Research

1. Religion and sexual identity

I research the intersection of religion and sexuality in African Christianity. A recent publication on this topic put debates about ‘gay-conversion’ therapy in the UK and debates around homophobia in Africa into conversation with one another.


2. Religious change

How does religious change produce cultural change? I am currently co-editing a special journal issue titled ‘Anthropologies of religious change’ with Derrick Lemons (University of Georgia). It will include my new article that explores how conversion to Christianity in Africa has changed the way people think about the past, present and future, and the role of race within that new vision of history.


3. The history of deliverance

What is deliverance, and why has it become so popular in the last few decades? How is it different to exorcism? In this project, I investigate the history and evolution of exorcism practices, and explore the reasons why its new form, deliverance, has taken off in many parts of the world. A book chapter on this topic will soon be published in the upcoming Routledge Handbook on Megachurches.


4. Anthropology and theology: A developing relationship

My research is situated in a fast-growing area known as ‘theologically engaged anthropology’. I am interested in producing social scientific research into religion that is enhanced by an understanding of theology. I have written about the need for this kind of research in my article, ‘Entangled genealogies and false dichotomies’.


5. Prayer as an embodied religious practice

How does prayer become not just something people say, but do? How do people use their bodies in prayer to demonstrate a desire to be close to God? In this project, I investigated how some Christians see prayer as a violent confrontation with God and the devil. Here’s an article that came out of this work, called ‘Machine Gun Prayer’.

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