Elena Kalmykova

Philosopher of Religion

Saint-Petersburg (Russia)

From September 24 to October 14, 2017

Biography —

Originally from Saint-Petersburg, Elena Kalmykova moved to Sweden, where she completed her PhD at Uppsala University and made an extensive research for a human rights project ‘Raoul Wallenberg Calendar’. Currently she is a Marie Curie Fellow at University of Birmingham, working on a postdoctoral project ‘Bridging Beliefs and Practices’ funded by European Commission. Elena’s research focuses on embodiment and its role in formation of religious beliefs. Her interdisciplinary background in Oriental Studies, Religious Studies, and Philosophy of Religion provided her with first-hand knowledge of the disparate practices and methods of both empirical studies of religion and philosophy of religion, which she applies in her research. Her philosophy papers won first prize in Annual Contest of Papers on Religion and Science Dialogue in 2007, and second prize in Essay Competition in the Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology in 2014. When she is not making a research, Elena writes fiction, draws, and practices yoga.

Project —

During her stay in Faber she will continue working on her project ‘Bridging Beliefs and Practices’ and writing a book with the same name. The project aims to bridge the gap between the research of religious beliefs, on the one hand, and research of religious practices (lived religion), on the other. In the contemporary research of religion beliefs are studied by philosophers, while practices – by anthropologists, sociologists and other empirical researchers, thus the investigations cease to study any link between beliefs and actions. So this project strives to extend the research by means of investigating and mapping the ‘no man’s land’ – embodied relation between beliefs and practices.