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Å utvide horisonten, å arbeide for misjon. Finske læreres misjonsforbund og det transnasjonale

Seija Jalagin

English Abstract.

This article discusses the 100 year-history of the Finnish teachers’ mission association,Opettajien lähetysliitto (OLL, est. in 1913). It focuses particularly on OLL’s development and objectives, its transnational networks, cooperation and agenda in regard to both the mission fields and to the other Nordic teachers’ mission associations (LMF). The study is based on OLL archival material, publications and interviews with current leaders and select long-term members.

OLL has a pronounced Lutheran character since it has been a branch-organisation of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM), the largest mission society and collaborator with the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. In this position OLL has focused on supporting missionaries through prayers and donations, and has thus had a rather low profile internationally.

In contrast to its Scandinavian sister-organisations, OLL has always been an association with both male and female members. This makes gender an important point of discussion in this paper. Even so, gender did not affect OLL’s relationship with the Scandinavian LMFs as much as language did. For this Finnish-speaking organisation, language was a significant barrier to transnational cooperation until the early 1960s. The paper argues that the OLL began to flourish in the late 1950s when membership rose significantly and transnational connections with other Nordic LMF associations and various other missionaries and locations intensified. This growth coincided with the gradual internationalisation of Finnish society, in particular with the adoption of UNESCO’s international education policy and the emerging cooperation on global development and its integration into the agenda of mission organisations.

Søkeord:Finske læreres Misjonsforening (LMF) – organisasjonsutvikling – transnasjonal kontakt – utdanning – kjønn – språk



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