Religion

The anthropological study of religion attends to religious life via the study of everyday practices. Rather than understanding religion as a set of beliefs, anthropologists examine the ways that practices and belief are constitutive of each other via a broad spectrum of representations, embodiments and ethical and social practices. These everyday practices are constituted by and constituting of many aspects of social life including gender, desire, performance, politics and power. Anthropologists thus recognize that religious life is a thoroughly social practice, and yet identifiable as transformative and sometimes mysterious subject of investigation. Research in the Harvard department of anthropology includes the study of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, secularism, divination, religious movements, ritual and ritual violence and state organization.

Gary  Urton

Gary Urton

Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian Studies
Department Chair

 

Peabody Museum 557A
(617) 496-8534

Research and Teaching Interests: South American archaeology, ethnohistory and Read more about Gary Urton

Peabody Museum 557A
21 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Chair Business Contact:
anthrochair@fas.harvard.edu
(617) 495-5820 | Peabody Museum 30A
Arthur Kleinman

Arthur Kleinman

Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology
Professor of Medical Anthropology in Social Medicine, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

 

Research and Teaching Interests: Global Mental Health; Social Medicine; Medical Humanities; Social Suffering; Caregiving;  China; Read more about Arthur Kleinman

Tozzer Anthropology Building 414
21 Divinity Ave.
Cambridge MA 02138
p: (617) 495-3846
Michael  Herzfeld

Michael Herzfeld

Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences
Director, Thai Studies Program, Asia Center
On leave AY 2016-17

 

Research and Teaching Interests: Social theory, history of Anthropology, social poetics, politics of history; Europe (especially Read more about Michael Herzfeld

Tozzer Anthropology Building 311
21 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: (617) 496-5190
Jean  Comaroff

Jean Comaroff

Alfred North Whitehead Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology
Oppenheimer Research Fellow

 

Research and Teaching Interests: Theory and method; embodiment and commodification; ritual and religion; medicine; politics and Read more about Jean Comaroff

Department of African and African American Studies
257 Barker Center
12 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138