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Book: Global Phenomenologies of Religion

Chapter: Universal Parallels, Meaningful Lives and Predisposed Minds: A Conversation (Finland)

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.38469


This chapter was created in the form of a dialogue between Veikko Anttonen and Teuvo Laitila. Both authors participated as interviewers and interviewees. We met and discussed twice at the main building of the University of Helsinki in October 2017 and February 2018. Being both experts by experience, there was no need to carry out an actual, structured or non-structured, interview. Our contribution is a result of two free-floating conversation sessions over the scope and contents of the chapter and an email exchange of Q&A-type comments in a shared file. Veikko Anttonen retired from his position at the School of History, Culture and Arts Studies at the University of Turku in 2015. Teuvo Laitila has since 2003 taught at the University of Eastern Finland, School of Theology. Anttonen started his academic career at the Department of Comparative Religion at the University of Helsinki in the early 1970s and Laitila in the next decade. Both have been integrated in the Finnish scholarly community of the study of religion for many decades, and also have been active participants in international scholarship. In what follows, Anttonen (in bold type) and Laitila (in regular type) present an overview over what has been called ‘regional phenomenology’ in Finland: its background and an evaluation of the scholarly work of its most prominent practitioners.

Chapter Contributors

  • Veikko Anttonen ( - vanttonen) 'University of Turku (retired)'
  • Teuvo Laitila ( - tlaitila) 'University of Eastern Finland'