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Visiting researchers

Dr Fiona Bowie

Dr Fiona BowieVisiting Senior Research Fellow

Address: Department of Theology & Religious Studies
King's College London
Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway
London, WC2B 6LE




Fiona Bowie studied anthropology at the Universities of Durham and Oxford. She has held teaching appointments in Departments of Theology and Religious Studies and Anthropology in the University of Wales (Bangor and Lampeter) and at Bristol University, and visiting positions at the universities of Linköping (Sweden) and Virginia (USA). Her administrative roles have included Moderator of social science degrees at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (for the University of Wales Validation Unit) and Faculty E-Learning Advisor and Undergraduate Dean at the University of Bristol. In 2010 Fiona Bowie founded the Afterlife Research Centre an educational network for the ethnographic study of the afterlife and related phenomena. She is General Editor of a new book series with Berghahn publishers called Exploring the Extraordinary, which brings together publications from the Afterlife Research Centre and Exploring the Extraordinary Network.

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Research interests
  • Anthropology of religion (religious experience, African religions, spirituality, afterlife and mediumship, pilgrimage, Christian missions, the anthropology of consciousness).
  • Africa (Cameroon, religion, ethnography, diaspora and migration).
  • Kinship, adoption and the circulation of children.
  • Qualitative research methodologies.
Selected publications
  • 2013 ‘Building Bridges, Dissolving Boundaries: Towards a Methodology for the Ethnographic Study of the Afterlife, Mediumship and Spiritual Beings’.  Journal of the American Academy of Religion  doi: 10.1093/jaarel/lft023JAAR
  • 2013 ‘History of Cross Country Adoption and Fostering’, Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies. Edited by Heather Montgomery. OUP Online.
  • 2012 ‘Devising Methods for the Ethnographic Study of the Afterlife: Cognition, Empathy and Engagement’. In Jack Hunter (ed.) Paranthropology. Bristol: Paranthropology (pp.99-106).
  • 2011 ‘Miracle in Traditional Religion’  in Graham Twelftree (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Miracles, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (pp.122-137).
  • 2011 Tales from the Afterlife. Winchester, UK and Washington, USA. O Books.
  • 2009  'Anthropology of Religion', Chapter 1 in The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion ed. Robert Segal, Oxford & Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • 2009  'The challenge of multi-sited ethnography' and 'Azi since Conrau' (with Michael Ndobegang) in Ian Fowler and Verkijika G. Fanso (eds.) Encounter, Transformation, and Identity: Peoples of the Western Cameroon Borderlands, 1891-2000, Oxford & New York: Berghahn.
  • 2008 ‘Anthropology of Religion’, Religion Compass, Vol.2:5, pp.826-874.
  • 2006 The Anthropology of Religion. Oxford & Maldon, MA.: Blackwell.
  • Revised and expanded edition of The Anthropology of Religion 2000. 3rd enlarged edition 2014.
  • 2004 Cross-Cultural Approaches to Adoption (ed.) & Chapter 1, ‘Adoption and the circulation of children: A comparative perspective’. London & New York: Routledge.
  • 2003 ‘An anthropology of religious experience: spirituality, gender and cultural transmission in the Focolare Movement’. Ethnos, Vol.68:1 (pp.49-72).
  • 2003 ‘Belief or Experience? An Anthropologists’ Dilemma’. In Cyril Williams (ed.) Contemporary Conceptions of God. Studies in Religion and Society 59, Lewiston, Queenston, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press (pp.135-60).
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