Systematic Theology and Patristics

The depths of images and words

Systematic Theology and Patristics studies the thought-world of Eastern Christianity and its relationships with other ideologies. The subject contains several special fields, the most important of which are dogmatics, patristics (study of patristic texts), study of mysticism and spirituality, icon theology, philosophy of religion, ethics and ecumenism. Key topics include the basic contents of Christianity and their relation to other religions and ideologies, as well as Eastern Christian visual and literary art and its connections to other ideologies and art forms. The central object of study is patristic material (early Christian literature), which is studied from the basic studies onward.


Basic studies: starting points of Orthodox thinking


During the basic studies, students are introduced to the central content of Christian theology. At the beginning of basic studies, students learn about early Christian literature and dogmatics ‒ the basic contents of Christianity. The contents of dogmatics are closely related to both icon theology and ethics, in which the questions of good and right are observed in relation to patristic and dogmatic teaching.


Intermediate studies: what would you like to know more about?


During the intermediate studies, students expand their knowledge about the contents of Christian theology by studying themes in the field of Systematic Theology and Patristics. It is also possible to become acquainted with comparative perspectives in relation to Islam and Judaism. Students also practice their skills in preparing an academic presentation, which involves learning of methods, participation in pro seminar and writing of an independent Bachelor’s thesis.


Advanced studies: what would you especially like to focus on?


During the advanced studies, students focus on a preferred specialty and specific issues. Advanced studies are mainly completed as literature examinations agreed upon with the professor, and by writing papers. Participating in the seminar and preparing a thesis offers a student an opportunity to show, apply and develop a command of theological thinking and research-related skills.




Within Systematic Theology and Patristics, the possible research topics cover two millennia of the ideological history of Eastern Christianity and its commonalities with other ideologies. In other words, the field of research contains a wide range of languages and cultural areas. In Finland, the research in the academic subject is just beginning. The first doctors who have defended their thesis were Pekka Metso (2010), Eeva-Raunistola-Juutinen (2012) and Jaakko Olkinuora (2015).


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