Religion: Polity, Person, Identity

Religion: Polity, Person, Identity

How does ethnographically grounded engagement with religious traditions help us frame notions of knowledge, politics, the state, the person and identity?  Do we need to move beyond categories of religion and the secular, wherein rationalities and worldviews seem all too often to be incommensurable? How might an anthropological engagement with non-secular traditions and ways of being and perceiving inform our responses to societal and global challenges, such as climate change, food security, or modes of public engagement in diverse, plural societies? Anthropologists at Aberdeen are addressing these questions through engagement with, among others, Christian, Buddhist and Islamic traditions, and our ethnographic expertise covers Iceland, South and Central Asia, Oceania, North Africa, Tibet and the Himalayas.

Living with sacred text in Morocco: anthropology in conversation with an Islamic tradition. Photo: Johan Rasanayagam


Teaching anthropological perspectives on religion takes place throughout the Department's programmes. Specific courses include:

AT3534 Religion, Power and Belief

AT4525: The Constitutional Imagination