Dr Elena Kalmykova

Dr Elena Kalmykova

Department of Philosophy
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Contact details

I am a postdoctoral Marie Curie Fellow, with a main interest in phenomenology and embodied approaches to religion. In my research I strive to bring together the best of both analytic and continental philosophic traditions. In addition, I am very interested in sciences and use the data of cognitive science of religion, neuroscience etc. in philosophical investigations.

My current project "Bridging Belief and Practice" is aimed at bridging the gap between theoretical and empirical studies of religion.


  • PhD in Philosophy of Religion, Uppsala University
  • Master of Religious Studies, St. Petersburg State University
  • Bachelor of Oriental Studies, St. Petersburg State University


Before coming to Birmingham in 2016, I defended my PhD at Uppsala University, and since then worked in Sweden and overseas. My background is interdisciplinary, it comprises degrees in Oriental Studies, Religious Studies and Philosophy of Religion.


  • Science and Religion
  • Religious and Non-religious Outlooks
  • God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life

Postgraduate supervision

I will be happy to supervise on the following topics:

  • Science and Religion
  • Philosophy of Religion

Find out more - our PhD Philosophy  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research interest lay in the following areas:

  • Phenomenology
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Science and Religion

My current two-year research project "Bridging Belief and Practice" is funded by EU. It aims to bridge the gap between theoretical and empirical studies of religion, which up till now developed separately, as the studies of beliefs and the studies of practices. This will be done by means of elucidating the properties of beliefs and their relation to human embodied religious practices. I decided to take the best of empirical investigations (phenomenology and the most prominent results of religious studies) and the best of theoretical investigation (analytic philosophy) and make a conceptual work to bridge them.

In addition, I am a member of international cluster on religious diversity funded by Templeton Foundation.

Other activities

In addition to work in philosophy of religion, I participated in Human Right project, making a research for The Raoul Wallenberg Calendar, published by Forum for Levande Historia, Stockholm, 2012.


Books and book chapters

  • Dissolving Dualism: A Tripartite Model of Cognition for Religious Truth. Uppsala University, 2011.
  • Epistemological Paradigms of Science and Theology: is the Integration Possible? Scientific and Theological Epistemic Paradigms: Historical Dynamics and Universal Bases. Moscow, 2009.
  • The Idea of Sanctity in Old Testament Judaism and Medieval Christianity: Gender Aspect. Women and Religion, ed. Michaela Moravcikova. Bratislava, 2007.


  • Blanks in cognition: escape from the limits of the language. In Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio. (2012) 5: 99-108.
  • Realism and Anti-Realism in Contemporary Science and Theology.   Philosophy: Proceedings of the VI Conference, Kiev, 2010.
  • Key to the Solution of the Problem of Truth in Religion. Academic bulletin "Lomonosov", series Humanities, vol. I, Moscow, 2008.
  • Averroes, Averroism and the Problem of Double Truth.  Islam: History, Essential Dimensions and Contemporary Tendencies, Kiev, 2008.
  • The Response of Theology to the Cognitive Studies of Religion.  Religious Studies in Post-Soviet Area: Conference Proceedings. Volgograd, 2009.
  • The problem of the Interdisciplinary Communication and Possible Solution to it. Space of Humanitarian Communication, Kiev, 2009
  • Main Tendencies of the Dialog between Science and Religion in the West.  Proceedings of the III international summer school for Religious Studies “Science and Religion”, Volgograd, 2008.
  • “Klikushi” and Sacrifice.  Conference proceedings “The History of Ideas and the History of Society”, Nizhnevartovsk, 2008
  • Gender Aspect of the Idea of Sanctity in Orthodox and Catholic Traditions.  Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Issue 3, Sep 2007.
  • Woman in Christianity: Between Sanctity and Demonism.  Papers for Study of Religious Situation in North-West of Russia and Baltic Countries. Issue 4, Saint-Petersburg, 2007.
  • Dangerous Gods: Negative Aspects of the Notion «Sacred».  Conference proceedings “The History of Ideas and the History of Society”, Nizhnevartovsk, 2007.
  • Saint Transvestites” and the Women in Male Spheres: Two Solutions to the Problem of Gender in Female Sanctity in Christianity. Conference proceedings “Siberia in the Intersection of World Religions”, Novosibirsk, 2006.
  • Female Ritual Impurity in the Orthodox Church. Conference proceedings “Male and Female in Culture”, St. Petersburg, 2005.