Transnational religiosity in southern Europe: an anthropological exploration of spiritual fluidity, creativity and transformation in a changing world

Principal researcher: Eugenia Roussou

Research group: Circulation and Place-Making


Transnational religiosity | Religious pluralism | New spirituality | Alternative healing | Spiritual creativity

Funding Institution

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)



Start date


End date



DL 57/2016/CP1349/CT0006


This project explores the diverse and pluralised ways in which contemporary religiosity is understood, expressed and practised in a southern European sociocultural context that has been affected significantly by socioeconomic and political challenges and transnational flows in recent years. Emphasis is placed on the transnational character of everyday religious practice in the two main southern European countries under comparative research focus, namely Greece and Portugal, where seemingly deviating religio-spiritual phenomena, which range from the New Age movement to Kardecian Spiritism and from (neo)shamanism to alternative healing, are able to interact with each other, amalgamate and produce novel (trans)form(ation)s of spiritual performativity, agency and practice. The main goals of the project are to examine the everyday creative encounters among these different religio-spiritual ‘traditions’; to follow their fluid and complex mobilities, circulations, crossroads, pathways and even dead-ends; and to demonstrate ethnographically and analytically how these ‘traditions’ can escape their national and/or ethnic boundaries and connotations (for example, ‘Greek Orthodoxy’, ‘Portuguese Catholicism’, ‘Brazilian Spiritism’, ‘Mexican shamanism’) and instead be approached as belonging to a contemporary religiosity with a globalised, multicultural and trans/national character.