Kamppinen, Matti Books

Dr. Kamppinen is a Senior Lecturer of Comparative Religion at the Department of History, Cultural Research and Arts Studies at the University of Turku and Docent at the Department of Theoretical Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Finland. He received his PhD in Comparative Religion from the University of Turku.

Intentional Systems Theory as a Conceptual Framework for Religious Studies. A Scientific Method for Studying Beliefs
2010 0-7734-1412-6
This book investigates the philosophical assumptions in religious studies, especially in ethnography of religion. The central claim is that religious studies treats its study object as an intentional system. This system’s behaviour can be described, explained and predicted on the basis of its internal representations.

Methodological Issues in Religious Studies
2012 0-7734-2606-X
This book elucidates the conceptual or theoretical issues in religious studies by means of utilizing the tools of philosophical analysis. The academic discipline of religious studies is rich in conceptual systems that derive from ethnography, history, psychology, sociology and media studies. In line with other fields of research in cultural studies, religious studies adopt various theoretical resources in eclectic ways, and by the same token, imports various numerous conceptual issues from these adjacent fields. In addition to the rich conceptual systems within religious studies, the discipline investigates conceptual systems, cultural meaning systems that postulate supernatural entities. Whether the study object is religious behaviour or religious belief, sacred texts or buildings, the ultimate research object is the conceptual system that is conveyed or expressed by the material data. Thus there are concepts and conceptual systems at both sides: at the side of religious studies, and at the side of religious culture (cultural knowledge, behaviour and artefacts). The investigation of conceptual issues in religious studies has therefore either theoretical (or philosophical) and empirical relevance.

This book provides a philosophy of religious studies that is anchored in the intentional systems theory, on one hand, and in scientific realism, on the other hand. It will be of interest to those working in religious or cultural studies and have an interest in the philosophy of science. The book will also provide interesting case studies for philosophers of science, especially those interested in humanities and social research.

Theory of Culture of Folklorist Lauri Honko, 1932-2002. The Ecology of Tradition
2013 0-7734-4543-9
Lauri Honko (1932-2002), the Finnish professor of folkloristics and comparative religion was a prolific and multitalented researcher, whose topics of research ranged from the study of folk beliefs, folk medicine and Ingrian laments to the general theories of culture, identity and meaning. He studied Finno-Ugric mythologies, Karelian and Tanzanian folk healing, and South Indian oral traditions. In this book we aim at explicating and analyzing his methodological assumptions as well as his specific theoretical contributions in the study of religion and folklore. Our central focus is on Honko’s tradition ecology, an approach to cultural systems that exposes their dynamic and functionalistic features. We compare and contrast tradition ecology with other theories in religious studies and folkloristics, especially with those theories that stem from the evolutionary and cognitive paradigms. Furthermore, we will explicate Honko’s programmatic model of the folklore process, by means of which the dynamics of religions and folklore can be conceptually captured. We argue that Honko constructed a coherent theory of culture, where functionalism played a central role. Furthermore, we argue that in Honko’s theory, religious studies needs methodological support from folkloristics as well as from other fields of cultural studies.