The Publication of the Honko-conference

Dear Colleagues,

We are happy to announce the publication of

Approaching Religion Vol. 4/1 (May, 2014)
Theme: The Legacy of Lauri Honko: Contemporary Conversations

Available at:

The current issue consists of articles based on presentations given at the conference “The role of Theory in Folkloristics and Comparative Religion” arranged in Turku/Åbo, Finland in August, 2013 to commemorate Prof. Lauri Honko.

AR is published by the Donner Institute in Åbo, Finland. Its purpose is to publish current research on religion and culture and to offer a platform for scholarly co-operation and debate within the field. The articles have been selected on the basis of peer-review.

Sincerely yours,
Ruth Illman
Editor of Approaching Religion

Dr Ruth Illman
Föreståndare, Donnerska institutet
Docent i religionsvetenskap, Åbo Akademi

Dr Ruth Illman
Director, the Donner Institute
Docent of Comparative Religion, Åbo Akademi University

Honko-conference mailing list

Invitation to participate in conference publication

Dear Conference Participants,

We are happy to announce that a conference publication will be edited on the basis of presentations given at the conference “The Role of Theory in Folkloristics and Comparative Religion” in Turku/Åbo. Selected papers will be published as a special issue of the e-journal Approaching Religion, which is published by the Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History (one of the organisers of the conference). Find more information: Invitation_AR_Vol4_1


A new book has been published

A new book on Lauri Honko’s theory of culture, folklore and religion by Matti Kamppinen and Pekka Hakamies has been published by the Edwin Mellen Press:

As the authors examine Lauri Honko’s central ideas pertaining to tradition ecology, folklore process, and mental texts, the book provides an optimal orientation for the Honko conference that will take place in Turku in August this year.

Call for Papers – 2nd Announcement

The Departments of Folkloristics and Comparative Religion at the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, together with the Donner Institute, are organizing an international interdisciplinary conference to honour the work of Professor Lauri Honko (1932–2002)


21–23 August 2013

University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Lauri Honko’s research interests covered a vast area, both theoretically and methodologically. He elaborated methods in the tradition-ecological perspective, applied sociological role theory to folklore research, guided the debate on theories of genre, fostered research on cultural identity, and developed methods of folkloristic fieldwork and data archiving. The aim of this conference is to bring together and discuss the new developments, tendencies and theoretical innovations within the areas Honko contributed to.

Suggestions for possible approaches include:

Genre theory
– Genre as a tool of research in the study of religions
– Comparative research on epics
– Genre from the point of view of communication and performance
– The development of genre and the new genres

Functions and ecology of tradition today
– Meanings and uses of folk religion and folklore
– Ecological viewpoints on tradition
– The rite theory
– Variation and context

Tradition processes
– Tradition and cultural identity
– Safeguarding and cultural heritage
– Research ethics
– Epics and their use

The plenary speakers of the conference are:  Regina Bendix, University of Göttingen; Marion Bowman, The Open University; Matti Kamppinen, University of Turku;  Håkan Rydving, University of Bergen; Joseph Mbele, St Olaf College; Viveka Rai, University of Würzburg; Ulrich Marzolph, University of Göttingen.

The language of the conference is English.


Call for papers, deadline 31 March 2013
Registration, deadline 31 May 2013

Please submit an abstract (max 250 words) in .rtf or .pdf format in English for a twenty minute presentation.

Please include with the proposal the following information: Title of the presentation, your name and affiliation, and your e-mail address.

Proposals will be evaluated according to their focus on the topic. Please e-mail your proposal as an e-mail attachment by 31st March 2013 to  The acceptance or rejection of proposals will be announced by 15th May 2013.

The admission to the symposium is 200 € (including lunches, coffees & refreshments, and the evening program)

For more information on accommodation, on traveling to and eating in Turku etc., please visit the conference website at:


Additional information:

Department of Folkloristics, University of Turku
Department of Comparative Religion, University of Turku
Department of Folkloristics, Åbo Akademi University
Department of Comparative Religion, Åbo Akademi University
The Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History

In collaboration with:
Kalevala Institute
Folklore Fellows Communications
Temenos. Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion
The Finnish Society for the Study of Religion