Teemu Taira is Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religion at the University of Helsinki. His work focuses on public discourses on religion; methodology; religion in media; and atheism and nonreligion. He is the author of Taking “Religion” Seriously: Essays on the Discursive Study of Religion (Brill, 2022), editor of Atheism in Five Minutes (Equinox, 2022), and coauthor of Media Portrayals of Religion and the Secular Sacred (Ashgate, now Routledge, 2013). He has edited special issues for Implicit Religion and Temenos and published extensively in leading journals, such as Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, Journal of Contemporary Religion, and Religion. He is also the author of four Finnish-language monographs in the study of religion.
Visit our archives to explore the insider/outsider problem in the study of religion. We explore questions such as "What is an 'insider' or 'outsider'?" and "How do scholars of religion study and engage 'insiders'?" to begin unpacking what all is at stake in this process of group formation.
To honor May the Fourth, International Star Wars Day, please enjoy this compilation of classic Religious Studies Project interviews about Star Wars!
In this interview, Dr Teemu Taira discusses the role of marginal traditions in understanding the application of the term "religion" in differing context, in particular he discusses Karhun Kansa, the People of the Bear. This leads onto a methodological discussion on the use of the term and the role scholars play in this discourse.
Fourteen contestants. One tetchy quizmaster. Three microphones. Numerous cases of wine. One glamorous assistant. Many bruised egos. A boisterous studio audience. A splash of irreverence. Dozens of questions. Four years of podcasts! A rapidly diminishing reservoir of academic credibility. And far, far too many in-jokes...
It seems to me to be perfectly possible for someone to agree on the problem of representation, highlight the importance of reflecting on the situatedness of observer, challenge essentialism and still show no particular interest in problematizing analytical definitions of religion. There is more than one discursive approach in religious studies. In his interview with the RSP, professor Kocku von Stuckrad outlines some of the key issues that are relevant for constructing a discourse theoretical framework for religious studies.
What is the least well known book of the Bible? How many people in the UK listed their ‘religion’ as ‘Jedi Knight’ on the UK 2011 Census? What is Professor Jim Cox’s drink of choice? To find out, you need do nothing more than hit ‘Play’ and enjoy this forty minutes of pure, unadulterated, top quality Religious Studies entertainment.
The study of religion in the media is an interdisciplinary field which has been of interest for scholars in media studies, religious studies and sociology among others. In this interview, Christopher Cotter and Teemu Taira discuss the relevance of study of religion in the media from the religious studies point of view as well as the media discourse on religion – the ways in which media covers religion, functions as defining what counts as religion and negotiates its social location.
How we can position the study of non-religion within the discipline of Religious Studies? In this episode, Chris Cotter is joined by Louise Connelly, Frans Jespers, Ethan Quillen, Steven Sutcliffe, and Teemu Taira to unpack the term 'non-religion'.
An 'emergency broadcast' from the Religious Studies Project... featuring George Chryssides, Bettina Schmidt, Teemu Taira, Beth Singler, Christopher Cotter, and David Robertson. What did the 2011 census data actually say, and how did the press report it? Why does it matter, and how can we use the data more constructively?