An Intriguing Ecumenical Dialogue: Lutheran-Orthodox Encounters in Finland

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Finland is seen as a model country for ecumenism. For many years the country was almost monolithic Lutheran, but today Lutheranism is no longer a state religion. Yet, certain state-church structures still exist in this modern welfare state. Religiously Finland is characterized by strong secularization as well as by privatized faith. Since the 1960s minority churches came more to the forefront, in particular the Finnish Orthodox Church whose impact exceeds its small quantity. The Lutheran majority Church strongly facilitated the ecumenical dialogue with Eastern Orthodoxy, initially in international and later on in national perspective. In the article the development of this attractive discourse is highlighted. It became an appealing process of mutual learning between Eastern and Western Christianity.


Journal of Contemporary Christianities in Context




Elina Vuola and Hanna Stenström, ‘Introduction’, Journal of the European Society of Woman in Theological Research 15 (2007), 5.


Pirjo-Liisa Penttinen, ‘Finnish Church Hospitality offers Space to Other Churches’, Lutheran World Information 11 (2011), 7. Penttinen is General Secretary of the Young Women’s Christian Association of Finland.


Pirjo-Liisa Penttinen, ‘Finnish Church Hospitality offers Space to Other Churches’, Lutheran World Information 2011/11, 7.


Metropolitan Ambrosius, ‘Lutherans and Orthodox in Finland Live Side by Side’, Lutheran World Information 11 (2011), 8. Ambrosius is the Orthodox Bishop of Helsinki. He also initiated the Orthodox Culture Centre Sofia near Helsinki.


Elina Vuola, ‘Study of Religion and Feminist Theory: Dialogue or Silence?’, Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological Research 15 (2007), 191.


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