The Finnish Society of
The foundation of the Finnish
Society of Church History is closely connected
with the spiritual and ideological developments of the 1880s. In
was a time when, particularly among the academic circles of the younger
generation, Darwinism and the theory of evolution were leading towards
atheism. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland was considered
old-fashioned and it was pushed to a position of defence.
The result was that Finnish
pastors took up the fight for defence in which
new weapons of scientific research were to be used. At the private
pastors held in 1887, Rector Jaakko Päivärinta suggested that
societies should be founded. One of them should be a church historical
society whose work would be, above all, devoted to the collecting of
sources of national church history.
Eventually, in 1891, the
government was able to ratify the rules of the
Finnish Society of Church History. The other society established the
year was the Finnish Theological Literature Society.
The series of Publications
(Toimituksia) began in 1895, and consists mainly
of monographs, and to some extent also of collections of sources and of
collections of articles. There are also many Festschrifts in the
the end of 2003, there were altogether 190 publications. Most of the
publications are in Finnish or Swedish, but there are also a few in
and German, and even two in Estonian. The publications are normally
with summaries in either German or English. Manuscripts are accepted
publication on the advice of two specially designated referees.
The Society also published a
series of Minutes (Pöytäkirjat) with
supplementaries, 10 volumes in 1898-1912. At that point, the series was
transformed into a Yearbook, the first issue of which was published in
Despite the name, it has often been issued as joint-volumes of many
the end of 2003, 50 issues of the Yearbook had been published. At
minutes of the Society were published in the Yearbook This, however,
cancelled in 1970. Today, the Yearbook consists of articles, conference
research reports, annual reports of the Society, and literature reviews.
Many of the articles published
in the Yearbook (see editorial rules) have first been brought to publicity as discourses at the monthly meetings. The meetings have been
active and regular since 1901. They traditionally take place during the
university term, on the first Monday of the month (October to April).
Altogether there are seven meetings a year, the most festive of them
annual festival on the 19th of January which is the anniversary of the
Finnish apostle in the Middle Ages, St Henrik. Only during wars and
revolutions have some of these meetings been cancelled.
Other regular activities of the
Society include a Church History Day, which
is held every other year. The first one was held in Helsinki in 2001.
spring, usually in May, the Society organizes an excursion to some
historically interesting place or places. These trips are usually done
and last only one day, but if the destination is farther off, they may
two to three days.
How to apply for
An application has to be
directed to the Board of the Society. The membership
fee is 25 € (15 € for students). Members receive the Yearbook
for free and
pay reduced prices for the publications.
How to buy publications
The publications of the FSCH are
sold at the bookstore Tiedekirja,
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Secretary Sini Mikkola,
Department of Church History, P.O. Box 33, 00014
University of Helsinki, Finland.
E-mail email@example.com, fax +358-9-19123033