Areas of expertise
I am scholar of religion who studied and graduated at the University of Helsinki. I started as Professor in Comparative Religion at the University of Turku in January 2018. Presently, I divide my time between Turku and Vantaa where I live. As often as possible, I try to find time to walk in the forest.
Presently, I teach Introduction to the study of religion and methodology. I supervise master's as well as doctoral studies and thesis.
Terhi Utriainen is an ethnographer of religion who is particularly interested in the different dynamic interphases of religion and secular culture. She approaches religion as cultural tools and frames for sustaining, enriching and regulating life. In her projects, Utriainen has studied embodiment, death and gender, as well as new spirituality as lived vernacular religion of our own time. Recently, she has developed approaches stemming from the notion of enchantment as well as ritual studies for researching such issues as the multiple connections between religion and everyday realities as well as the different powers and agencies that affect life. One of her latest publications is Enkeleitä työpöydällä: Arjen ja lumon etnografiaa (Angels on my desk: Ethnography on enchantment and everyday realities). This book, a monograph written in the form of research diary, concretely illuminates the work of an ethnographer and the different aspects of the ethnographic process when inquiring the possibilities of religion in a secular culture. She is also co-editor of the volumes Finnish Women Making Religion: Between Ancestors and Angels (2014) and The Relational Dynamics of Enchantment and Sacralization: Changing the terms of the Religion Versus Secularity Debate 82016).