Prof. dr. Birgit Meyer

Religious Studies
Religious Studies

Trained as a cultural anthropologist and with over 30 years of experience researching religion in Ghana, I study religion from a material and postcolonial perspective. In doing so, my focus is on the concrete ways in which religion takes shape through the interplay of people and things. What continues to fascinate me about religion is the use of tangible forms to evoke a sense of another reality, perceived as transcendent by those involved, which acts as a guide to meaning and as a moral compass. Scientific research on religion along this line is central to a better understanding of tensions and possible synergies in the coexistence of people with different beliefs in today's highly diverse societies. Lived religion is as important to me in this regard as dealing with discarded religious forms in secular contexts such as museums, art and entertainment. In my work, I strive for a synthesis between empirical research and theoretical reflection in a broad multidisciplinary setting. Focuses of my research over time include religion in Africa; the rise and popularity of global Pentecostal churches; religion, popular culture and heritage; religion in (post)colonial settings; religion and media; religion and the public sphere; religious visual culture; and senses and aesthetics.

professor religious studies
Inaugural lecture date