home / working groups / ethnology of religion

SIEF Working Group on Ethnology of Religion

The working group 'Ethnology of Religion' was founded in 1993 in Stockholm, initiated by the Swedish ethnologist Nils-Arvid Bringeus. The object of the working group is to study religion/religiosity as it is practiced in everyday life, in the past as well as in the present. The focus of the working group has always been on 'popular', 'folk' or 'vernacular' religion and less on the traditional institutional religions. The working group's interest is reflected in the themes of the organized conferences (see below), and includes also new religious movements, alternative religions, new spiritualities and, as it is called, invisible or implicit religion.

In 1999 the Hungarian scholar Gabor Barna (Szeged) became chair of the working group, until the Finnish scholar Ulrika Wolfs-Knuts (Abo) took his place as chair during the Celje conference in 2006. Peter Jan Margry from Amsterdam succeeded her in Warsaw in 2010.

Since the start of the working group in 1993 various meetings of the group have been organized. They partly took place as independent conferences, held in between two general International SIEF congresses, and were partly organized as in-congress meetings, appearing as a special panel during the international SIEF congress. Every scholar in the field may join SIEF/the working group; every member of SIEF is welcome to participate without any costs.

Anna Niedzwiedz - co-chair (a.niedzwiedz(at)uj.edu.pl)
Victoria Hegner - co-chair ( victoria.hegner(at)phil.uni-goettingen.de)
Thorsten Wettich - secretary (thorsten.wettich(at)sowi.uni-goettingen.de)
Clara Saraiva - board member (co-editor of the Ethnology of Religion Series (LIT Verlag); (clarasaraiva(at)fcsh.unl.pt)
Peter Jan Margry - board member (co-editor of the Ethnology of Religion Series (LIT Verlag); (peterjan.margry(at)meertens.knaw.nl)