The first issue of the Donner Institute publication series “Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis” was published in 1967 – fifty years ago. During the half-century that has passed, many of the world’s leading researchers on religion and culture have contributed to this conference publication. Twenty-seven volumes have been published over the years, taking on varied, but always timely, research topics such as shamanism (1967), mysticism (1970), dance, music, art and religion (1996) and pilgrimage (2010). The role of religion in relation to conflict and concord (2006), the body (2011), digitalisation (2013) and food (2015) have also been treated in Scripta. Since 2014, Scripta has been published as an open-access e-publication.

To new scripta

In new clothes

To celebrate its fiftieth anniversary, Scripta has been given a new home and a new look: now the publication series is found on the publication portal Journal.fi, maintained by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. Here, you can find all previous volumes digitalised and available online. The user interface has received a much-needed facelift and the editorial features for readers, authors, reviewers and editors have been developed. We hope you will be charmed by our sprightly fifty-year-old!

The first Director Helmer Ringgren’s visions for the Donner Institute

There are many fascinating articles to be found in the Scripta archive. In the first volume, for example, the Institute’s first director, Helmer Ringgren, Professor of the History of Religion, writes about the newly founded institute and the visions for the budding activities: his own as well as those of the donors Uno and Olly Donner. First of all, Ringgren mentions the library: with pride he notes that the library, which had already been active for ten years, housed a total of 13,000 volumes. Today, we have reached 90,000. Ringgren also describes the scholarships, the symposia and the establishment of the professorship in the history of religion – all of which remain key activities for the institute to this day.

Articles that have attracted readers through the decades

Some articles in Scripta seem to attract particular attention, year after year. These articles, which in some cases have been downloaded more than 1,000 times, have become milestones in our field of research, either by summarising a topic especially well, by proposing a new methodological approach or outlining a new theoretical perspective – or just because they are written with such eloquent wit. Among these “bestsellers” are:

Lauri Honko (1972): “The Problem of Defining Myth”

Michel Pye (1991): “Methodological Integration in the Study of Religions”

Asma Barlas (2011): “Abraham’s Sacrifice in the Qur’an: Beyond the Body”