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 journalComment/debate

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Thepastfiveyearshavewitnessedanincreasedinterestinadialoguebetweenanthropology 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 oftheological concepts for anthropological inquiry (e.g. Robbins 2020; Tomlinson 2020;Williams Green 2021). The following series of dialogues between anthropologists andtheologians 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 asa means of engaging Christian practice, our dialogues move beyond this religion. Thefollowing conversations engage the intersection of anthropology and Islamic, Buddhist,Hindu, as well as Christian, theology.1Second, many of these dialogues foregroundparticular experiences of scholars in both anthropology and theology who identify insome way with the religious traditions they study. Some of these dialogues took placebetween scholars who had an established relationship; others involved partners whohad not previously met, but who agreed to correspond in view of a shared interest inthis interdisciplinary dialogue. As a starting point, participants were given a series ofquestions to orient their exchanges, such as, ‘How does faith relate to knowledge in bothdisciplines?’ Conversations mostly took place over email and were later edited with thehelp of one of the journal editors, Adam Reed, and one of the members of our EditorialBoard, Naomi Haynes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-347
Number of pages51
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • anthropology
  • theology
  • Post-secular


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