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Global Christianity, Global Critique

Global Christianity, Global Critique
JHB 100
Time: Oct 12th, 4:00 pm End: Oct 12th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Sociology (FAS), Religion, Study of (FAS), Political Science, English (FAS), Diaspora/Transnational, Critical Theory, Anthropology (UTM), Anthropology (FAS), African, 2000-
Lecture by Dr. Matthew Engelke (Anthropology, London School of Economics)

The Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies is pleased to present:

Matthew Engelke, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, London School of Economics

Global Christianity, Global Critique

Matthew Engelke specialises in the anthropology of religion. His first major fieldwork project was in Zimbabwe on an apostolic movement with roots in the Makoni District. His primary interest in this work is on the role of textual authority within Christianity, particularly as it relates to theological and philosophical notions of presence, but he has also written on ritual, language and material culture, spirit possession, conversion, and religious history. During his time in Zimbabwe, he also became interested in the discourse of human rights at the local level, and has served on the advisory board of the LSE's Centre for the Study of Human Rights since 2002.

In March 2006, Dr Engelke began a new project, funded by the LSE Annual Fund, STICERD, and the British Academy, on the British and Foreign Bible Society. Most of this research was on the Society's work in England and Wales, and focuses on a number of themes, including: Christianity's role in the public sphere; the dynamics of secularization; and the semiotics of the book. Some of the research has also been archival in nature, and connected more closely to his training as an Africanist (looking in particular at Bible Society history in South Africa).

Most recently, Dr Engelke has received ESRC funding for ethnographic research on the British Humanist Association, through which he hopes to examine the nature of ‘non-religion’, the relationships between humanism and atheism, and humanist commitments to human rights. His research began in January 2011.
Dr Engelke has also conducted work in the history of anthropology on Victor and Edith Turner, focusing on their collaboration and on the gendering of authority within the academy. And in addition to these research projects, he has written more broadly on issues of theory and epistemology within anthropology.

He is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Prickly Paradigm Press, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Religion in Africa and the advisory boards of the Journal of Southern African Studies and Religion and Society.

Alongside these academic pursuits, Dr Engelke regularly serves as an expert witness in asylum appeal cases for Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom and is a Governor of the LSE.


This lecture is free and open to the public. 

For further information, please contact the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at (416) 946-8464.

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