The Donner Institute

The Donner Institute for Research into Religion and Culture is a private research institute connected to the Åbo Akademi University Foundation. We gather researchers, students and cultural agents and provide a meeting point for research on religion and culture in Finland and in the Nordic countries. We work to strengthen the visibility of research and create spaces where new knowledge can be born.

A researcher’s journey – or how I became a big girl in a small world

Until October 2016, I had never considered flying abroad alone. It wasn't even a fantasy because it's unattainable: women cannot...

From the Middle East to Finland and Back Again – Experiences of International Research

When I first moved to Finland to begin my PhD research about the concept of religiosity in law, I hadn’t...

CfP: Religion: Memory and Innovation

Call for Papers Religion: Memory and Innovation The summer school and conference (12–15 June, 2023) The aim of the summer...

Research & publications

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Approaching Religion Vol. 12/3: “Rituals and Ritualization”

The new issue of Approaching Religion is dedicated to Terhi Utriainen, Professor of the Study of Religions at the University of Helsinki and published on the 7 November 2022, Terhi’s sixtieth birthday. The issue has been compiled by guest editors Helena Kupari, lecturer at the School of Theology, University of Finland, and Maija Butters, post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. It contains reflections and research articles written by Terhi’s colleagues in Finland, the UK and the Netherlands addressing the theme of rituals and ritualization. The issue opens with an article by Linda Woodhead, F. D. Maurice Professor in Moral...

The Donner Institute Research Prize to Maija Butters

The Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture in Turku has decided to award Dr.Phil. Maija Butters the institute’s...

Approaching Religion Vol. 12/2: “Nordic Fundamentalism”

The current issue of Approaching Religion (Vol. 12, Issue 2) approaches the complex and much-debated concept of ‘fundamentalism’ from a...

The Study of Religion and Open Access-books

Today, more and more research literature, in the form of monographs and edited volumes, is published open access. This article...


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Religion and Spirituality as Sites of Learning

The conference Religion and Spirituality as Sites of Learning, organized by the Donner Institute and the LeNeRe-project (Learning from new religion and spirituality), will take place on site in Åbo/Turku, May 15-17, 2023.


Religion: Memory and Innovation

The aim of the summer school and conference is to bring together doctoral candidates and researchers from various academic fields that engage with the study of religion, such as theology, study of religions, history, philosophy, the arts, social and political sciences and other.

Book of the month

The Varieties of Religious Experience. A Study in Human Nature. Being the Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion delivered at Edinburgh in 1901-1902 by William James....

Did you know that we have the Nordic region's largest special library on religion?

Open to everyone. Weekdays 12-16.

Our donors Olly and Uno Donner were forerunners of their time.

The endowment made by Olly and Uno Donner in 1956 was one of the largest donations received by Åbo Akademi University to date. In addition to supporting research on religion and culture, the couple shared an interest in languages and anthroposophy.