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Devaka Premawardhana

Assistant Professor

I am an anthropologist of religion who studies the various expressions of Christianity in the Global South. These include Pentecostalism, liberation theology, and Christian engagements with other religions. I have secondary interests in indigenous religious traditions, particularly those of sub-Saharan Africa. My work is grounded in the ethnographic method of participant-observation and informed by existential and phenomenological considerations of lived experience. I am currently completing my doctoral dissertation, based on fieldwork carried out among the semi-nomadic, Makhuwa-speaking people of northern Mozambique. This project explores how religious change (conversion) is experienced among people for whom regional change (migration) has long been a livelihood strategy, if not a way of life.


Global Christianity/ies
Religion in Africa
Anthropology of Religion
Existential-Phenomenological Anthropology

Regular Classes

RE 130 Christianity
RE 300 Conversion

Future Courses

Religion in Africa
Religion and Colonialism
Christianities in the Global South
Lived Religion and the Ethnographic Method
Embodiment and Experience



    ABD, Harvard University
    A.M., Harvard University, 2010
    M.Div., Harvard Divinity School, 2005
    B. A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002

    Papers & Publications