Ilkka Pyysiäinen


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.

Further information on UH affiliationThe Study of Religion

Curriculum Vitae

Latest publications

  1. Ihmisen mieli

    Hari, R., Järvinen, J., Lehtonen, J., Lonka, K., Peräkylä, A., Pyysiäinen, I., Salenius, S., Sams, M. & Ylikoski, P. K. 2015 Gaudeamus. 2005 p.

    Publication: Book/anthologyE2 Popular monograph

  2. God is great - but not necessary?: On Ara Norenzayan, Big Gods (2013)

    Pyysiainen, I. 02.10.2014 In : Religion. 44, 4, p. 638-644 7 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article


    Pyysiainen, I. 09.2014 In : Literature and Theology. 28, 3, p. 258-269 12 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

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Latest activities

  1. Guest Editor

    Ilkka Pyysiäinen (Member of editorial board), 2008 → …

    Activity: Editorial work / peer reviewEditor of special theme number

  2. Member

    Ilkka Pyysiäinen (Recipient), Suomalainen tiedeakatemia, 16.04.2007 → …

    Activity: Prizes and awards

  3. Visiting Researcher

    Ilkka Pyysiäinen (Visiting researcher), 15.05.200712.08.2007

    Activity: International Mobility: VisitsAcademic visit to other institution

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