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a very short introduction


Tiina Mahlamäki PhD, Docent

Senior lecturer in Comparative Religion
School of History, Culture and Arts Studies
University of Turku, Finland

Email: tituma[at]utu.fi

Phone: +358 40 549 8902


Research projects:

Co-imagined knowledge: methodological encounters with esoteric and vernacular spirituality

Seekers of the new: Esotericism and the transformation of religiosity in the modernising Finland, 1880–1940


  • History of religions in Finland
  • History of religions in Europe in modern era
  • Religion and gender
  • Western Esotericism
  • Research ethics
  • Academic writing
  • Methodology in study of religion
  • Supervising, graduating and mentoring master theses and dissertations

I’m also responsible for the data archive of folkloristics and comparative religion.

My dissertation Naisia kansalaisuuden kynnyksellä. Eeva Joenpellon Lohja-sarjan tulkinta [Women on the threshold of nationhood. An interpretation of the Lohja series by Eeva Joenpelto] 2005, was an interdisciplinary research, connecting the methods and theories of comparative religion, literary critics and women’s studies. In the dissertation I explored the ways female citizenship is manifested in literature. My subsequent biography of Eeva Joenpelto was published in 2009.

In my research I have continued focusing on questions on religion, nationality/citizenship and literature. Of particular  interest has been the presence and impact of Swedish scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) in the published and unpublished writings of 19th century national authors in Finland. Most recently I’ve doing research on a Finnish female author and antroposophist Kersti Bergroth, as well as on questions on secularity, atheism and gender.

My latest publication include a biography of Kersti Bergroth Kaikki maallinen on vain vertauskuvaa [All that is transitory is but a symbol], 2017 and an edited volume on creative nonfiction, Kuvittelua ja kurinalaista [Imagined and disciplined], 2017 together with Emilia Karjula.

Research interests:

  • western esotericism
  • religion and literature
  • religion and nationalism
  • civil religion
  • religion and gender
  • secularity and non-religion
  • contemporary religiosity in Finland
  • concept of imagination
  • creative writing

I’m a member of the executive board of the Donner Institute, the President of the Finnish Society for the Study of Religion  and Turun yliopistojen dosenttiyhdistys/Docentföreningen vid Universiteten I Åbo;  member of the editorial board of Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis; and a member of the steering group of research network ”Uncanny” (Kumma).