Biography

Education

  • Docent (Associate Professor), History of Religions, Uppsala University (29.5 2018).
  • Docent(Associate Professor), Comparative Religion, Åbo Akademi University (11.8 2006).

  • Doctor of Theology, Åbo Akademi University (30.11 2018). Jewish studies.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Åbo Akademi University (18.6 2004). Comparative religion
  • Master of Theology, Åbo Akademi University (31.5 2015). Jewish studies
  • Master of Arts, Åbo Akademi University (12.5 2000). Comparative religion.

  • Information Studies(60 credits), Åbo Akademi University (qualification for librarian), 2012.

Current position

Director, the Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History, Turku, Finland (start: June 2013). Leading the work at the institute, including research and library facilities, own research, arranging of conferences and networks, granting scholarships, academic publishing: www.donnerinstitute.fi/en

Previous Work Experience

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, the Donner Institute (1.4 2010-31.3 2013).
  • Research Doctor, Academy of Finland (1.3 2007-31.3 2010).
  • Senior Lecturer of Comparative Religion, Åbo Akademi University, Finland (1.8 2008-31.7 2009).
  • Research Fellow, Tampere Peace Research Institute, University of Tampere (1.8 2005-31.3 2010, leave of absence due to Academy of Finland project).
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Åbo Akademi University, Finland (1.6 2005-31.7 2005).
  • Doctoral student, Åbo Akademi University, Finland (1.8 2000-31.12 2004). Funded by scholarships 2000-2002, Graduate School of Cultural Interpretations, Academy of Finland, 2003-2004.
  • MA Student, Åbo Akademi University, Finland (1.9 1995–31.5 2000). Major subject: Comparative religion.


Visiting Research Fellowships:

  • Visiting Research Fellow, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, USA (Jan 2011)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Swedish Theological Institute, Jerusalem, Israel (March 2010)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Universität Basel, Religionswissenschaft, Switzerland (Nov-Dec 2009)
  • Visiting Doctoral Student, Uppsala University, Sweden (Aug-Dec 2002). Doctoral studies at the Faculty of Theology (funded by Nordisk Forskerutdanningsakademi, NorFa)


Professional interests

My main research interests concern questions pertaining to cultural encounters and interreligious dialogue, ethnographic research methodology with cultural studies as well as contemporary Judaism. I am especially interested in the relationship between the arts (particularly music) and religion. Chronologically, I work predominantly with contemporary religion, combining ethnographic research methods with content analysis and approaches deriving from the philosophy of religion.

Since 2016, I have been, together with Associate Professor Karin Hedner Zetterholm (Lund University), editor of the scholarly journal Nordisk judaistik / Scandinavian Jewish Studies.

I am also the director of the research project Boundaries of Jewish Identities in Contemporary Finland finansed by the Polin Institute.

Research fields and issues I have worked with include:

  • Interreligious dialogue: Ethnographic research on interreligious dialogue especially in the world of art.
  • Religion and the arts: Ethnographic and theoretical research on art and religion, religion in art and art (especially music) as a platform for expressing religious identities.
  • Contemporary Judaism: Ethnographic research on progressive Judaism in today’s Europe with particular focus on the role of music as an instigator of change in contemporary identity processes.
  • Dialogue philosophy: Interpreting Jewish dialogue philosophy and its importance for cultural and interreligious dialogue in practice.
  • Religion and change in Finland: Ethnographic, theoretical and methodological research on religious diversity in contemporary Finland related to the research project PCCR and the Church Research Institute’s survey of multi-religious Finland in connection with Finland’s centenary in 2017.
  • Intercultural communication: Development of theories and methods for researching ICC from a humanistic point of view.
  • Ethnographic research on religion and methodology: Methodological reflections on hermeneutics and methodology for contemporary ethnographic research on religion.


Peer-reviewed publications

A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Musik als interreligiöser Dialog: Ein nicht-binärer Ansatz (2019)
Ruth Illman
View on publisher's site
C2 Edited book
Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies Vol. 30/1: (2019)
Mercedes Czimbalmos, Dóra Pataricza, Simo Muir, Riikka Tuori, Elina Vuola, Ruth Illman, Mats Deland, Pekka Lindqvist, Flemming Ravn
Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History
View on publisher's site
A1 Journal article (refereed)
Researching vernacular Judaism: reflections on theory and method: (2019)
Ruth Illman
Nordisk judaistik
View on publisher's site
G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)
Music and Religious Change among Progressive Jews in London: Being Liberal and Doing Traditional (2018)
Ruth Illman
Lexington books
C2 Edited book
Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies Vol 29 No 2 (2018) (2018)
Karin Zetterholm, Ruth Illman
Donnerska institutet för religionshistorisk och kulturhistorisk forskning
A1 Journal article (refereed)
Sonic Spaces for Community Building Across Religions: The Interreligious Choir of Frankfurt. (2018)
Ruth Illman, W. Alan Smith
Arts. The Arts in Theological and Religious Studies
C2 Edited book
The Religious and Ethnic Future of Europe (2018)
Björn Dahla, Ruth Illman, Tuomas Martikainen, Peter Nynäs
Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History
A1 Journal article (refereed)
Creation and Creativity in Dara Horn’s Novel In the Image (2017)
Ruth Illman
Studies in the reception history of the Bible
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Johdanto = Inledning (2017)
Ruth Illman, Kimmo Ketola, Riitta Latvio, Jussi Sohlberg
Kirkon tutkimuskeskuksen verkkojulkaisuja
C2 Edited book
Monien uskontojen ja katsomusten Suomi = De många religionernas och åskådningarnas Finland (2017)
Ruth Illman, Kimmo Ketola, Riitta Latvio, Jussi Sohlberg
Kirkon tutkimuskeskuksen verkkojulkaisuja
C2 Edited book
Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies Vol 28 No 2 (2017) (2017)
Ruth Illman, Karin Hedner Zetterholm
Donnerska institutet för religionshistorisk och kulturhistorisk forskning
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Uskonto- ja katsomusdialogi Suomessa = Dialog mellan religioner och åskådningar i Finland (2017)
Heidi Rautionmaa, Ruth Illman, Riitta Latvio
Kirkon tutkimuskeskuksen verkkojulkaisuja
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Vapaus uskoa - miten luterilaisesta Suomesta tuli moniuskontoinen? (2017)
Ruth Illman
Gaudeamus
C2 Edited book
Art Approaching Science and Religion (2016)
Ruth Illman, Bengt Kristensson Uggla
Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Creativity, Community, Change. Functions of and Motives for Singing Niggunim (2016)
Ruth Illman
Scripta instituti donneriani aboensis
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
How Pointless it Is to Fence in a Sea. Personal Religiosity among Contemporary European Artists (2016)
Ruth Illman

Lit verlag
C2 Edited book
Jewish Studies in the Nordic Countries Today (2016)
Ruth Illman, Björn Dahla
Scripta instituti donneriani aboensis
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Emerging Trajectories of Religious Change in Finland (2015)
Peter Nynäs, Ruth Illman, Tuomas Martikainen
Lit verlag
A1 Journal article (refereed)
Facebook as a Site for Inter-religious Encounters: A Case Study from Finland (2015)
Ruth Illman, Sofia Sjö
Journal of Contemporary Religion
View on publisher's site
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Interlacing Identities, Agencies and Resources (2015)
Tuija Hovi, Ruth Illman, Peik Ingman
Lit verlag
C2 Edited book
On the Outskirts of 'the Church': Diversities, Fluidities and New Spaces of Religion in Finland (2015)
Peter Nynäs, Ruth Illman, Tuomas Martikainen
Lit verlag
C2 Edited book
Pentecostalism around the Baltic Sea (2015)
Tuija Hovi, Ruth Illman
Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Reframing Pluralism (2015)
Ruth Illman, Tuija Hovi, Tuomas Martikainen, Peter Nynäs, Sofia Sjö, Laura Wickström
Lit verlag
C2 Edited book
Religion and Food (2015)
Ruth Illman, Björn Dahla
Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Rethinking the Place of Religion in Finland (2015)
Peter Nynäs, Ruth Illman, Tuomas Martikainen
Lit verlag
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Shifting Authorities and New Legitimacies (2015)
Måns Broo, Ruth Illman, Marcus Moberg, Terhi Utriainen
Lit verlag
C2 Edited book
Systems thinking, spirituality and wisdom: Perspectives on Ken Wilber (2015)
Matti Kamppinen, J P Jakonen, Ruth Illman
Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History
C1 Book
Theology and the Arts: Engaging Faith (2013)
Ruth Illman, W. Alan Smith
Routledge


Other publications

E1 Popularised article, newspaper article
Musiikki ja muutos juutalaisessa Lontoossa (2019)
Ruth Illman
Hakehila
B1 Non-refereed journal articles
Editorial (2018)
Ruth Illman, Karin Hedner Zetterholm
Nordisk judaistik
View on publisher's site
E1 Popularised article, newspaper article
Har vi tröttnat på orden – eller: vad säger judars nonsenssång i London om hur vår religiositet förändras? (2018)
Ruth Illman
Åbo Underrättelser
B2 Book section
The ethnic and religious future of Europe (2018)
Ruth Illman, Tuomas Martikainen, Peter Nynäs
Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History
View on publisher's site
B1 Non-refereed journal articles
Transformations of identity and space in the Middle East and North Africa (2018)
Raija Mattila, Ruth Illman
Approaching Religion
View on publisher's site
B1 Non-refereed journal articles
Editorial (2017)
Ruth Illman, Karin Hedner Zetterholm
Nordisk judaistik
B1 Non-refereed journal articles
Finding beauty, goodness and truth in an ugly world: A personal theological and aesthetic account (2017)
Ruth Illman
Approaching Religion
D5 Textbook, professional manual or guide
Kultur, människa, möte : ett humanistiskt perspektiv (2017)
Ruth Illman, Peter Nynäs
Studentlitteratur
E1 Popularised article, newspaper article
Kunskap och engagemang i en föränderlig värld [Ledare] (2017)
Ruth Illman
Källan
D1 Article in a trade journal
Rytmen är livets röda tråd (2017)
Ruth Illman
Nya Argus
B1 Non-refereed journal articles
Editorial : Art Approaching Science and Religion (2016)
Ruth Illman, Bengt Kristensson Uggla
Approaching Religion
D3 Professional conference proceedings
Perspektiv på interreligiös dialog (2016)
Ruth Illman
Göteborgs interreligiösa center
B1 Non-refereed journal articles
Response to Melissa Raphael (2016)
Ruth Illman
Approaching Religion
D1 Article in a trade journal
Utmaningar i religionsdialogen (2016)
Ruth Illman
teologia.fi
E1 Popularised article, newspaper article
Pohjoismaiset judaistiikan tutkijat kokoontuivat Turkuun (2015)
Ruth Illman, Pekka Lindqvist
Hakehila


Other Research Activities


Last updated on 2019-30-08 at 15:09

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