identity of a just institution within the category or power concept, (to follow Weber) ’nation-state’. It thus requires a separation of polis, republic, and nation-state. Second, I will describe what I mean by ‘just institutions’, in which both terms are equally valid and equally problematic. Yet it is scarcely realistic to claim that all institutions are just. However, the goal and aim of justice is necessary. Third, I will give a brief outline of what the meaning of ‘aim at the Good Life with and for Others in Just Institutions’ (see Ricoeur’s Oneself as Another, 169-296) means after Marx. Here, several contemporary Marxists, such as Badiou, Fanon, and Jameson will be read.


10. Doughnut Model by Kate Raworth as a Living Metaphor for Sustainable Future. Some Remarks from A Ricoeurian Perspective.

Jari Visto, STEP Education, The Church Resources Agency

Basic precondition for peace amongst humans and with other species is a livable planet, with all its life supporting systems working together as a whole. Greatest threat to a sustainable future of humankind on this planet doesn’t, however, seem to be lack of scientific knowledge about the current state of planetary ecosystems, but lack of understanding each other as humans and understanding our proper place on this planet. In the 2020s, as polarization, cynical short-term thinking and apathy seem to rise, there is an urgent need for more sustainable interpretations of our being in the world and capabilities to imagine inspiring common utopias of a better future, which could call us to action.

With environmental hermeneutics as my theoretical framework and professional background as a sustainability trainer, I wish in my forthcoming paper to discuss some of the possible outcomes of Paul Ricoeur’s thought for work towards a more sustainable future. In my presentation at the workshop, I will describe and discuss the doughnut model of sustainability, elaborated by a British economist Kate Raworth in 2017, and reflect some of its basic features in the light of Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics and metaphor theory.

My basic argument is that although environmental questions per se do not manifest frequently in Ricoeur’s text, his thinking is open and fruitful also in this most topical sphere of socio-political life. For example, ‘doughnut’ by Raworth can be seen as a living metaphor in Ricoeurian sense, which, exactly because of its inner tension, gives food for thought, opens our being in the world in a new way and inspires us to action in our manifold contexts and communities.

Keywords: Paul Ricoeur, Kate Raworth, environmental hermeneutics, metaphor theory, doughnut economy, imagination, utopia, sustainability, environmental ethics.


11. Reconciliation, Ethics, and Mimesis: An Investigation of Swedish Hymns Inspired by Paul Ricoeur

Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson, Professor of Ethics, University College Stockholm

The Swedish priest, poet and hymnwriter Anders Frostenson (1906-2006) once said that a poet writes what he/she experiences is lacking, not what he/she already has accomplished. From that point of view one can understand the poet as an ethicist, as an active creator in the process of shaping the world. The poet, composer or hymnwriter is in this sense, with an Augustinian and a Lutheran perspective, a relational being and a co-creator (cooperator) with God and the world. With a Ricoeurian terminology, the poet practices mimesis, that is an imitative reading (or singing) that involves creative ideas which can aid the interpretation of texts and life (Ricoeur, Time and Narrative, Vol 1, 1990).

Focus, in this paper, will be on the theme of reconciliation in a selection of hymns from the Swedish hymnbook. The analysis will be presented in two parts. First, a mapping of the theme, that is how reconciliation is described in the Swedish Hymnbook (1986) particularly aspects of God-human relations, and ethical aspects towards humans and creation.

Second, Ricoeur’s concept of mimesis will be applied to the material for an interpretation of reconciliation and the process of mimesis. More precisely, the creative perspective of mimesis that “opens the kingdom of the as if” (Ricoeur, 1990, p. 64-70).

The expected result of the final study is twofold, namely a categorization of the theology of reconciliation as it is expressed in the Swedish hymnbook (1986), and a philosophical critique from a Ricoeurian interpretation of mimesis and the as if, that possibly can result in a method-ology for further studies in hymnology.

12. Embodied Peace and the Natural World: Ricoeur’s Phenomenology of Embodiment as an Ecological Maker

Maria Cristina Vendra, University Jan Evangelista Purkyně, Czech Republic

“Peace is always an ethical conquest of the violent will to live” (Freedom and Nature, 118)

Despite the rapidly growing body of secondary literature on Ricœur, there is much more work to be done on his conception of peace and on the application of his reflections about the multiple meanings of this notion to other fields. Whereas scholars have already found him an invaluable source of inspiration for addressing the question of peace in the context of the interreligious and intercultural dialogue, postcolonial studies literature, politics of memory and recognition, theory of justice and institutional studies, the possibility to extend Ricœur’s polysemic idea of peace to the discussion of the relation between ecological consciousness and nonviolence in the field of environmental philosophy remains largely unexplored. My aim is to fill this lacuna by showing that Ricœur’s understanding of peace can help us to rethink the inseparable unity between human beings and the ecosphere. This connection is grounded in the idea of a fundamental commitment to peace between us and the natural world. In light of the multiple and interconnected crises that affect the world of nature (e.g., biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, depletion of natural resources, waste, artificialization of soils, etc.), the peaceful balance which originally characterizes the whole ecological community has been subverted or even profoundly destroyed by human beings’ actions. The thirst for power over nature considered as a source of exploitable resources, the modern drive to dominate it through technology, and the assumption of the anthropocentric superiority over other species, have led human beings to forget their original belonging to the Earth. Although Ricœur gave to these issues just fleeting attention, he recognized that the problem of reestablishing a peaceful cohesion between human beings and the natural environment is not just a personal task, but it is involved into the management of social relationships and in the discussion of bioethical problems related to life, death, and wellbeing, as matters of public debate and policy.

I will argue that Ricœur’s early phenomenology of the body can illuminate the discussion about the essential relation between human beings and the natural world, as one of belonging and distanciation, familiarity and extraneity. More precisely, I will interpretate Ricœur’s phenomenological account of carnal embodiment as an ecological peacemaker, that is, as offering guiding ideas that can orient us to rebuild a peaceful, just, and productive connection between us and the natural environment in times of unprecedented ecological jeopardy. With reference to the Ricœur’s Freedom and Nature: the Voluntary and the Involuntary, my attempt to consider the embodied nature of the human being as the starting point for rethinking the intertwining between humanity and the Earth has an exploratory character. It can be seen as an introductory step into a broader understanding of the theoretical and practical strength of Ricœur’s phenomenology of the body for environmental philosophy. My investigation will be divided into two parts. (1) First, I will focus on the lived body as the source of the most original needs, motives and values. These dimensions of what Ricoeur calls “the corporeal involuntary” provide the foundation for our voluntary decisions. It is through our corporeal sensibility and affectivity, that we can experience the natural environment as a realm of possibilities allowing for our survival and as a context of limitations to our powers. As such, we can rediscover ourselves as earthlings. (2) The second part will move a step further in discussing the possibility to regenerate our bond with the natural world through the consideration of our freedom as embodied. Specifically, I will argue that our freedom is situated into the space of the purposeful and heterogeneous ecosphere. Embodied freedom will arise here as the corresponding accompaniment of our sense of responsibility towards the world of nature. Our survival, as well as that of all other organisms, basically depends on the engagement with it. Ecological responsibility will be considered in terms of reconciliation, i.e., of restauration of the bond between our embodied condition and the natural environment. To focus on our interrelatedness with nature will allow us to deepen the awareness not just of our vulnerability and transience of life, but also of nature as a vulnerable context calling for protection. We are situated, then, in the natural household as an eco-vulnerable space, by adapting ourselves in creative ways to its environments, rhythms and metamorphoses. We are hosted by nature – though not in an irenic fashion – and we need to actively host it by following the direction of a peaceful hospitability towards a sustainable future.


13. Fragility and fallibility as sources for mourning, reconciliation and hope

Björn Vikström, Åbo Akademi University

In an article from 1949 Paul Ricoeur writes: “violence is always and everywhere”. On the other hand, he has built his thinking on a wager, according to which existence on earth is primordially good and characterized by a superabundance of meaning. This trust in a primordial meaningfulness is also reflected in his confidence in translation and communication across cultural borders – even though all translations remain provisional and contested.

Ricoeur claims that human existence is marked by a fundamental fragility, fallibility and culpability. The subject is a “cogito blessé”, a wounded subject. There is a gap between who we are and who we would like to be or should be. This gap shouldn’t be neglected, but neither bridged, because such a solution would imply that life is totally in our hands. This gap is the space for dreams, imagination, and change (as it signifies that this world could be otherwise) – but also for repentance and longing for redemption and grace. It’s can also, however, be a threatening abyss beyond our control: a “Khora” in Plato’s sense.

What goes for the individual is applicable also to societies and states. There is, and need to be, a gap between utopian visions of a just future, and the everyday reality marked by conflicts between competing interests in a democratic society. Ricoeur is especially critical towards totalitarian attempts to monopolize truth and silence critical voices. Already in his early writings he assigns a hopeful role to “the non-violent Man”, “Franciskan poverty”, and the artist, as troublemakers and prophets that challenges the totalitarian tendencies in the political, economic and cultural spheres.


14. ”The Non-Peace in Self-Affirmation: Occupied Spatiality and the Economic Thing”

Timo Helenius, Åbo Akademi University

Ricoeur insists that both distinguishing an individual self and articulating the relationship between individual selves requires the support of the “objectivity that is built on the themes of having, power, and esteem.” This is why he also calls these aspects of human experience “roots of self-affirmation.”  In both Fallible Man and The Course of Recognition, Ricoeur emphasizes in the concepts of having, power, and esteem the fundamentally indirect character of achieving the notion of a self. In other words, there is no original peace in self-affirmation, no immediate intuition of one’s own being. Moreover, the human subject “is constituted only in connection with things that themselves belong to the economic, political, and cultural dimensions.”

In Ricoeur’s analysis, the search for the constitution of the self begins by assuming that the primal identity is formed in self-objectification. In the thematization that recalls John Stuart Mill’s concept of homo oeconomicus, the “economic human,” Ricoeur argues that the self makes of its own self a primordial economic object, that is, it “has” itself by claiming identity in an economic manner: “the ‘I’ constitutes itself by founding itself on a ‘mine.’”  This grounding notion of an economic object, or an object of economic interest, also differentiates the properly human needs from the animal “simple needs” (le simple besoin), which are directed towards natural objects, and for which the correlative feeling is an “oriented lack,” as Ricoeur defines the shortage of sustenance indicated by instincts. In contrast to natural objects, an economic object is “an available good” (un bien disponible) that according to Ricoeur is characterized by its very availability “for me.” The affective interiorization of the external, spatially definable relation between the “I” and the economic object is a correlate of this mode of relating.

According to Ricoeur a human being is distinguished from the other animals because the essence of his needs is different, and the difference between these needs is itself brought about by human production in the form of establishing an economic relation to things, that is, treating natural objects as possessions. Consequently, Ricoeur defines human being as the Working Human: “Man, because he produces his subsistence, is a being who works.”  According to Ricoeur, it is the working human being who establishes this economic relation to things. Natural objects thus become possessions which connote control and dependence, and which therefore also imply certain “otherness” in the very form of the object “on which I make myself dependent.” This otherness of the object in the occupied space, however, reintroduces the idea of a shattered ego: the possibility of no-longer-having (ne-plus-avoir) forms a breach in the constitution of the economic “I” who works to have and gain sustenance for the self.


Undervisningen i systematisk teologi läsåret 2023-2024

Hur passar kontaktundervisningen under läsåret 2023-2024 in i examen? 

Se Studiehandboken för närmare information om de olika kurserna, samt om vilka kurser som ingår i de olika modulerna. Examensstrukturen hittar du här


Fördjupning i systematisk teologi – gemensam modul 4 x 5 sp = 20 sp

Klicka på kursen för mer information, tag kontakt om du vill diskutera studieupplägget! Kurserna som ges som kontaktundervisning kan också avläggas som självstudier, men studenterna rekommenderas varmt att välja kontaktundervisning.

Alternativa kurser, välj en av följande:


Fördjupningsblock – välj en av dessa valbara moduler beroende på ämnet för gradun (4 x 5 sp = 20 sp)


  • Fördjupning i dogmatik – 4 kurser (Anni Maria – ht Björn) Kursen Specialiseringskurs i dogmatik kan avläggas som kontaktundervisning under period 1 i samarbete med praktisk teologi (Björn och Cecilia Nahnfeldt)
  • Tidig kyrklig och medeltida teologi  – 4 läskurser (Anni Maria – ht Björn)
  • Att möta andra – 4 läskurser (Anni Maria – ht Björn)

Teologisk etik med religionsfilosofi:

Dessutom finns det en engelskspråkig modul utformad för Masterprogrammet i Social Exclusion, som också är öppen för andra teologer.


Seminariet i systematisk teologi 10 sp – förutsätter 2 terminer aktivt deltagande med framläggande av preliminära idéer för gradun 1-2 gånger samt gradutext 2 gånger och fungerande som opponent 2 gånger; det här kan gärna spridas ut över flera terminer.  Seminariet samlas var tredje onsdag med början 20.9. (Björn, Anni Maria och Heidi)



Grundstudier i teologi

Kursen Religioner och livssyner heter numera  Introduktion till teologisk etik med religionsfilosofi, 5 sp, period 2 (Heidi).  Det är en obligatorisk kurs inom grundstudierna.

Valbara kurser (Temakurs)

Abraham Goes Global 10 sp (Mika Vähäkangas + flera gästföreläsare i samarbete med Stellenbosch universitet i Sydafrika), deltagarna underläsåret 2023-2024 r redan valda, men kursen kommer att ge spå nytt följande läsår.

Valfria kurser i enskilda teologiska ämnen:


Att tala om kristen tro idag 10 sp (Anni Maria – ht Björn)

Den lutherska bekännelsen 10 sp (Anni Maria – ht Björn)

Nutida teologisk etik 10 sp (Heidi)

Äktenskap och sexualitet – ett teologiskt perspektiv 10 sp (Heidi)

Ricoeur workshop – accomodation


Workshop participants are responsible for their own accommodation costs. There are several good hotels in the center of Turku from which to choose. We would like to recommend two options:

Centro Hotel is a small family owned hotel in the center of the city within walking distance (15 minutes) from the workshop venue. We have been co-operating with them for a long time and they offer rooms for participants at special rates booking directly with the hotel, the booking code is PAUARV

1 person room 109€/night/room
2 person room 128€/night/room

Booking includes breakfast buffét, wifi and a gym.

A more affordable option is the Guest House of the Bridgettine Convent. It is also within walking distance, however a little further away (25 minutes): Guest House . No booking code needed.

1 person room 50€/night/room
2 person room 70€/night/room

Rooms have WC and shower; free WiFi is available.
Breakfast is included.

Travel to Turku (Åbo)


Travel information and advice can be found at the Visit Turku website

For participants travelling from abroad, Turku/Åbo is easily reachable by plane or ferry boat. Åbo Akademi University is located within a walking distance (about 15 minutes) from the city centre. From abroad, you can travel by air via Helsinki or directly to Turku, by sea you can travel from Stockholm. There are connecting, direct flights available from both Stockholm and Helsinki. The city code is TKU (Turku is the Finnish name, Åbo the Swedish name for the same city!).

Arriving by air to Turku:

Taking a taxi from Turku airport to the city centre takes around 15 minutes and costs 20–25 Euros. A bus connection to the city centre is also available (ticket costs 3-4 Euros: https://www.foli.fi/en).

Arriving by ferry boat to Turku:

Connections from Stockholm to Turku:



A walk from the harbour takes about 45 minutes. You can also take a taxi (about 20 Euros) or bus to the city centre (3-4 Euros: https://www.foli.fi/en).

Arriving by air to Helsinki:

Bus to Turku:

If you are travelling from Helsinki, there is a direct bus connection from the airport to Turku. The trip takes 2.5 hours and costs about 30 Euros.

For more information: http://www.matkahuolto.fi

Train to Turku:

There is also a train connection to Turku/Kupittaa from the Helsinki airport via Pasila station.

For more information: https://www.vr.fi/cs/vr/en/frontpage

Key Note Speakers and Panelists: Peace and Understanding: A Ricoeurian View

Dr. Marianne Moyaert (Full Professor at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven)

In her books Fragile Identities. Towards a Theology of Interreligious Hospitality (2011) and In Response to the Religious Other. Ricoeur and the Fragility of Interreligious Encounters (2014) Dr. Moyaert critically assesses the various models for a Christian theology of religions (exclusivism, inclusivism, pluralism, particularism) by asking how these models relate to the dialogical tension between openness and identity. She argues that we need to overcome the classical theological approach of religious plurality and move in the direction of a theological hermeneutics of interreligious hospitality. To that end she turns to Paul Ricoeur, whose philosophical and hermeneutical insights can give a new turn to the discussion of the criteria, possibilities, and particularly the limits of interreligious dialogue. For the past few years, her research has focused on the ritual dimension of interreligious encounters and especially the possibilities and limits of (Christian-Jewish) ritual border crossing. She has found that collective memories of historical conflicts between Christians and Jews still have impact on their inter-ritual relations.

Dr. Brian Gregor (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Philosophy Department, California State University)

Dr. Gregor is also President Emeritus of the Society for Ricoeur Studies, and he teaches courses in the history of philosophy, philosophy of religion, and religious studies. Dr. Gregor’s research concerns the relation between religious faith and human subjectivity. This interest has motivated his work in post-Kantian Continental philosophy (especially in such figures as Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, and Ricoeur), as well as his interest in ancient and medieval models of ethical and religious formation. His book A Philosophical Anthropology of the Cross: The Cruciform Self (Indiana University Press, 2013) focuses on philosophical interpretations of the cross and their significance for understanding what it means to be human. His second book, Ricoeur’s Hermeneutics of Religion: Rebirth of the Capable Self, is published in 2021 by Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield in their series Studies in the Thought of Paul Ricoeur.

Online access to one of Dr. Gregor’s articles on Ricoeur: “Ricoeur’s Askesis: Textual and Gymnastic Exercises for Self-Transformation.” Continental Philosophy Review.: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11007-017-9424-6

Dr. Cristina Vendra (Assistant Professor at the University Jan Evangelista Purkyně (UJEP) in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic)

Dr Cristina Vendra is a member of the Department of Contemporary and Continental Philosophy at Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Prague, where she is involved in a research project supported by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR) on the topic “Face of Nature in Contemporary French Phenomenology” (GAP 21-22224S).

In 2019, she obtained a joint  Ph.D. at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France) and at the University G. D’Annunzio (Chieti, Italy) with a dissertation, written in English, on a critical reconstruction of Paul Ricœur’s social thought.

In 2022, she was elected as Director of European Affairs of the Society for Ricœur Studies, in which she served also as Social Media Director (2018-2022) and as an active member since 2014. She has published several articles and book chapters on Paul Ricœur. She has served on program committees and organizing committees of several Ricœurian conferences and workshops.

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Venue and Time Schedule: Peace and Understanding: A Ricoeurian View

Peace and Understanding: A Ricoeurian View

September 14-16, 2023

Åbo Akademi University

Turku (Åbo), Finland


Venue: Arken, Faculty of Humanities, Psychology, and Theology, Tehtaankatu 2 (Fabriksgatan 2) View on map!

Time schedule:

Thursday 14th September

Room Westermarck C 101

13.00-13.30 Registration – participants will be guided from the entrance Aula (A on the map) to Room Westermarck

13.30-14.00 Introduction and words of welcome by Björn & Timo; presentation of the Polin-institute by Coordinator Laura Wickström

14.00-16.00 Key note by Dr. Marianne Moyaert ”Ricoeur and a social justice approach to interfaith dialogue” + discussion (chair Björn) Abstract – click here!

16.00-16.30 Coffee break

16.30-18.30 Paper sessions (3 presentations – chair Timo)

The Narrative Identity of Peace: A Ricoeurian aspect on living together in a world of polarized views (Terhi Törmä, Diocese of Tampere)

Ricoeur and the Possibility of Constitutive Ethics as a Path of Peace (Michele Kueter Petersen, St. Ambrose University)

Populist Post-truth Politics, and Ricœur’s Hermeneutics (Patrik Fridlund, University of Lund)

18.30 Light dinner in the Aula of Arken (by the Entrance, A on the map)


Friday 15th September 

Room Voltaire  M 127 (First floor – continue forward when you enter the building: map)

9.00-10.30 Paper sessions (3 presentations – chair Marianne)

Peace in business? Applying Ricœur’s vocabulary of recognition in business ethics
(Anna Seppänen, CoHumans, Strassbourg)

Violence and Narrative in Just Institutions: Ricoeur’s Oneself as Another after Marx
(Michael Deckard, Lenoir-Rhyne University)

The Non-Peace in Self-Affirmation: Occupied Spatiality and the Economic Thing
(Timo Helenius, Åbo Akademi University)

10.30-11.00 Coffee break (outside room Voltaire)

11.00-12.00 Paper sessions (2 presentations – chair Björn)

Doughnut Model by Kate Raworth as a Living Metaphor for Sustainable Future. Some Remarks from A Ricoeurian Perspective (Jari Visto, STEP Education, The Church Resources Agency)

Embodied Peace and the Natural World: Ricoeur’s Phenomenology of Embodiment as an Ecological Maker (Cristina Vendra, University Jan Evangelista Purkyně, Czech Republic)

12.00 Lunch in the Café Arken-restaurant, N on the map

13.00-14.00 Time for recreation, for example a visit to the Cathedral

14.00-15.30 Paper sessions (3 presentations – chair Cristina)

Fragility and fallibility as sources for mourning, reconciliation and hope (Björn Vikström, Åbo Akademi University)

Reconciliation, Ethics, and Mimesis: An Investigation of Swedish Hymns Inspired by Paul Ricoeur (Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson, University College Stockholm)

Refiguration of narrative identity through eschatological perspective (Jonghyuk Chang, Jena University)

15.30-16.00 Coffee break

Room Helikon A 202 (second floor, stairs from the Aula/entrance: map)

16.00-18.00 Key note by Dr Brian Gregor “Peace and Violence in the Ontology of Creation”   + discussion (chair Timo) Abstract – click here!

19.30 Conference dinner in Restaurant Tårget (Linnankatu 3), view on map


Saturday 16th September

Room Helikon A 202 (second floor, stairs from the Aula/entrance: map)

9.00-10.30 Paper session (3 presentations – chair Björn)

Memory Work as a Precondition of Just Society (Dagmar Kusá, Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts)

The memorial writing of W.G. Sebald: a Ricoeurian approach (Marco Franceschina, University of Milan)

Memory and Burial: To make Peace with one’s Past (Karl Racette, Université de Montréal)

10.30 Coffee break

11.00-12.00 Panel discussion lead by Dr Cristina Vendra

12 Conclusion

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Call for Papers: Peace and Understanding: A Ricoeurian View

Peace and Understanding: A Ricoeurian View

September 14-16, 2023

Åbo Akademi University, Turku (Åbo), Finland

Call for Papers

Paul Ricoeur’s philosophy is known for its emphasis on the unceasing conflict of interpretations. Taking this as Ricoeur’s philosophical grand thesis would, however, be gravely misleading. In spite of acknowledging such conflict Ricoeur always sided with the possibility of shared meaning, as well as of translation and communication between different cultural contexts. Moreover, Ricoeur stressed “living a good life with and for others in just institutions” as a summation of his ethico-political views.

A workshop on Ricoeur’s contribution to the questions of war, power, violence, social justice, interreligious understanding and reconciliation will explore the notion of peace in Ricoeur’s works from his early essays on Christian socialism to his last published work on recognition. Peace will be approached not merely as a social, political, ethical, or cultural concept but also as an existential and hermeneutical challenge and possibility.

Keynotes by Professor Brian Gregor (Philosophy Department, California State University) and Professor Marianne Moyaert (The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven).

Please submit your 250-300 word proposal as an MS Word document or as a pdf file by email (bjorn.vikstrom@abo.fi) by May 15, 2023. We have received many interesting paper proposals, but as there is still room for a few more, we have extended the deadline to May 31.

The applicants will be informed of acceptance or refusal of their abstracts before the end of May. The participants, whose papers are accepted, will be asked to send an updated version of their abstract to the organizers two weeks before the workshop, in order to help the moderators and commentators in their tasks.

Workshop homepage with information about travel arrangements, accommodation and registration

Contact information:

Prof. Björn Vikström, bjorn.vikstrom@abo.fi

Dr. Timo Helenius, timo.helenius@abo.fi

Från apatins dal till begärlöshetens höjder – vad betyder apatheia?

Ordet apati för tankarna till ordets nutida betydelse och användning: det betecknar likgiltighet och oföretagsamhet, något håglöst. Man är liknöjd med allt, kanske deprimerad; inget berör.

Hos patristiska kristna författare har det grekiska ordet ἀπάθεια en annan framtoning: såsom för antikens filosofer, har termen positiva konnotationer och betyder frihet från passioner, alltså frihet från olika begär. I människosynen hos tidiga kristna författare ingår tanken av att människan kan dras mot olika negativa håll, mot synd. En sådan dragning uppfattas som ett begär. Apatheia är begärlöshet, att inte bli meddragen mot en dålig riktning.

Vi talar om penningbegär och habegär. Att begära något är att kräva eller önska något åt sig, som motsats till att göra något utan några anspråk eller egna intressen – eller motiv som äregirighet eller fåfänga. Ibland översätts ordet πάθος, passion, med ’lidelse’, men ordet ”begär” motsvarar enligt min mening bättre pathos-termens betydelse. Med begären kommer en sorts kluvenhet, ett vacklande mellan olika känslor och riktningar. Apatheia däremot innebär förmåga att handla efter eget samvete utan att bli påverkad eller provocerad av olika faktorer eller händelser. Med andra ord betyder apatheia integritet – frihet från syndens möjlighet att locka. Denna frihet kan växa gradvis.

Innebär denna orubblighet någon sorts hårdhet? Hur ser man på sin omvärld, om man inte påverkas av något? Hur förhåller man sig till lidande och orättvisor? Kan man följa krigshändelser och inte bli rörd? Är man avskild från verkligheten på något sätt?

Hos tidigkristna författare förknippas apatheia med renhet och helighet, och därmed med kärlek och ödmjukhet. Där frihet från begärens tyranni råder, glöder kärleken till Gud. Relationen till nästan präglas av oegennyttighet, inte kluvenhet. Apatheia är för dessa författare att inte reagera på lidandet på ett begärligt och lystet sätt, till exempel med ilska eller hämndbegär. Även ordlekar med πάθος (begär) och πάσχω (lida) förekommer: i ordboken för patristisk grekiska A Patristic Greek Lexicon av G.W.H. Lampe ges ἀπάθεια ordförklaringen ”obtained for men by passion of Christ”. Patristiska författare beskriver dessutom olika grader av begärlöshet: den fullkomliga begärlösheten tillskrivs Gud. Den bysantinska klosterledaren Symeon den nye teologen skriver i hymnen 36 om Guds begärlöshet och hur begärlöshet kan även skänkas människan då hon följer Kristi lidanden.

Med apatheia avses hos tidigkristna och även senare kristna författare alltså inte apatins likgiltiga dalar utan integritetens och frihetens höjder.

Karoliina Maria Schauman

Skribenten är doktorand i systematisk teologi vid Åbo Akademi

Alumniintervju: Teologiedoktor Minna Näsman – en nyfiken generalist

Av Elli Barsnes, doktorand i systematisk teologi

Minna Näsman disputerade vid Åbo Akademi år 2011 med huvudämnet systematisk teologi. Efter det har hon fördjupat sig i energibranschen i många olika roller. Näsman tänker att teologistudier har format henne och hennes karriär på ett sätt som andra ämnen inte skulle ha gjort.

Djupt och brett

Den ursprungliga orsaken för att Näsman sökte in till utbildningslinjen för teologi var helt enkelt eget intresse.

– Jag hade ganska bra betyg från skolan och många tänkte att jag var galen, eftersom jag kunde ha blivit till exempel en ekonom eller en jurist, men jag valde teologi för att det intresserade mig mest.

Näsman njöt av mångsidigheten av sina studier – som teologistuderande fick hon studera till exempel språk, sociologi, kyrkohistoria och praktisk teologi. Som sitt huvudämne valde hon systematisk teologi.

– Det passade väldigt bra för en generalist som jag. Filosofiska tankegångar, metafysiska frågeställningar, allt sådant som flyger lite för högt över huvudet på andra i det vardagliga livet hade jag en förkärlek för. Jag tycker om att försöka strukturera världen genom att försöka förstå den bättre från många olika håll, och då var systematisk teologi ett naturligt val.

Teologiutbildningen i sin helhet var en övning i att tänka, tänka tillsammans med andra som har ett annat perspektiv. Det mest värdefulla som Näsman fick av sina år som teologistuderande och senare som doktorand var utmaningen att våga tänka på ett annat sätt än hon hade tänkt före.

– Speciellt åren som doktorand var en så pass hård övning i logik och konsistens av ens egna argument att det kändes som väldigt lätt att hantera diskussioner på jobbet efter det. Man kände sig väldigt snabb i sina analyser.

Enligt Näsman ökade doktorandutbildningen hennes förmåga att hantera helheter, strukturera dem och förklara dem för andra. Alla dessa färdigheter har varit till nytta i arbetslivet.

– Bara det att man klarar av en sådan kommunikation är en uppskattad egenskap i en gruppmedlem.

Näsman tänker att de färdigheter som hon har fått genom teologistudier skulle hon inte ha fått om hon hade studerat något annat ämne.

– I och med att teologi handlar om vårt förhållande till Gud eller till det transcendenta, till det heliga, är det samtidigt väldigt djupt och väldigt brett. Det omfamnar alla aspekter i ett mänskligt liv, från marinbiologi till psykologi. Om man tänker till exempel från etikens synvinkel så är tillämpningsområdena lika många som man kan identifiera områden i ett människoliv.

Teologi och elteknik

Sin doktorsavhandling skrev Näsman om livsåskådningars roll i miljökonflikter. Näsman började doktorandstudier när det uppstod en möjlighet att delta i ett tvärvetenskapligt arbete med forskare från olika ämnen. Projektet involverade forskare från offentlig rätt, marinbiologi och teologi och baserade sig på två fallstudier i Åbolands skärgård.

– Genom att vara med i projektet fick jag höra till ett större sammanhang där andligheten, spiritualiteten, etiken och teologin inte var någon egen bubbla.

När Näsman utexaminerades som teologiemagister 1995 blev hon först arbetslös. Då gick hon på en journalistikkurs arrangerad av Åbo Akademi, fick en praktikplats och fick genom det jobb i Turun radio. Före doktorsavhandlingen jobbade Näsman som TV-redaktör och -regissör på Yle och Kirkon tiedotuskeskus och efter det har hon hunnit jobba till exempel som utvecklingschef, forskningsdirektör och energichef. För tillfället koordinerar Näsman ett nationellt vätgasnätverk för offentliga aktörer med Brahestads stad som arbetsgivare.

– Vägen från doktorsdisputationen hit är inte helt rakt. Men jag påstår att den har en inre logik.

Alla jobb har haft både något bekant och något nytt som hon har velat lära sig. Ett bra exempel på detta är jobbet som ”intern kommunikationskonsult” som Näsman fick efter doktorsdisputationen.

– I och med att jag hade skrivit om en vindkraftskonflikt och analyserat hur det gick så som det gick, så fick jag mitt följande arbetstillfälle i Helsingin Energia som ville att det inte går så i ett stort bioenergiprojekt som de planerade. Jag fick använda de fyra och ett halvt åren av teoretiserande och analyserande av en konfliktsituation till att planera en kommunikationsstrategi som skulle hindra en konflikt att ske i Helsingfors.

Tänka som en hel människa

När det kommer till att hitta sin plats i livet tänker Näsman att mycket hänger på egen motivation.

– Så har jag sagt till mina barn också – så länge ni håller er trogna till det som ni verkligen skulle vilja göra så går det bra.

– Jag upplever världen så att jättemycket hänger på din motivation. Har du den lågan så är det sak samma hur mycket arbete det tar, du kommer inte att märka att du svettas. Har du inte den lågan så gör du inte arbetet, och det är med arbete som man kommer framåt.

Med sin arbetslivshistoria vittnar Näsman starkt om hur viktigt det är med metakunskaper.

– Sakinnehållsmässigt kan du lära dig vad som helst på arbetsplatsen – till exempel elteknik eller TV-regisserande. Arbetsgemenskapen kommer nog att hjälpa dig på traven.

– Det är jättemycket lättare än om du har lämnat ogjort det som speciellt teologistudierna i sin bredd kan ge dig.

Detta innebär, först och främst, att lära sig att tänka.

– Tänka som en hel människa som respekterar andra tänkande människor.