Havelka, Rudolf 

Researcher , PhD student

Sustainable Development Research Group / Anthropology research team

Arctic Doctoral Programme - ARKTIS (status position)

Joint-PhD student at Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland
Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University Brno

Research topic:

  • Towards an ecology of the Sacred: Perception of the sacred dimension of the environment among Forest Nenets and related Uralic northern forest dwellers

Research interests

  • religious traditions of indigenous peoples of Siberia;

  • method and theory in academic study of religions;

  • evolution of religious thinking;

  • social and economic situation of the “Small nations” of Russian Federation;

  • ecology of North

Education and academic qualification

  • 2008: Magister degree (Mgr.) in Study of Religions, thesis: “The Religious Dimension of Landscape in an approach of the Cognitive Science of Religion.” Masaryk University, Brno.

  • 2006: Bachelor degree (Bc.) in Study of Religions, thesis: “The Natural Landscape of the Czech Paradise Region as the Sacred Area of the Celts.” Masaryk University, Brno.

Field researches, academic stays

  • March – April 2012: Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russian Federation

  • Oct. – Dec. 2011: Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russian Federation

  • Apr. – July 2011: Khanty-Mansi AO, Russian Federation

  • Oct. – Nov. 2010: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle

  • Sept. 2009 – May 2010: University of Lapland, Arctic Centre

Academic activities

  • since 2011: Member of the Czech Association for Social Anthropology

  • since 2008: Member of the Czech Society for the Cognitive Study of Culture

  • since 2007: Member of the Czech Association for the Study of Religions

  • 2006 – 2010: Member of the editorial board of the journal of the students of the academic study of religions Sacra

Grants and scholarships

  • 2011: Finnish Cultural Foundation – Lapland Regional Fund

  • 2011: Grant of the Deacon of Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University

  • 2009: CIMO (Scholarship of the Finnish Government Scholarship Pool)

  • 2009: Grant of the Deacon of Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University

  • 2007: Grant of the Rector of Masaryk University in category “Support of outstanding diploma thesis.”

Participation in conferences (selection)

  • 21st – 26th August 2012: End and Beginnings in Religion, Stockholm, Södertön University, EASR Conference. Contribution: “Is the religion of the Forest Nenets finished? The implicit constituents of the indigenous spirituality.”

  • 5th – 7th September 2011: Ritual Knowledge, Durham, British Association for the Study of Religion. Contribution: “Ecological approach to sacralisation of the Environment among the Forest Nenets.”

  • 3rd – 5th February 2011: Nomadic and Indigenous Spaces: Productions and Cognitions, Leipzig, Universities of Leipzig and Halle-Wittenberg. Contribution: “The cognitive and ecological approaches to the study of sacralisation of the environment in the Northern pastoral and hunter-gatherer societies. Mutual exclusivity of complementarity?.”

  • 28th – 29th May 2009: Meaning in Religion, Cognition and Culture, Aarhus, Faculty of Theology, Aarhus University. Contribution: “The Significance of Sacred Places: The Contribution of Cognitive Approaches to their Research.”

  • 3rd – 4th December 2008: The Transmission of Religious and Supernatural Ideas, Bratislava, The Slovakian Society for the Study of Religions upon Slovakian Academy of Science and Department of Ethnology of SAS. Contribution: “The Significance of Material Culture for Emergence and Transmission of Religious Ideas in Prehistoric Societies.”


  • Havelka, R. “Современная религиозность лесных ненцев глазами иностранного студента.” Cборник працы Cургутского государственного университета. 2012 (in press).

  • ---. “Lov ryb u Lesních Něnců”. [Fishing techniques of the Forest Nenets.] Chytej.cz. 2012. (Published on line: http://www.chytej.cz/clanky/1136/lov-ryb-u-lesnich-nencu/)

  • ---. “K výzkumu míst s rituálním významem: Vědecké teorie náboženského myšlení a jednání.” [A Contribution to the Research of the Sacred Places: The Scientific Theories of Religious Thought and Action.] Archeologie ve Středních Čechách 14/2, p. 955-972. 2010.

  • ---. “The Significance of Sacred Places: The Contribution and Limits of Cognitive Approaches to Their Research.” Sacra 2/7, p. 49-61. 2009.

  • ---. “Syntéza kognitivní vědy o náboženství a kognitivní archeologie: Nová perspektiva studia pravěkých náboženských systémů?” [The Cognitive Science of Religion and the Cognitive Archaeology: A New Perspective in the Study of Prehistoric Religions?] Sacra 1/6, p. 5-26. 2008.


Tel. +358 404 844 250
e-mail: rhavelka(at)ulapland.fi