Mutual recognition - avoiding conflicts in the world

In a multicultural society, we cannot agree with everyone.

Therefore we need the basic attitude of toleration. In recent years, scholars have increasingly argued that toleration can and should be complemented with another attitude, namely, recognition. When we recognize other people and groups, we aim not only at toleration, but also understanding one another and creating an informed judgment regarding the differences between us. Recognition thus enhances trust and respect between different indviduals and groups.

At the Faculty of Theology, the Centre of Excellence “Reason and Religious Recognition” focuses on the issues of mutual recognition in religious contexts. The multidisciplinary groups studies both historical and contemporary encounters between religious convictions. We also aim at developing new theoretical tools, such as “mediated recognition”. This concept can mean a situation in which disagreeing parties nevertheless commit to recognize a common mediator (like a referee in football game) or a common boundary (e.g. between religion and scientific knowledge).


Risto Saarinen, Recognition and Religion: A Historical and Systematic Study. Oxford University Press 2016.

H. Koskinen, R. Palmen, R. Saarinen (eds.) ”Religious Recognition” A Topical Issue of Open Theology (de Gruyter open access journal 2016), with ten refereed papers.