University Lecturer in Comparative Religion, University of Turku
I am particularly interested in the uses of literature as research material in religious studies, and in the biographical approach. I pay specific attention to issues related to gender and research ethics.
Within the past decade I have conducted research on the field of Western esotericism. I have investigated the reception of the Swedish scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1771) in the Finnish press and how his ideas were reflected in our national literature, particularly in the production of J. L. Runeberg and Aleksis Kivi.
I have spent the past few years familiarising myself with the life of the anthroposophist and author Kersti Bergroth (1886–1975). This work was brought to conclusion when my biography of Bergroth was published in 2017 (Kaikki maallinen on vain vertauskuvaa. Kirjailija Kersti Bergrothin elämäkerta, Helsinki: Partuuna). At the moment I am editing a volume on modern esotericism in Finland together with Nina Kokkinen and another one on religion and imagination with Aila Viholainen and Jaana Kouri.
I am passionate about reading and writing. I enjoy spending time in literary retreats where I can commit myself to writing alone or together with other writers and researchers. My hobbies include keeping a personal blog and writing a book about the 1980s girl band Lasten ristiretki (Children’s Crusade).
Keywords: Kersti Bergroth, anthroposophy, Suomen Antroposofinen Seura, Emanuel Swedenborg, J. L. Runeberg, Aleksis Kivi, creative nonfiction, imagination, religion and gender, esotericism and literature, tresearch ethics
Blog: Nostetaan teksti pöydälle: https://tituma2.wordpress.com
Publications relating to the project:
- Editorial: History of Modern Western Esotericism: Individuals, ideas, practices. Theme Issue. Approaching Religion 2018 (1). Tiina Mahlamäki & Maarit Leskelä-Kärki (toim.) <https://journal.fi/ar/article/view/70194>
- A relation of Swedenborgianism and anthroposophy: The case of the Finnish author Kersti Bergroth and her novel The Living and the Dead. Approaching Religion 2018 (1), 69–78. <fi/AR>
- ”A touch of the spiritual world”?: An Anthroposophical Core in the life and work of Kersti Bergroth (1886–1975). In Terhi Utriainen & Päivi Salmesvuori (eds) Finnish Women Making Religion – Between Ancestors to Angels, 103–121. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Tiina Mahlamäki & Tomas Mansikka 2013: ”His Visions have Captured my Thoughts.” Emanuel Swedenborg in the Newspapers and National Literature in 19th century Finland. Karl Grandin (ed.) Emanuel Swedenborg – Exploring a ”World Memory”. Context, Content, Contribution, 296-311. Stockholm: The Center for the History of Sciences, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
- The Reception of Emanuel Swedenborg in Finnish Newspapers in the 19th century. – Giulia Sfameni Gasparro & Augusto Cosentino & Mariangela Monaca (eds), Religion in the History of European Culture. Proceedings of the EASR Annual Conference and IAHR Special Conference, 14-17 September 2009, Messina (Italy). (Biblioteca dell’Officina di Studi Medievali 16: 2.) Palermo: Officina di Studi Medievali, 621-629.
- Tiina Mahlamäki & Tomas Mansikka 2010. Remarks on Swedenborgian Elements in the Literary Production of Johan Ludvig Runeberg. – Temenos1/46.
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