Career, Research & Teaching
- Doctor of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, Finland major subject: Latin language and Roman literature
- Magister Philosophiae, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, major subject: general history, minor subject: Finnish history
- 2019- Research Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki.
- 2019 Visiting Fellow, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, University of Bochum.
- 2014-2019 University researcher (senior research fellow), “Reason and Religious Recognition” Centre of Excellence, Academy of Finland, Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki. The projects: Alienation, Adaptation, Accommodation: Imperial and ecclesiastical discourses of control and religious dissenters in the late Roman Empire in 350–450.
- 2011-2014 Research Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, with my own project Rhetoric and realities in the late Roman Empire: Imperial and ecclesiastical discourses of control and religious dissenters in the years 300 to 450. I organised an academic colloquium “Emperors and the Divine: Rome and Beyond” (January 2014) from which I edited a peer-reviewed volume of articles (CollEGium, 2016).
- 2005-2011 Academy Research Fellow, Academy of Finland, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, Finland, with my own research project From Defence to Assault: The Transformation of Polemical Strategies in Christian Literature in 300–340, and published the monograph Forbearance and Compulsion: Rhetoric of Tolerance and Intolerance in Late Antiquity (2009). I led the Faces of the other: Otherness in the late Roman world research project with four doctoral candidates preparing their dissertations. I edited a volume of articles The Faces of the other: Religious Rivalry and Ethnic Encounters in the later Roman world (2012).
- 2000-2005 Postdoctoral researcher, Academy of Finland, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, Finland, with my own research project Debate and Dialogue: Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity; I published the monograph Debate and Dialogue: Christian and Pagan Cultures, c. 360–430 (2007).
- 2001 Visiting Researcher, Alte Geschichte, Friedrich Meinecke Institut, Freie Universität Berlin.
Fellowships and Awards
- 2017 The award of The Customer of the Year (Vuoden asiakas), National Library of Finland.
- 2017 Commendation for the award of The Historical Book of the Year (Vuoden historiateos), Historian ystäväin liitto [The association of History in Finland] for the book Rooman viimeiset päivät [Handbook of Late Antiquity].
- 2016 Candidate for the Finnish Kanava non-fiction literature award with the book Rooman viimeiset päivät [Handbook of Late Antiquity].
- 2014 Member of the Reason and Religious Recognition Centre of Excellence, Academy of Finland.
- 2011 Membership of the research unit Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East that was evaluated as outstanding in 2010
- 2004 Docent in Latin language and Roman literature, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki.
- 1993-1996 Funding for the preparation of doctoral thesis, Herman Rosenberg Foundation, University of Helsinki.
- 1993-1994 Postgraduate studies as exchange student, University College & King’s College, University of London.
- 1992-1998 Researcher in the research project of Doc. Anne Helttula (The inscriptions of Isola Sacra) at the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, Rome and Helsinki.
Organisation of International Conferences
- 2007-2016 I organised annually the multidisciplinary Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity (FSLA), University of Helsinki, with Ville Vuolanto and Ulla Tervahauta (e.g. 2016 November “Slavery in Late Antiquity”).
- 2014 International symposium “Emperors and the Divine – Rome and its Influence” at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, papers to be published in Emperors and the Divine – Rome and Beyond, ed. M. Kahlos, CollEGium: Helsinki, 2016.
- 2016 International workshop “Reflections on Recognition”, with Heikki J. Koskinen and Ritva Palmén, University of Helsinki.
- 2016 November: Symposium “Being Pagan, Being Christian” at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies with Katja Ritari, William van Andringa (Lille) & Jan Stenger (Glasgow).
- 2017 May: Symposium “Latin and the Republic of Letters, Diachronic Concepts of Education from Oral Tradition to Digital Humanities” at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies with Alexandra Grigorieva.
- 2018 March: Symposium “Ideas and Identities in Late Antiquity: Jews, Christians, and Muslims”, at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies with Ilkka Lindstedt, Nina Nikki & Riikka Tuori.
Institutional Responsibilities and Commissions of Trust
2018- AIEP (Association Internationale d’Études Patristiques) National correspondent for Finland.
2018- Member of board of the Finnish Society of Byzantine Studies [Bysantin tutkimuksen seura].
2016- Editorial board, Social Worlds of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, Amsterdam University Press.
2015- Member of the editorial board of Arctos, Acta Philologica Fennica, University of Helsinki.
2013-2014 Member of the editorial board of COLLeGIUM, the scholarly journal of Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.
2012-2014 Representative of the staff on the executive board, 2012-13; deputy representative of the staff on the executive board 2013-14, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki.
2017-2018 Representative of the staff in the board of “Reason and Religious Recognition” Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence, University of Helsinki.
2007-2011 Member of the council for AIEP (Association Internationale d’Études Patristiques).
Teaching experience: university courses approx. once a year (including ancient history, Greek mythology, Roman historiography, ancient political theory, ancient religions, tools for writing dissertations and text courses in Latin literature), University of Helsinki, since 1999.
2018 Augustine, Confessions Book 8, Univ. of Helsinki
2018 Religious Deviance as Cultural Historical Phenomenon in Antiquity, Univ. of Helsinki.
2016 Economy, Power and Religion in Late Antiquity, Univ. of Helsinki.
2016 Visiting professor, University of Perugia, October.
2016 Historical Perspectives to Conflict and Dialogue, co-teaching within Master programme Religious Conflict and Dialogue, Univ. of Helsinki (in English).
2016 Religious Conflict and Coexistence in Graeco-Roman Antiquity, Univ. of Helsinki (in English).
2015 From Conflict to dialogue? Historical research on Recognition, co-teaching within Master programme Religious Conflict and Dialogue, Univ. of Helsinki (in English).
2015 Transformation of World Views from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages, with Katja Ritari, Univ. of Helsinki (in English).
2014 Luminosus Limes – Geographical, Ethnic, Social and Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity, Summer school, Central European University, Budapest (in English)
2013 Imperium Romanum, Univ. of Helsinki
2012 Ancient history and mythology, Univ. of Helsinki
2009 Ancient history, Univ. of Helsinki
2008 Augustine’s political texts, Univ. of Helsinki
2008 Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum, Univ. of Helsinki
2008 Religions and cultural identity in ancient Rome, Univ. of Helsinki
2007 Religions in the Roman Empire: Latin texts, Univ. of Helsinki
2005 Augustine, Confessions, Univ. of Helsinki
2004 Ancient history, Univ. of Helsinki
2003 Christian apologetics, Univ. of Helsinki
2002–2003 From sources into dissertation, workshop, Univ. of Helsinki
2002 Roman historiography, Univ. of Helsinki
1999-2001 Courses of Latin level II, Helsinki Summer University
1999-2000 Courses of elementary Latin, Helsinki Summer University
1999 Greek mythology, Open University of Univ. of Helsinki
2012 University pedagogy 1 (5 credits, grade: 5, the best grade), Univ. of Helsinki.
2013 University pedagogy 2 (5 credits, grade: 5, the best grade), Univ. of Helsinki.
Presentations / International Conferences (Selection)
- 2018: “Citizens and aliens: The frontiers of Romanness” at the conference ’Global and Local Cultures in the Roman East: From Domination to Interaction’, Univ. of Helsinki.
- 2018: “Rutilius Namatianus and his Barbarians: Desperate escapism or confident universalism?” at the conference ’Rutilius Namatianus, aristocrate païen en voyage et poète’, Université Paris X Nanterre.
- 2018: “Orosius, Barbarians, and the Christian Success Story” at the conference La historia como un magistra vitae, Universida de Granada.
- 2018: “Bishops and Local People in Debate and Rivalry in Late Antiquity”, at the conference ‘Religious Rivalry and Disputes in Late Antiquity’, Universidad de Málaga.
- 2018: “How to recognize a heretic? Goths and Romans in the multicultural Empire”, at the conference Passages from Antiquity to Middle Ages, Univ. of Tampere
- 2018: “Mimus religionis, mimicry and deviance: Late antique polemic against religious others”, at the conference ‘Religious Polemics and Encounters in Late Antiquity: Boundaries, Conversions and Persuasion’, Åbo Akademi.
- July 2018: Organising the panel “Citizens and Aliens in Greco-Roman Antiquity”, at the SBL /EABS conference, University of Helsinki.
- July 2018: “‘Monopoly of Truth? Christian Emperors, Divination, and Curiositas’, at the conference Dämonische Orakel oder göttlicher Hinweis? Universität Siegen.
- June 2018: “Citizens, Aliens, and Recognition” at the conference “Recognition: Its Theory and Practice”, University of Helsinki.
- March 2018: “Pagans and/or Christians? In Search for Local People in Fourth and Fifth Centuries”, “Ideas and Identities in Late Antiquity: Jews, Christians, and Muslims”, at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki.
- March 2018: Discussant of the paper by Nicola Denzey Lewis, Eduard Iricinschi, and Antti Lampinen, “Ideas and Identities in Late Antiquity: Jews, Christians, and Muslims”, at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki.
- 2017: “How to be a good Christian and perform sacrifices/ritualistic slaughters in Late Antiquity?” in Panel: Religious World of Late Antiquity Section, org. Todd Berzon & Moulin Vidas, Society of Biblical Literature, Boston.
- 2017: “Recognizing the Road: Graeco-Roman Appeals for Religious Diversity in the Late Roman Empire” in Panel: Recognition, Religious Identities, and the Recognition-Failures of Theodicies, American Academy of Religion, Boston.
- 2017: Introduction to the Center for Excellence on Reason and Religious Recognition in the seminar Recognition in Religion and Theology, Columbia University, New York.
- 2017: “Mimus religionis: Late antique Christian denigration of Graeco-Roman religions as superstition and distortion”, in Panel: The literary polemics between “paganism” and Christianity, org. Chiara Tommasi Moreschini & Miguel Herrero, European Association for the Study of Religion, Leuven.
- 2017: “Religious Authority in Crisis? – The Quest for Local Rituals in Late Antiquity”. Panel: Delineating the Confines of Proper Piety: Negotiating Religious Authority in Antiquity, org. Marika Rauhala & Kahlos, European Association for the Study of Religion, Leuven.
- 2017: “Violence in words: Christian Polemics against religious dissenters”, in the conference “The expropriation and Destruction of Synagogues in Late Antiquity”, org. Johannes Hahn, Religion und Politik – Exzellenzcluster, University of Münster.
- May 2017: “Whose poetry, whose paideia, whose tradition? Late Antique Debates on the Greco-Roman Cultural Heritage”, in the conference “Latin and the Republic of Letters, Diachronic Concepts of Education from Oral Tradition to Digital Humanities”, at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.
- April 2017: “Ausonius and Bissula – War booty and the Roman Gaze”, in the conference Forced Movement in Late Antiquity, German Historical Institute, London / University of Sheffield.
- March 2017: “Shifting Sacrifices? Fifth-century Developments in Ritual Life”, in the conference Shifting Frontiers: Fifth Century, Yale University.
- Jan 2017: “Christianization and Late Antique Patronage”, invited speaker, University of St. Andrews.
- Oct 2016: Lecturing as visiting professor, University of Perugia.
- 2016: “Multiplex perniciosa perversitas – The image of Pelagianism in Gelasius’ letters in Collectio Avellana”, in “La Collectio Avellana e le alter Collezioni canoniche di ambiente italica”, University of Perugia / Gubbio.
- “Waiting for Immigrants” and “Religious freedom in the Ancient Context – The cases of Tertullian and Ambrose”, European Association for the Study of Religion, Helsinki, June 29, 2016.
- “Groups, Boundaries and Transgressors – Bishops and their Flocks in the Fourth Century”, in “Poteri in crisi e identità collettive: religione e soluzioni strategiche (IV-VI secolo)”, University of Catania, Nov. 5, 2015.
- ”Minority Report: ’Minorities’ and ’Majorities’ in Argumentation in Late Antique Inter-religious and Intra-religious Disputes”, XXI IAHR World Congress 2015, University of Erfurt, Aug. 24, 2015.
- “Heresy Test and the Barbarian Other: Fourth-Century Bishops and Goths”, ”Seventeenth International Conference on Patristic Studies”, Oxford, Aug. 14, 2015.
- “Rhetoric on Magic and the Christian self-image” in “Rhetoric and Religious Identity in Late Antiquity”, University of Exeter, April 24, 2015.
- ”Dissimulatio and the Realities in the Legislation against Religious Dissidents in the Fourth and Fifth centuries”, in “Bishops, Councils and Imperial Court in the western Roman Empire”, University of Santander, Nov. 7, 2014.
- “Goths and the discussion on Romanness in the late fourth and early fifth centuries C.E.”, Fédération internationale des associations d’études classiques conference, Bordeaux, Oct. 29, 2014.
- “The Label of Magic in the Fourth-century Disputes and Conflicts” in “Pagans and Christians in late antique Rome. Interpreting the Evidence”, Hungarian institute, Rome, Sept. 20, 2012.
- “Pacifiers and Instigators – Bishops in Interreligious Conflicts in Late Antiquity” in “Conflict and Compromise. The Role of the Bishop in Late Antiquity”, University of Granada, Sept. 29, 2011.
- “Divine Wrath and Divine Favour”, Sixteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies, Oxford, Aug. 12, 2011.
- “The Faces of the Other: Otherness in the Greco-Roman World”, University of Göttingen, Courant Research Centre Education and Religion, Oct. 5, 2010.
- “Grey Areas in Late Antiquity?” in “Ausbreitung von Religionen und Neutralisierung von gesellschaftlichen Räumen”, University of Frankfurt, June 26, 2010.
- “Multiple identities and hybrids” in “Religious Identity, Conversion, and Ethnic Identity in Late Antiquity”, University of Manchester, Feb. 4, 2010.
- “Ditches of Destruction: Cyril’s rhetoric of pressure and persuasion”, in “Approaching Ephesus: Theology, Politics and Rhetoric at the Council of 431”, Oxford Centre of Late Antiquity, Oxford, Corpus Christi College, March 3, 2009.
- “The Importance of Being a Pagan” in “Pagani e cristiani in dialogo. Tempi e limiti della cristianizzazione dell’impero romano. IV-VI secolo d.C.”, Monastery of Bose/University of Perugia, Oct. 21, 2008.