NCSR 2008 - Urban Diversity and Religious Traditions
13-15 August 2008, Åbo Akademi University

Changing religious scene – a scholarly challenge

Eila Helander, University of Helsinki

In the past few years, the Finnish society has been increasingly portrayed as an emerging multicultural, and consequently also a multi-religious society. Such a statement, however, is rather vague and gives room to a number of varied, even contradicting images. In this paper I will try to get behind the phrase by asking, what are the parameters we use when we talk about the changing Finnish religious scene and to what extent do they measure or describe the width and depth of the phenomenon? Furthermore, an equally important question to be asked is, how one should interpret this change and how to grasp its societal and cultural consequences?