Kaarlo Arffman


Description of research and teaching

My main research interest has been in Lutheran reformation, which I have examined from three different perspectives.

At first, I examined in a three-volume work Yliopistot ja kirkon magisterium reformaation alkuvaiheessa 1–3 (Universities and the Magisterium of the Church on the early stage of the Reformation, a total of 912 pages) how universities which had taken stand against Luther’s arguments understood the determination of the doctrine of the church (magisterium) in 1517–1521.


After that I studied in several articles and two monographs Sanan jäljet (Imprints of the Word, 193 pages) and Reformaatio vai restituutio? (The Reformation or the Restitution?, 240 pages) how German and Swiss reformers understood the significance of the history of the church in the discussion about the right doctrine. The result was surprising and showed that the sola scriptura principle also required that the history of the church had to be taken account.

Thirdly, I studied in Auttamisen vallankumous (Revolution of the Relief 343 pages) how the Lutheran reformation affected a poor relief. This study also corrected traditional conceptions significantly. It will be published also in German. Furthermore, I have dealt with the subject in several articles of which the most significant is Hyvinvointivaltion synty ja kerjäämisen katoaminen Pohjoismaista (The Birth of the Welfare State and Disappearance of Mendicancy in Nordic countries, 33 pages)


I have gathered my central results concerning Lutheran reformation in Mitä oli luterilaisuus? (353 pages, so far five editions). It has also been published in German by the name Was war das Luthertum? I have also written several articles about the reformation in Sweden and Finland. The most recent one of them deals with the resistance to the reformation in Finland (Resistance to the Reformation in 16th Century Finland 18 pages). This subject has not been studied earlier.

Another subject of my interest has been the church history of Northern Finland. I have written one monograph Ristijärveläisen uskon historia (History of the Faith in Ristijärvi 182 pages) and a few articles about it.

My textbook Kristinuskon historia (History of Christianity 269 pages) has become the most popular textbook in Finnish used in the teaching of the church history.

Further information on the affiliationKirkkohistorian professori / Professor of Church History

Curriculum Vitae

Latest publications

  1. Lapsille tarkoitetut uskonnolliset kirjat

    Laine, T. V. H., Ahokas, M. M., Arffman, K. M., Laine, E. M. & Räisänen-Schröder, P., 2018, Hyödyllisen tiedon piirit: Tutkimuksia papistosta, rahvaasta ja tiedon rakentumisesta 1700-luvulla. Laine, E. M. & Ahokas, M. (eds.). Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, p. 184-219 36 p. 5. (Historiallisia tutkimuksia; no. 277).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

  2. Lutherin suhde katoliseen kirkkoon ja paaviuteen

    Arffman, K., 17 Oct 2017, In : Teologia.fi. 3/2017

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleGeneral public

  3. Kaksitoista artiklaa - ensimmäinen ihmisoikeusjulistus: [Schwabenin talonpoikien kahdentoista artiklan suomennos]

    Arffman, K., 2 Oct 2017, In : Kytkin.

    Research output: Contribution to journalOther articlesScientific

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Latest activities

  1. Katolisuus, reformaatio ja Suomen itsenäisyys

    Kaarlo Arffman (Speaker)
    7 Dec 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  2. Katharina von Bora - elämä Martin Lutherin rinnalla

    Kaarlo Arffman (Speaker)
    28 Nov 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  3. Reformaation sosiaalinen tausta ja sen vaikutus luterilaisuuteen

    Kaarlo Arffman (Speaker)
    8 Nov 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

View all (59) »

Latest projects

  1. Transition and continuity. Society, everyday life and religion in Northern Europe 1450-1600

    Krötzl, C., Arffman, K., Laine, T., Alaja, P., Ijäs, M., Toivo, R., Ojala, M., Lamberg, M., Salonen, K., Karti, H. & Räisänen, P.


    Project: Research project

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