Birgit Meyer, Professor of Religious Studies at Utrecht University, has been awarded the NWO Spinoza Prize. This award is a tribute to Meyer’s academic work, and consists of 2.5 million Euro for further academic research. The Spinoza Prize is the most prestigious academic award in the Netherlands.
From her background as a cultural anthropologist Meyer conducts research on faith and religion in their social and societal context, in which she combines approaches from religious studies, anthropology, philosophy and media studies. Connecting subject areas that were previously not connected has earned Meyer great international acclaim.
Changing role of religion
Meyer’s latest research focuses primarily on the relationship between media, sensory experience, material culture and the presence of religion in the public domain. She strives to understand the changing role of religion in our times and to show that the academic study of religion is crucial for a better understanding of our world in the early 21st century.
Meyer's research opens a new and promising direction of religious research, which among other things can help to interpret the renewed and global interest in religion (for example, Islam, but also new forms of Christianity, such as the successful Pentecostalism in Africa).
Prof. Birgit Meyer
In 2011 Birgit Meyer became Professor of Religious Studies at Utrecht University. She has been a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences since 2007. In April 2015 she was awarded the prestigious Prize for the Academy Professor of the KNAW (Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences). In 2011, the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung in Germany awarded her the Anneliese Maier Forschungspreis. Meyer is co-editor of the international magazine Material Religion and vice president of the International African Institute.