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. Christianity and the Roots of Morality: Philosophical, Early Christian, and Empirical Perspectives

    Luomanen, P. T. J. (ed.), Pessi, A. B. (ed.) & Pyysiäinen, I. E. (ed.), 2017, Leiden: Brill . 320 p. (Philosophical Studies in Science and Religion; vol. 8)

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthology or special issueScientificpeer-review

  2. Introduction

    Luomanen, P. T. J., Pessi, A. B. & Pyysiäinen, I. E., 2017, Christianity and the Roots of Morality: Philosophical, Early Christian, and Empirical Perspectives. Luomanen, P., Pessi, A. B. & Pyysiäinen, I. (eds.). Leiden: Brill , p. 1-22 22 p. (Philosophical Studies in Science and Religion; vol. 8).

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

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

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

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Latest activities

  1. Elsevier (Publisher)

    Ilkka Pyysiäinen (Member of editorial board)
    2008 → …

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

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

    Ilkka Pyysiäinen (Visiting researcher)
    15 May 200712 Aug 2007

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesAcademic visit to other institution

  3. Supervisor of doctoral thesis

    Ilkka Pyysiäinen (Supervisor)
    2006 → …

    Activity: Examination typesSupervisor 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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