Who we are and what we do
Dr. Nina Nikki (PI)

Responsible researcher for the themes of hostility vs. altruism in early Christian texts. Nikki has published previously on early Christian polemical texts from a social identity perspective (Opponents and Identity in Philippians, NovTSup 173, Leiden: Brill, 2019) and conducted a personal research project on the character of the apostle Paul in cultural evolution, funded by the Research Council of Finland (2020–2023). Nikki’s research interests include the application of cognitive and cultural evolutionary theory to Biblical studies and humanities in general and the prospect of consilience, that is, unity of knowledge between the sciences.

Harri Söderholm, doctoral researcher

In his ongoing dissertation, he explains the popularity of early Christian martyr phenomena using the cultural evolutionary framework. His main research questions concern the cognitive optimality of martyr discourses and their individual and especially group-level benefits. Söderholm interprets martyrdom not only as a characteristic of early Christianity but also as a phenomenon inherent in the psychological profile of the human species. He is fascinated by the idea of interdisciplinary consilience; humanities and natural sciences explore the same reality, and their theories and methods should be reconcilable. Echoing Theodosius Dobzhansky, he asserts that everything makes sense in Biblical Studies — especially in the light of evolution. Söderholm is broadly interested in cognitive-evolutionary perspectives on religion and their application to the study of early Christianity. As regards research methods, he sympathizes with experiments in many senses of the word.

Pasi Hyytiäinen, postdoctoral researcher

Hyytiäinen is a New Testament textual critic, who specialized in computer-assisted stemmatology. His previous studies have focused on the textual history of Acts of the Apostles. He actively develops different kinds of digital tools for textual critics, but also for textual scholarship in general. In this project, Hyytiäinen is responsible for the digital tools used in the project and their development.

Cooperation partners
Dr. Vojtěch Kaše

EXPRECCE collaborates actively with Dr. Vojtěch Kaše, who is the head of the Computing Culture and Society Lab (CCS-Lab) at the University of West Bohemia and the creator of the Lemmatized Ancient Greek corpus (LAGT).

Dr. Zdeňka Špiclová

Dr. Zdeňka Špiclová, University of West Bohemia, is an expert on cognitive and evolutionary approaches to religion with a focus on the transmission of Jesus tradition in early Christianity.