Laura Hellsten

Laura Hellsten

Postdoctoral researcher, Doctor in Theology


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Personal profile


Hellsten is a Doctor in Systematic Theology from Åbo Akademi University. She published her dissertation Through the Bone and Marrow: Re-examining Theological Encounters with Dance in Medieval Europe with Brepols in 2021. In her first post-doctoral position Hellsten did ethnographic fieldwork on Ethics and Science Communication in the Stiftelsen Åbo Akademi funded Centre of Excellence BACE. BACE is a collaboration centring on developing a platform for bioelectronic activation that enables control of cell signals and, thereby, stimulation of cell functions. To investigate the aspect of science communication, Hellsten developed and led the research project Avtryck i det okända - Forcing the Impossible, which created collaborations between artists and researchers in the broader context of Åbo Akademi. Hellsten is currently writing a book on the challenges and possibilities of cross-disciplinary research, particularly on how theology may create fruitful collaborations with natural science projects.

In her coming post-doctoral position at the Polin Institute, Hellsten will lead the project The Praxis of Social Imaginaries. Cosmologies, Othering and Liminality together with Lindsey Drury (PhD, Freie Universität Berlin/ University of Kent). This project aims at creating a platform for transdisciplinary research collaborations that simultaneously train scholars in science communication and investigates the relationship between praxis and social imaginaries in reading medieval travel accounts while critically inquiring about histories of othering and racialisation. The Praxis of Social Imaginaries project is enabled by winter and summer symposia hosted by the Nordic Summer University, where both artists and activists join scholars in co-creating knowledge and artistic performances.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Teologi


Master, In Education - International Program, University of Oulu


External positions

Student, Sámi University College

Aug 2022Dec 2022

Student, Sámi University College

Sept 2021 → …


  • BJ Ethics
  • BL Religion
  • BR Christianity
  • BV1460 Religious Education
  • BT Doctrinal Theology
  • D111 Medieval History
  • D051 Ancient History
  • NX Arts in general
  • LB2300 Higher Education
  • LB2361 Curriculum


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