UCL Anthropology


The Ethnography of Eastern Christianities

18 September 2012, 2:00 pm–6:00 pm

British School at Athens

Event Information

Open to



Daryll Forde Seminar Room, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW

Workshop at UCL - Tuesday 18th September 2012, 2-6pm - Programme now available.

FIRST SESSION: Juliet du Boulay and her Cosmos, Life and Liturgy in a Greek Orthodox Village (Denise Harvey publisher, 2009)
Chair: Charles Stewart
2:00 - 2:10 Charles Stewart (UCL) Introduction
2:10 - 2:40 Juliet du Boulay (Independent Scholar) Water in Greek village symbolism and liturgy
2:40 - 2:50 Ioannis Papadogiannakis (KCL) Commentary
2:50 - 3:00 Tom Boylston (LSE) Commentary
3:00 - 3:45 Discussion
3:45 - 4:15 BREAK
SECOND SESSION: The Ethnography of Eastern Christianities: Current Research
Chair: Matthew Engelke (LSE)
4:15 - 4:35 Alexandra Antohin (UCL) The season of the cross: The commemorative ritual at Gishen Mariam (Ethiopia)
4:35 - 4:55 Discussion
4:55 - 5:15 Andreas Bandak (University of Copenhagen) The (im)perfection of Christian character: Exemplifying Our Lady of Soufanieh in Damascus, Syria
5:15 - 5:35 Discussion
5:35 - 6:00 Concluding Discussion
6:00 Drinks in the Common Room, Ground Floor


Inquiries: Prof Charles Stewart (c.stewart@ucl.ac.uk)

This workshop will discuss current research goals and methodologies in the study of everyday Christian life. How does the researcher's own religious background affect research? How much emphasis should be placed on theology and how can this be balanced with ethnography? These questions have been given new vitality by recent work in the broad area of the anthropology of Christianity, and particularly, for Eastern Christianities, by the volume Eastern Christians in Anthropological Perspective (Hann and Golz, eds). Perhaps the fullest, recent ethnographic account is Juliet du Boulay's, Cosmos, Life and Liturgy in a Greek Orthodox Village (2009).

The workshop will be fortunate enough to host Juliet du Boulay, who will make a rare appearance (she has been constrained for decades by health issues) to give a presentation characterizing her approach. There will be comments by diverse specialists and a further session to hear about current research in Syria and Ethiopia. There will be ample time for open discussion throughout the afternoon.

The goal of the workshop will be to foster interchange amongst ethnographers of Eastern Christianities, ethnographers of other Christianities, and specialists from other fields such as Theology and History.

The workshop is sponsored by British School at Athens and UCL Anthropology.