Systematic Theology

Studying the foundation of
religion and education

Doctrines, concepts and ideologies as the object of research

Systematic Theology examines the content of Christianity and related theological ideology and its development. The branch covers several theological fields: dogmatics, ecumenism, theological ethics and social ethics as well as religious philosophy.

Dogmatics examines Christianity and its interpretations, ecumenism focuses on theological issues related to the unity aspirations of churches, theological ethics and social ethics examine the moral views of religious communities from the point of view of individuals and society, and religious philosophy examines issues concerning religions from the point of view of the philosophical rationality of people.

From reality concepts to the unity of church – focus areas of systematic theology

Key areas of Systematic Theology research at Joensuu include 1) ecumenical discussions, 2) various trends of reformation theology, 3) the relation of Christianity and science 4) the theology of diakonia, and 5) as a new focus area, research on theological views of humans and the exploration of these views with respect to those of other fields.

The field of ecumenism focuses on the discussions of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Russian Orthodox Church. Research topics are related to doctrine and ethics.

Reformation theology topics vary from Luther to the most recent Lutheran systematic theology. Topics are studied from the point of view of dogmatics and ecumenism and theological ethics and social ethics. Over the past couple of years, three doctoral dissertations have been completed in this field of study.

Research on the relation of faith and science examines in particular various views of reality and their relations. The question about the relation of Christianity and science can be examined from the perspective of both dogmatics and religious philosophy.

Research on the fundamental principles of diakonia and diaconal ministry focuses on cooperation between different fields of theology. The theme is profoundly ecumenical, engaging in contemporary discussion on the nature and tasks of the ministry. Several master’s theses have been prepared on the theology of diakonia and doctoral dissertations are pending.

Views of man examines the starting points of various concepts of human beings and the fundamentals of different identities, attitudes and practices. Doctoral dissertations are also being completed in this field of study.

Deeper to the core

Systematic Theology can be studied as a major subject as part of a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in theology. As part of the Bachelor’s degree in theology, you will explore the key questions of systematic theology and obtain an overview of the history and modern approach of Christian education and ideology.

During intermediate studies, you will examine the contemporary debate on systematic theology and the fundamentals of Lutheran theology in more depth. You can also choose to study one or several special fields of systematic theology according to your own special interests.

During advanced studies, you will focus on modern Lutheran and ecumenical dogmatics, study the use of systematic theology research methods, prepare a thesis on a topic of your choice, and review the theological discussion surrounding your chosen thesis.

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