Professor Spotlight: Dr. Timo Helenius

Photo: Dr. Timo Helenius

Dr. Timo Helenius joined UNBSJ this year as Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Having also studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, he has degrees in both philosophy and theology from the University of Helsinki in Finland . He earned his doctorate in philosophy in 2013 from Boston College. He has previously taught courses at Boston College and Mount Ida College and has also led a reading seminar at Brown University.

Dr. Helenius is greatly passionate about researching and teaching. He has previously taught courses at Boston College, Mount Ida College, and Brown University. His research focuses on post-Kantian continental philosophy, primarily in the fields of hermeneutics and phenomenology. The academic life, assured Dr. Helenius, “…chose me and I simply complied, happily.”

As a professor at UNBSJ, Helenius looks forward to “working with the students to explore together the ultimately perennial human questions,” and to, “having some students really wrestle not only with the cognitive level of these questions but to really embody these questions and to turn [them] into an opportunity for a thorough self-examination.”

He told the Baron that his “ultimate task and goal as a professor in philosophy” is to “lead [his] students to a humble love for life that is to be dearly cherished in its fragile beauty and complexity.”

Having published extensively in many academic journals, Dr. Helenius is the author of a work titled Ricoeur, Culture, and Recognition: A Hermeneutic of Cultural Subjectivity, published in 2016. Teasing that his best work is “yet to come,” Dr. Helenius told this reporter that he is currently working on “another book manuscript that probes even deeper to the question of culturally mediated self-understanding; the field of inquiry is, in other words, philosophical anthropology.”

When asked for further details, Helenius explained that, “[His] own research in philosophy has focused on the question of how free we actually are as human beings to exercise the power of the will. It seems that there are many aspects in our lives that are, after all, not based on voluntary choices even though that is how we would like to see and understand ourselves.”


EDITOR’S NOTE: Clarification in the opening paragraph including additional details of the universities where Dr. Helenius has taught previously. (12/1/2017 at 12:07am)