Prof. (emer.) Aila LauhaProfessor of Church History (emerita 2019-)

    Research Profile

    Prof. Lauha’s scholarly work is focused on Contemporary Church History, Churches and the Cold War, the Ecumenical Movement and International Cooperation of the Churches, Churches and National Identity, Nordic Churches after the 2nd World War and Churches in the 1960ies as well as Finnish History of Theology in the 1920ies. In 2001–2004 she was the coordinator of the research project Churches and European Integration, financed by the European Union. In 2010-2013 she was leading the research project “The Ecumenical Movement and the Cold War Politics”, financed by the Academy of Finland. In most recent evaluation of the research at the University of Helsinki in 2011 she was the leader of the research community Contemporary European Church History that was one of the awarded research communities of the evaluation.

    Teaching Profile

    Prof. Lauha has taught church history at the University of Helsinki since the 1980s at all academic levels. She focuses on contemporary church history in Finland and in the Nordic countries, the political role of the churches and on the ecumenical movement. She has supervised 12 doctoral dissertations is currently supervising 7 doctoral theses. She takes an active part in international doctoral training especially within the Nordic countries.

    Selected Publications

    “Suomen kirkon ulkomaansuhteet ja ekumeeninen osallistuminen 1917*1922” (Foreign Relations and Ecumenical Participation in the Church of Finland 1917-1922. 1917*1922. Mit deutscher Zusammenfassung.) Suomen Kirkkohistoriallisen Seuran toimituksia 150. Diss. Jyväskylä 1990.

    “Die auswärtigen Beziehungen der finnischen Kirche und das Ökumenische Engagement in den Jahren 1917-1922,” in Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte. Heft 1/1991.

    “Nathan Söderblom and the Nordic Countries and Churches from a Finnish Point of View,” in Nathan Söderblom as a European. Sam Dahlgren, ed., Uppsala, 1993.

    “Suomen kirkon kansainväliset suhteet 1923-1925” (Foreign Relations in the Church of Finland 1923-1925/Die internationalen Beziehungen der finnischen Kirche 1923-1925. Mit deutscher Zusammenfassung.) Suomen Kirkkohistoriallisen Seuran toimituksia 159. Jyväskylä 1993.

    “Foreign relations for nationalistic goals. The activity of Finnish theologians abroad during the years of Russification between 1908-1914,”  in Church and People on Britain and Scandinavia. Ingmar Brohed, ed., Bibliotheca Historico-ecclesiastica Lundensis 36. Lund 1996.

    “Die finnische Kirche und die Kriegsschuldfrage,” in Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte, Heft 2/1999 (2000).

    “Finland: Ansvar för folket förblir kyrkans kallelse,” both articles in Nordiske Folkekirker i opbrud. National identitet og international nyorientering efter 1945. Jens Holger Schjoerring, ed., Århus, 2001.

    “The Lutheran Church of Finland and Finnish Society in the 1920s and 1930s,” in Hungary and Finland in the 20th Century. Studia Historica 68. Helsinki, 2002.

    “Finnish Christianity & Urho Kekkonen, the Grand Man of Finland’s Politics during the Cold War & Martti Simojoki,” in Nordic Folk Churches. A Contemporary Church History. Grand Rapids, Michigan/Cambridge, UK 2005.

    With H. McLeod/A. Lauha, North European Churches from the Cold War to Globalisation. Tampere: Finnish Church Research Institute, 2006.

    “Research on the cold war – experiences and challenges,” in: Kyrkohistoria – perspektiv på ett forskningsämne. ed. Anders Jarlert. Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademien, 2009. (Konferenser / Kungl. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademien; 70).

    “Religion, the Church and the 1960s in Finland,” in: Kyrkohistorisk Årsskrift 2011: Skrifter utgivna av Svenska Kyrkohistoriska Föreningen I:III. ed. Anders Jarlert. Uppsala: Svenska kyrkohistoriska föreningen, 2011.

    The Cold War and Ecclesiastical Biography in Finland. In: Spiritual and ecclesiastical biographies: Research, results and reading. Jarlert, A. (ed.). Stockholm: [KVHAA], p. 194-208 15 p. 2017.



    University of Helsinki, Department of Church History
    Faculty of Theology
    B.O. Box 33
    FI-00014 University of Helsinki

    Phone: +358 (0)9 191 23037

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    Prof. Matti Nissinen