Ilkka Pyysiäinen


Further information on the affiliationThe Study of Religion

Curriculum Vitae

Ilkka Pyysiäinen is University Lecturer and Docent of the Study of Religion in the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology.

During his academic career (PhD 1993), Pyysiäinen has studied Buddhist texts and contributed to the development of the cognitive science of religion on the international forum. Among his publications are: How religion works: Towards a new cognitive science of religion (Leiden: Brill, 2001); Magic, miracles, and religion: A scientist’s perspective (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2004); Supernatural agents: Why we believe in souls, gods, and buddhas (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009); Religion, economy, and cooperation, edited by Ilkka Pyysiäinen (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2010); Current approaches in the cognitive science of religion, edited by Ilkka Pyysiäinen & Veikko Anttonen (London & New York: Continuum, 2002); Ihmistieteet tänään, toim. Anneli Meurman-Solin & Ilkka Pyysiäinen (Helsinki: Gaudeamus).

Pyysiäinen is currently a member of the Centre of Excellence in Reason and Religious Recognition (2014 onwards), member of International Cognition and Culture Institute (2008–), member of Finnish Academy of Science and Letters (2007–), and founding member of International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion (2006–). His current research interests include supernatural agency, cultural transmission, and theory in the cognitive science of religion.

Latest publications

  1. Accepted/In press


    Luomanen, P. T. J., Pessi, A. B. & Pyysiäinen, I. E. May 2017 Christianity and the Roots of Morality. Luomanen, P., Pessi, A. B. & Pyysiäinen, I. (eds.). E. J. Brill, (Philosophical Studies in Science and Religion)

    Publication: Contribution to book/anthologyA3 Contribution to book/other compilations (refereed)

  2. Theism reconsidered: Belief in God and the existence of God

    Pyysiainen, I. Mar 2015 In : Zygon. 50, 1, p. 138-150 13 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  3. Accepted/In press

    Christianity and the Roots of Morality

    Luomanen, P. T. J. (ed.), Pessi, A. B. (ed.) & Pyysiäinen, I. E. (ed.) 2015 E. J. Brill. (Philosophical Studies in Science and Religion)

    Publication: Book/anthologyC2 Edited book, compilation, conference proceeding or special issue of journal

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Latest activities

  1. Guest Editor (Journal)

    Pyysiäinen, I. (Member of editorial board)
    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of special theme number

  2. Centre for Anthropology and Mind, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University

    Pyysiäinen, I. (Visiting researcher)
    15 May 200712 Aug 2007

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionAcademic visit to other institution

  3. Supervisor of doctoral thesis

    Pyysiäinen, I. (Supervisor)
    2006 → …

    Activity: ExaminationSupervisor or co-supervisor of doctoral thesis

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Latest prizes

  1. Member

    Ilkka Pyysiäinen (Recipient), 16 Apr 2007

    Prize: Prizes and awards

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Latest projects

  1. Mieli-Forum

    Hari, R., Peräkylä, A., Ylikoski, P. K., Lonka, K. & Pyysiäinen, I.


    Project: Research project

  2. Heritage Politics and the Theory of Cultural Transmission

    Anttonen, P., Klein, B., Mathisen, S. R., Hafstein, V. T., Bendix, R., Kuutma, K., Valk, Ü., Ó Giolláin, D., Kapchan, D., Pyysiäinen, I., Sjöblom, T. M., Koskinen, I., Aarnipuu, P., Hakalisto, L., Gunnell, T., Schram, K., Rastrick, Ó., Pétursson, J. Þ. & Hafsteinsson, S. B.


    Project: Research project

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