Centre for Theology and Religious Studies

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


My previous studies include:

* BSSc and MSSc (University of Helsinki). Main focus on communications and media, especially representations of ethnicity, identity politics, intercultural encounters, multiculturalism and racism. In my Master’s Thesis I analysed discourses of the Roma minority in Finnish newspaper articles.

* BTh and MTh (University of Helsinki). Focus on systematic theology and especially postcolonial theologies and liberation theologies. In my Master’s Thesis I studied George E. Tinker’s postcolonial theology and its paradigmatic structures. Tinker is a Native American scholar and protestant theologian who applies critical postcolonial theory in his work.

My research interests include:

* Postcolonial Theologies & Postcolonial criticism
* Interreligious dialogue
* Theology of Religions
* Intercultural Encounters
* Identity, Gender, Ethnicity
* Liberation Theologies
* Indigenous Theologies
* Communication theories


About the research

Postcolonial Theology of Coexistence and Relationships

If God is the God of the oppressed, is (S)he also the God of the oppressor and the privileged? If so, what does it mean for our life in the midst of inequalities and power structures?

In my research I focus on dimensions of coexistence in postcolonial theology. I study the approaches of two theologians, George E. Tinker, Native North American (Osage Nation) and Mitri Raheb, Palestinian Arab. I bring into a dialogue and under a comparative gaze these contemporary Lutheran pastors, in their understanding of relationship as a theological, political and spiritual concept. They construct theology of sovereignty and liberation in different religious and socio-historic landscapes but with similar challenges, such as occupation and (geographical, political, mental and spiritual) colonization – using Christian tradition and narratives in a way meaningful for their diverse communities. I study how these praxis-oriented theologians see the transformative processes of coexistence, which enable mutual peace and social justice, nonviolence and refusing to demonize the Other. How do they construct the idea of relationships with the stranger, enemy, neighbor, oneself, Land, creation and God?

As a Lutheran theologian and pastor I study my colleagues' texts. I see it as a call into action, dialogue and creative ways of formulating theology of coexistance in my own context – a challenge I am willing to take up during my research pr

Research portal (Lund University)

Other tasks and qualifications

During my studies, life has taken me to Tanzania (Makumira University College), where I had the privilege to study peacemaking theology, East African interreligious dialogue, and questions concerning HIV/AIDS and the church. I have also stayed extended periods of time among the Ojibwe, a Native American people, in Ontario, Canada. In Brazil I have gotten to know liberation theology based basic ecclesial communities.

At the moment I am one of the students of The Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI), an ecumenical initiative and programme for postgraduate theologians, supported by the Ecumenical Theological Education Programme of World Council of Churches in co-operation with Bossey Ecumenical Institute and several universities worldwide.

In addition to PhD student, I am also a lutheran pastor. To me questions regarding theological power structures and postcolonial criticism are not mere theory. They need to be implemented in the context where we work, study and live. For me Postcolonial Networks has been a valuable community in living out what I read about daily. To hear more about my motivation, go to:

Other important networks of mine include Refugee Hospitality Club in Helsinki, Red Cross International, and Finland-Tanzania Association. I am also a dance enthusiast and believe in lindy hop’s power to heal wounded relationships and build peace.

Marjaana Toiviainen

Doctoral Student
Church and Mission Studies
Centre for Theology and Religious Studies

Contact information

E-mail marjaana.toiviainenctr.luse

Phone +46 46 222 90 35

Visiting address Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address Box 192, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 30