HELENA KUPARI

University Lecturer

study of religions


I started working at the School of Theology of the University of Eastern Finland in August 2022. My background is in study of religions. I received my doctorate from the University of Helsinki in 2015. Between 2015 and 2022, I worked as Postdoctoral Researcher and University Lecturer (fixed-term) at the same university.

My research is situated in-between anthropology and sociology of religion. I study contemporary Finnish religiosity and spirituality, often focusing on Orthodox Christianity. I am particularly interested in everyday lived expressions of religion and their embodied, material, ritual, and experiential dimensions. Through this grass-roots lens, I examine questions related to stability and change in individual religiosity; religion, power, and intersectionality; and the porous boundaries between religion, spirituality, and secular society and culture.

My research is qualitative in nature and utilizes ethnographic as well as written data. In and through my work, I engage with various theoretical discussions, such as critical social theory, practice theory, ritual theory, social memory studies, semiotic anthropology, theories of conversion, anthropological theories of learning, and feminist theory.

Contact info

Organization

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Email

helena.kupari@uef.fi

Phone

+358 50 564 0278

Keywords

Teaching Activities

I am responsible for basic studies in study of religion as well as for some intermediate study units related to different world religions.

Research groups and research projects

I am affiliated with the Academy of Finland research project Learning from new religion and spirituality (LeNeRe), PI professor Terhi Utriainen, University of Helsinki. The funding period for my Academy of Finland postdoctoral project Conversion to Orthodox Christianity and class culture among Finnish cultural professionals (ConClass) ended in the Summer of 2022. Between 2014 and 2017, I worked in the Academy of Finland project Embodied Religion: Changing meanings of body and gender in contemporary forms of religious identity in Finland, PI professor Elina Vuola, University of Helsinki. My dissertation research discussed the religiosity of displaced Karelian Orthodox women in Finland.

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