Contact Information

P.O. Box 59 (Unioninkatu 38 E)
00014 University of Helsinki

Open: mon-wen 13.00-15.00
Email addresses:
Phone: +358 (0)294 1911
(University switchboard)

Research and Postgraduate Studies

BooksStudy of religions is based on various research traditions. It studies the meanings, rationale and impact of religion on many different levels. Therefore, it currently employs several different approaches and multidisciplinary methods. Study of religions studies the religious traditions of different continents and cultures. The impact and meanings of religion in our own culture and time are also a major research focus. In addition, research topics include the religious traditions of non-literate cultures and classical languages and cultures. Research in study of religions has three main focus areas:

1) Folk beliefs and religious traditions

The study of religions discipline at the University of Helsinki has strong international traditions in research on folk beliefs and the cultures and religions of indigenous peoples, particularly the Sámi and Northern peoples. Besides traditional research on folk beliefs, scholars are also currently interested in folk religion in a broader sense. This covers new religions, women’s everyday spiritualism or religion in the cinema.

2) Religious pluralism and social change

CStudy of religions has always been interested in the interaction between religion and society and how this relationship has changed over time. Research has been carried out on, for example, religious movements, the religiousness of minorities and, in the past few decades in particular, questions related to religion and multiculturalism and religion in the media.

3) Religion, mind and experience

Study of religions has long traditions in the research on individual spiritualism. Research has been carried out on individual bearers of tradition as well as writers and scholars in the field. Religious experiences and practices are also studied, while the cognitive science of religion represents a new approach to the study of the mind, even applying empirical research methods.