The largest special library on religion in the Nordic countries

The Donner Library opened as long ago as 1957 and is today the largest specialist library on religion in the Nordic countries. The library is located in Humanisticum (The Dahlström Palace) at Biskopsgatan 13 in Turku, in the middle of the beautiful Åbo Akademi University campus. The library is open during weekdays between 12.00 and 16.00 (closed in July). Our primary customers are students and researchers of religion, but our library is also open to the general public.

Our collection comprises approximately 90 000 volumes pertaining to research on religion in a broad perspective. The central journals within the field are available in printed form in the library and we can help you to find your way among the e-publications as well.

Book of the month

Neuloosi, Tiina Mahlamäki, 2023, Kustannus Into.

Neuloosi – ”knitting addiction” – is an autobiographical and narrative non-fiction book on the many dimensions of knitting. The work examines knitting from perspectives including feminism, generation, community, class and religion. Simultaneously, the work describes the author’s own relationship to knitting at different life stages.

For a scholar of religion, knitting is as relevant a research topic as any practice that involves acting according to values, reflecting on ethical issues, building identity and community, respecting traditions, contributing to one’s own well-being or helping others.

Depending on the meaning the knitter gives to their work, knitting can be a religious, spiritual or secular activity. Throughout the ages, women have gathered together to meet and knit. It was seen as religious and Christian activity, part of missionary work.

For today’s knitters knitting could be a spiritual practice: mindfulness exercise or mental yoga. Or it can be seen as a completely secular, well-being enhancing hobby. It calms, reduces stress and helps manage depression or anxiety.

Neuloosi tells the story of knitting on different levels: the private and the public, the historical and the contemporary.

Tiina Mahlamäki