We are two Finnish historians, whose aim in this blog is to present German Reformations to a Finnish audience especially from the viewpoint of less well-known people, phenomena and themes. The idea for this blog arose from the current Reformation Jubilee, as a platform to not only discuss Martin Luther and his Wittenberg circle but also, and more importantly, shed light on different borderlines and margins that offer a wider window, as it were, into the religious history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The approach is scientific yet intelligible to all. Using their expertise, gained both via research and teaching at the University of Helsinki, the writers provide timely posts from the past.
Dr, adjunct professor (docent) Päivi Räisänen-Schröder is a historian specializing in early modern religiosity. Using Anabaptists in Württemberg as a case study, she examined church visitations as a central site for negotiating orthodox and dissenting beliefs and practices in the 16th and 17th centuries in her dissertation Ketzer im Dorf (for reviews, see e.g. H-Soz-u-Kult and sehepunkte.de). Since then she has broadened her field of expertise by exploring, among other things, gender and martyrdom within Anabaptism and the early Reformation, the history of reading, the relations between Finnish-language natural history, popular enlightenment and piety in the 18th century, as well as Jesuit missionaries’ notions and practices of healing at the crossroads of religion and medicine. She is also fascinated by the history of emotions, especially from the point of view of religion and gender.
Dr. Sini Mikkola is a researcher in Church History. Her interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation examined Martin Luther’s anthropology from the viewpoints of bodiliness, gender, and sexuality. The thesis analyzed Luther’s way to treat gendered bodiliness in his discussions on femininity and masculinity, that is, his construction of gendered ideals, norms, and expectations on the basis of the human body. Besides her dissertation Mikkola has also studied Luther’s self-narration through his correspondence as well as sixteenth-century women such as Katharina Schütz Zell, Argula von Grumbach, and Florentina von Oberweimar. Her targets of interest lie in the German Reformations, Late Medieval and Early Modern religious history, especially the history of gender and body, and Early Modern ego-documents.