UCL Anthropology


Timothy A Carroll

Timothy Carroll


Email: t.carroll [at] ucl.ac.uk

Webpage: ucl.academia.edu/TimothyCarroll

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD in Anthropology (UCL)
MA in Material Culture and Visual Anthropology (UCL)
BA in Linguistic Anthropology (Biola University)

Research Interests

My research focuses on art, religion, and material culture. I am interested in the properties of materials as they are taken up in the, quite often, creative production of religious subjects. My doctoral research was conducted amongst Antiochian and Greek Orthodox Christians in London and Mt Athos, Greece. The subsequent monograph from this research, titled Orthodox Christian Material Culture: Of People and Things in the Making of Heaven (Routledge 2018), builds on the theoretical framework of Franz Boas, Alfred Gell, and others to argue that Orthodox Christians utilise the indexical qualities inherent in materials within their religious self-cultivation, making themselves into art-like subjects.

Currently I am engaged in ongoing research into end-of-life and post-mortem care amongst Orthodox Christian communities in Britain. I am interested in the body as a cultural artefact, and this research - which includes looking at palliative care - brings my focus on art, religion and material culture into dialogue with medical anthropology. As part of this, I am coediting a book with Dr Aaron Parkhurst, titled Medical Materialities: Toward a Material Culture of Medical Anthropology, contracted with Routledge.

Course Taught

While the Mary Douglas Teaching Fellow in Anthropology and Material Culture (2013-2017), I taught: 'Anthropology of Art and Design'; 'Anthropologies of Religion'; 'Introduction to Material and Visual Culture'; 'Being Human'; as well as other ad hoc lectures, research methods, and practical lab sessions within the UCL Ethnographic Collection.

    Selected Publications:


    2018 Orthodox Christian Material Culture: Of People and Things in the Making of Heaven. Routledge.

    2017 Material Culture of Failure: When Things Do Wrong, co-edited with D. Jeevendrampillai, A. Parkhurst and J. Shackelford. Bloomsbury Press.

    Chapters & Articles

    2017 'Axis of Incoherence: Engagement and Failure Between Two Material Regimes of Christianity' in T. Carroll, D. Jeevendrampillai, A. Parkhurst and J. Shackelford (eds) Material Culture of Failure: When Things Do Wrong. Bloomsbury Press, 157-178.

    2017 'Im/material objects: Relics, gestured signs, and the substance of the immaterial' in T. Hutchings and J. McKenzie (eds) Materiality and the Study of Religion: The Stuff of the Sacred. Routledge, 119-132.

    2017 'Theology as an Ethnographic Object: An Anthropology of Eastern Christian Rupture' Religions 8(7). DOI: 10.3390/rel8070114

    2017 'The ethics of Orthodoxy as the aesthetics of the local church' in Special Issue 'Ethics/Aesthetics', World Art Vol 7(2). April DOI: 10.1080/21500894.2017.1292310

    2017 'Textiles and the making of sacred space' Textile History Vol 48(2). March DOI: 10.1080/00404969.2016.1266232

    2016 'Architectural renovations of body-as-temple' New BioEthics Vol 22(2): 119-132. July DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2016.1194657

    2015 'An ancient modernity: Icons and the revitalisation of Britain' in Jones and Matthews-Jones (eds) The Spirit of Things: Material Religion in Modern Britain. Palgrave Macmillan, 185-208.