Thematic Lines

Anthropology of Religion

Coordination: Eugenia Roussou, Marina Pignatelli and Pedro Pereira


Religious phenomena have been a central concern to anthropology since the discipline’s inception and central to its philosophical constitution. From the early texts of Frazer and Tylor to Geertz’s interpretive frames, through to more recent debates on the cognitive and ontological foundations of belief and their limits, religion has assumed a pivotal role in theorizing what it means to be human. Our intention here is to invoke the investigative spirit of our disciplinary heritage to think through current religious and spiritual configurations. By bringing our ethnographic and theoretical tools to bear on an examination of the construction of a post-secular Europe and its governance, the relationship between transnational migrations and religiosity, processes of marginalization, the emergence of particular sacred spaces, and the increasing popularity of new forms of spirituality and their influence on vernacular religious practice, among others, we aim to contribute to important debates on the contemporary religiosity in Portugal and around the world.

The main objective of NAR is to promote anthropological studies of religion in Portugal and to bring together Portuguese and international researchers who work or are interested in working in this field. At the same time, NAR seeks to initiate and/or strengthen an academic dialogue between researchers of the anthropology of religion at the international level, with the aim to create research links between anthropologists of religion working in Portugal and anthropologists of religion in the rest of the world, in order to encourage discussions, exchange of ideas, future collaborations and research projects. In order to achieve this, NAR has created a mailing list of members, holds periodic seminars with national and international specialists, organizes thematic conferences and meetings on both national and international scales and plans to create a platform of working papers, made available online.

To be a part of NAR, you need to have a background in anthropology (or related social sciences) and an interest in religion. To become a formal member of the group: a) send an e-mail to nucleo.antropologia.religiao@gmail.com with your contacts, as well as a short biography and main publications’ list, b) be part of our google groups mailing list here: nucleo_antropologia_religiao_nar@googlegroups.com and c) you can also join our Facebook page.

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