John Vikström

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The Most Reverend
John Vikström
Archbishop Emeritus of Turku and Finland
Province Western Finland
Diocese Archdiocese of Turku
See Turku Cathedral
Installed 1982
Term ended 1998
Predecessor Mikko Juva
Successor Jukka Paarma
Personal details
Born (1931-10-01) October 1, 1931 (age 86)
Kronoby Finland
Nationality Finnish
Denomination Lutheran
Spouse Birgitta Vikström (deceased)

John Edvin Vikström, (born October 1, 1931 in Kronoby, Finland), Archbishop emeritus of Finland, was born to parents Edvin and Hilma Vikström. In 1957 he married teacher Birgitta Vikström (b. Hellberg) who died in 1994. John Vikström has three children. His brother Erik Vikström and his son Björn Vikström are both his successors as bishop of Porvoo/Borgå.

Archbishop of Turku and Finland 1982–1998[edit]

As the 53rd successor of St. Henry, Vikström's era was far reaching. During his term as the Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland the Church has carried out many reforms. The Church has been given a new Bible translation and a new hymnbook, the ordained ministry has been opened to women, church law has been reformed and liturgical reform has been undertaken. The Church of Finland has also been active ecumenically.

Archbishop emeritus John Vikström continues to be a popular speaker in academia and business.

John Vikström has also publicly embraced the idea of a basic income as a solution to social exclusion:

"In this way, even working a little would be possible and would make sense. The system would not push people into idleness and divide citizens into winners and losers as cruelly as is the case now. I look at the question from the point of view of human dignity. A basic income paid to everyone would be less humiliating than the present benefit system can sometimes become. Basic income would send every citizen the following encouraging and motivating message: 'You are important. You are not a burden, but a resource. You are important by being a human being for others. Whatever work you do, in whatever situations, whether or not you are paid to do it, you still contribute to building our society.'"

The archbishop has placed the chairmanship of the Church's Social-Ethical Forum as his priority. The forum's aim is to resolve problems in the status of the elderly and poor in Finland.

An acclaimed author of numerous books and papers, his correspondence with Jörn Donner was voted as Book of the Year in 2002.

Theological merits[edit]

Studies and career

  • Helsinki University:
  • Åbo Akademi:
    • Licenciate of Theology 1962
    • Doctor of Theology 1966 (subject of doctorate: Religion and Culture)
  • Stipendiate of World Council of Churches in Tübingen, Germany 1956–1957.
  • Ordained June 12, 1956
  • Ex officio position in Esbo Swedish parish 1957.
  • Pastor of Diaconia in Borgå Diocese 1957–1961.
  • Assistant of Systematic Theology 1963–1964, lecturer 1966–1970 in Åbo Akademi.
  • Associate Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Religion in Åbo Akademi 1970.
  • Bishop of Borgå Diocese 1970–1982
  • Archbishop of Turku and Finland 1982–1998.

Awards and prizes


External links[edit]

Media related to John Vikström at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Mikko Juva
Archbishop of Turku
Succeeded by
Jukka Paarma