Marika Räsänen: Creating Unity and Forming Identity Through Liturgical Song

Docent Marika Räsänen has studied late medieval saints’ offices and her special interests include uses of relics in Catholic devotional culture. In 2013, Räsänen defended her doctoral thesis at the Department of Cultural History, the University of Turku, on the cult of Thomas Aquinas’s relics in southern Italy. She is a part-time researcher in the project Lived Religion in Medieval Finland and also holds a part-time position as the University Teacher at the University of Turku.

As a researcher in the project Lived Religion, she studies the liturgical material of the medieval diocese of Turku. From the perspective of her research material, she examines the joint questions of the project, including, for example, what kind of the local and trans-local characters of devotional practices can be found in the cults of Saints Birgitta, Mary, Anna and Henrik in the diocese of Turku. The liturgical material also enables a focus on the Dominican communities in Turku and Viipuri and a further study their liturgical practices and experiences on religion as lived reality. This subproject also seeks to approach the general outlines of lived religion offered by the liturgical system in the level of parishes. The collegial discussion and the source pluralism which will be fulfilled through different subprojects support the study of the liturgy as a sensorial experience with powerful communal character.