Katharina Kunter appointed professor in Contemporary Church History

Katharina Kunter has been appointed to the position of professor in Contemporary Church History, specifically in the Nordic countries and Europe at the Faculty of Theology.

One of Katharina Kunter’s particular fields of research has long been Europe, especially the Baltic Sea as a space of diverse transnational networks, and Christian cultures. She first examined the ecclesiastical search for "dialogue" and "détente" in the Cold War Era in the Helsinki (CSCE) process from 1968 to 1978, in which Nordic Protestants played an important role, in her PhD dissertation at the University of Gießen, Germany. This was followed by various research collaborations with the Nordic countries resulting in longer and shorter teaching and research stays in Denmark, Estonia and Finland - as well as in the Netherlands.

The international comparative perspective has formed the broader scope of Kunter’s scholarly work namely the political and cultural formations of European Christianity in the 20th and 21st century. Where was its place between the two world wars and the Cold War on one side, and the pacification of European societies and the unification of Europe on the other side? How was Christianity inventing the 1960s, how were churches acting as humanitarian agencies after 1945 and how did they slowly accept human rights as an independent socio-ethical Christian norm?

These are some of Katharina Kunter’s research questions.

“I am looking very much forward to exploring them now with students and doctoral students at the Faculty of Theology in Helsinki, at a place, which could not better fit because of its two "European Moments" in contemporary history: the introduction of women's suffrage in 1905, being the first country in Europe to do so, and the 1975 Helsinki Final Act with its insistence on peaceful change and human rights in Europe.”