Managing Organisational Religious Diversity in Finland

Monday, July 14, 2014: 11:45 AM
Room: Harbor Lounge B
Distributed Paper
Tuomas MARTIKAINEN , Åbo Akademi University, Abo, Finland
The paper will discuss and analyse how the Finnish public administration copes with religious and spiritual diversity in the 2010s. In the post-World War II times, state’s involvement with religious affairs was on a low level with the exception of the two national churches: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Orthodox Church of Finland. During the 1990s and 2000s the presence of different religious traditions and organisations has grown considerably. The main contributors to new religious diversity have been (1) Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity, (2) religions of immigrants and (3) New Age and similar types of spirituality. Simultaneously the historical churches have experienced continuous secularisation. There has been both a novel interest in religious affairs by the Finnish public administration and a shift of governing religions from church law to networks (e.g., representative councils, interfaith associations). The new model does not replace historical church–state relations, but it works alongside it. The paper argues that in order to analyse how states’ aim to regulate and manage contemporary religious diversity, we should look at how the historical church–state relations function together with new forms of governance networks.