Our symposia

The symposia and roundtable conferences arranged by the Donner Institute have for decades been a central meeting place for researchers and other experts in comparative religion and research on religion in a broad and multidisciplinary sense, in a Finnish, a Nordic and an international context.

Since 1962, the institute has regularly organised Nordic and international symposia. The time of the first symposium relates to the establishment of a professorship in the history of religion at the Faculty of Humanities at Åbo Akademi University, with funding from the Donner Institute. Until 1978, these symposia were held every two years and thereafter about every three years. Since 2007, symposia have been organised every year or every second year. Articles written on the basis of the conference presentations are published in the publication series Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, which has been published for more than half a decade.

The symposia are planned and arranged together with various scholarly partners and interest groups. Previously, we have collaborated with, among others, the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR), the European Association for the Study of Religion (EASR), Finnish Society for the Study of Religion (SUS), Finnish Institute in the Middle East (FIME), the departments of Comparative Religion and Folklore Studies at Åbo Akademi University and the University of Turku as well as the Migration Institute.

Previous symposia have focused on, for example, the following topics:

The Religious and Ethnic Future of Europe (2017)

Jewish Studies in the Nordic Countries Today (2015)

Religion and Food (2014)

Digital Religion (2012)

Our Roundtable Conferences

Since 2010, the Donner Institute has regularly organised roundtable discussions on current themes relating to the research on religion and culture. The purpose is to gather a limited number of experts in a given area for intensive and in-depth conversations about a relevant research question or current societal and cultural phenomenon. Articles written on the basis of these gatherings are published in the institute’s e-journal Approaching Religion with guest editors from all over the world. Some issues are also based on the work of various research groups pertaining to specific topics.

Previous roundtable conferences have dealt with the following topics:

  • Art Approaching Science and Religion (2016)
  • Jewish Studies in the Nordic Countries Today (2015)
  • The New Visibility of Atheism in Europe (2012)