Jaana Hallamaa has done research on various aspects of ethics. At the
beginning of her career in the early 1980 s she was perplexed by the
question of how the gospel of freedom turns into an instrument of oppression.
She chose the South African Reformed Church for whites only and its racist
theology as a research subject. "I wanted to learn to understand
the oppressor and the oppressor's point of view, and see how
religion and its dogma are turned into an ideology that works for
political and economic interests".
In recent years, Hallamaa has focussed on bioethics and social ethics.
With the rapid development in the biosciences and biomedicine, we are
faced with a whole new range of questions and challenges. Bioethics aims
at finding sustainable ways, both from the point of view of humanity and
the environment, of exploiting the achievements of research in
the biosciences. The political and economic changes of the late 20th
century force us to question whether Finland will be able to maintain and
develop its welfare state as a member of the European Union in this world
driven by market forces. What are the factors that have contributed to
the establishment and maintenance of a society based on
the feeling of responsibility for others?
Interaction is an integral part of research work. Hallamaa has worked in
European and Nordic research groups and has passed on her own research,
as well as the research of others, in teaching and in textbooks - among
other things, she has written textbooks for ethics and philosophy courses
in the upper secondary school. In 1997 Jaana Hallamaa was chosen for
the University of Helsinki Teaching Award.