Dialogues: anthropology and theology

Jione Havea, Matt Tomlinson, Talal Al-Azem, Johan Rasanayagam, Venerable Juewei, Jonathan Mair, Elias Kifon Bongmba, Naomi Haynes, Ramdas Lamb, Deeksha Sivakumar, Khaled Furani, Ebrahim Moosa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The past five years have witnessed an increased interest in a dialogue between anthropology and theology, evidenced in part by a suite of edited volumes (e.g. Lauterbach & Vähäkangas 2020; Lemons 2018; Tomlinson & Mathews 2018). Analyses informed by this interdisciplinary nexus have demonstrated the utility of theological concepts for anthropological inquiry (e.g. Robbins 2020; Tomlinson 2020; Williams Green 2021). The following series of dialogues between anthropologists and theologians builds on this growing body of work, expanding it at two main points. First, while the above conversations are all focused on Christian theology, mainly as a means of engaging Christian practice, our dialogues move beyond this religion. The following conversations engage the intersection of anthropology and Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, as well as Christian, theology.1 Second, many of these dialogues foreground particular experiences of scholars in both anthropology and theology who identify in some way with the religious traditions they study. Some of these dialogues took place between scholars who had an established relationship; others involved partners who had not previously met, but who agreed to correspond in view of a shared interest in this interdisciplinary dialogue. As a starting point, participants were given a series of questions to orient their exchanges, such as, ‘How does faith relate to knowledge in both disciplines?’ Conversations mostly took place over email and were later edited with the help of one of the journal editors, Adam Reed, and one of the members of our Editorial Board, Naomi Haynes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)297-347
    JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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