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Personal profile

Research interests

Curriculum Vitae (02/2024)

List of Publications (02/2024)

Keynotes and Conference Presentations (02/2024)

Current position

Director, the Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture, 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.

My main research interests concern questions pertaining to Jewish life in the Nordics today, cultural encounters and interreligious dialogue, ethnographic research methodology with cultural studies. 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 Svante Lundgren (Lund University), editor of the scholarly journal Nordisk judaistik / Scandinavian Jewish Studies. At the Donner Institute, I am the editor of the journal Approaching Religion (since 2011)

I was the director of the research project Boundaries of Jewish Identities in Contemporary Finland finansed by the Polin Institute (2018-2022) and currently take part in the EU-funded research project Recovira – Religious Communities in the Virtual Age as part of the Finnish research team at Åbo Akademi University. During the years 2024-27 I also take part in the research project Exploring the Contested Construction of Sense of Safety in Religious Spaces at the University of Helsinki, PI Prof. Anne Birgitta Pessi (funded by the Research Council of Finland).

Since 2018, I am also the Research Director of Åbo Akademi University Foundation, where I am responsible for the strategic co-operation of research funding, primarily with Åbo Akademi University, including the societal relevance and impact of research.



  • Docent (Associate Professor), History of Religions, Uppsala University (29.5 2018). 
  • Docent (Associate Professor), Study of Religions, 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). Study of Religions
  • Master of Theology, Åbo Akademi University (31.5 2015). Jewish studies
  • Master of Arts, Åbo Akademi University (12.5 2000). Study of Religions
  • Information Studies (60 credits), Åbo Akademi University (qualification for librarian), 2012.

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 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Doctor of Theology

Award Date: 30 Nov 2018

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Award Date: 18 Jun 2004

External positions

Head of Research, Åbo Akademi Foundation sr

2019 → …

Docent, Uppsala University

2018 → …

Senior Researcher, Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture

1 Apr 201031 Mar 2012

Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religions

1 Aug 200831 Jul 2009

Research Doktor, Research Council of Finland

1 Mar 20073 Dec 2010


2006 → …

Research Fellow, Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI), University of Tampere

1 Aug 200531 Mar 2010

Postdoctoral Researcher

1 Jun 200531 Jul 2005

Co-operating Researcher, Research Institute for Project Based Industry (PBI)


Doctoral Candidate in the Study of Religions

1 Aug 200031 Dec 2004


  • BL Religion
  • BM Judaism
  • GR Folklore
  • M Music


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