The basic and postgraduate education of theology at the University of Eastern Finland offers versatile opportunities for studies and research in all areas of Orthodox theology. In addition to the shared roots of various churches, such as the Bible and patristics, the research subjects in Joensuu cover such themes as the meeting of Eastern and Western religious traditions and mental and spiritual well-being as well as religion as a social and cultural issue.
Biblical Studies involve innovative research at the international level. The focus is on Biblical texts. We examine their message, translations and earliest interpretations. Key methods include rhetorical and narrative research and argumentation analysis. Patristic exegesis offers an Orthodox point of view to the texts.
Church History focuses on the history of Byzantine Empire (330–1453) and the history of its post-effect in Russia and Eastern Europe. Other key research areas include Russian ideology history and the history of religion, and the history of orthodoxy in Karelia and Finland. The academic subject also involves studies on the church and state relations and freedom of religious issues in the EU region and the former Eastern Europe.
Systematic Theology and Patristics
Systematic Theology and Patristics cover two millennia of the ideological history of Eastern Christianity and its relations with other ideologies. The academic subject contains several specialisations, such as patristics, icon theology and ecumenism. A key object of research is patristic literature, but other possibilities also include the modern ideological history of Eastern Christianity and sacral art.
Practical Theology focuses on the manifestation of Christianity in the lives of individuals, society, the Orthodox church and other religious communities as well as their mutual interaction.
Church Music focuses on the practical, historical, and theological aspects of music in Eastern Orthodox worship. Upon graduation, the student of Church Music becomes qualified as a cantor of the Orthodox Church. Research on Church Music examines music as a form of worship, liturgical texts and chant traditions, and the historical development of local church music practices, such as the Finnish Orthodox church music.
Comparative Religion examines the importance of religion on modern times using the methods of anthropology: why religion is still visible in public and private life, how religions are able to meet global challenges, how they meet each other or Western culture, how multiculturality, tolerance and religion go together.