March 9, 2020 | 6:00 p.m. | 12th-Floor Lounge | Lincoln Center Campus
Most scholarly engagements with Orthodox Christianity rest in the fields of theology and history, with little ethnographic focus on the socio-political, everyday lives of Orthodox Christians today. Similarly, anthropology of Orthodoxy is often devoid of theological sensitivity. In an effort to make Orthodox Studies holistic and attuned to the experiences of believers, this panel bringing together theologians and anthropologists of Orthodox Christianity to think through the social life of religious concepts and the future of the field. Orthodoxy is not a tradition of the past, but rather is forged by the challenges of the modern world and the debates of contemporary life.
Candace Lukasik, OCSC Coptic Studies Fellow
Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, OCSC NEH Dissertation Fellow
Angie Heo is Assistant Professor of the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion at the University of Chicago. After receiving her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley, she taught at Barnard College and held research fellow positions at Emory University and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. Based on fieldwork in Egypt, The Political Lives of Saints (University of California Press 2018) is her first book.
Alexandra Antohin is an anthropologist of religion, with a specific focus on Orthodox Christianities. Most recently, she completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and participated as a member of Africounters, an inter-disciplinary research group focused on issues facing the African continent. She currently serves as the Senior Research and Program Director at the Avoice Virtual Library Project, a digital archives capturing black legislative behavior in the United States House of Representatives. She is also the managing co-editor of the Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research, published by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in 2018, as well as a contributing editor of The Jugaad Project: Material Religions in Context. Alexandra completed her doctorate in Social Anthropology at University College London and is currently a professorial lecturer at George Washington University. The results of her ethnographic study of Ethiopian Orthodox church life, “The Covenant’s Veil: Ethiopian Orthodox Tradition of Elaboration”, is under review by the Fordham University Press special series “Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought”.
Sonja Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Colby College. Her research examines the intersections of caste, race, gender, class, and religion in postcolonial India and community-based movements for “minority rights.” She is the author of Privileged Minorities: Syrian Christianity, Gender, and Minority Rights in Postcolonial India (UWA Press, 2018). She has also written articles on education and religious minorities in India, the South Asian American diaspora and comparative racializations, and Black vernacular traditions in the US and globally. Sonja is associate editor for South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. She is currently researching Catholic missionary priests from India serving in rural America.
Elina Vuola, ThD is Professor of Global Christianity and Dialogue of Religions at the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, Finland. She is also the vice dean of international affairs and societal relations of the Faculty. Her most recent publications are The Virgin Mary across Cultures. Devotion among Costa Rican Catholic and Finnish Orthodox Women (Routledge 2019) and Orthodox Christianity and Gender. Dynamics of Tradition, Culture and Lived Practice (Routledge 2019), which she co-edited with Helena Kupari.
Donna Rizk Asdourian, PhD was a Research Fellow at Fordham University (New York), focusing on 'Women's Role in the Liturgy: the Coptic and Oriental Orthodox Churches." She holds a Masters from Holy Cross Orthodox Seminary, a Masters in Eastern Christianity from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Theology from King's College London, and also did work in Austria, and in the field of Liturgical Studies in Berkeley. Her research interests include Coptic Orthodoxy, Armenian Studies, Liturgical Studies, and Women in the Church.
Register for "Orthodoxy and Anthropology in Conversation" here.