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Devaka Premawardhana

Assistant Professor

I am an anthropologist of religion focused regionally on sub-Saharan Africa and topically on the varieties of Christianity in the formerly colonized world. I attend to the vernacular practices, hybrid identities, and contextual theologies that emerge in the contact zones where Christianity and indigenous religious traditions intersect and intertwine. My work is grounded in the ethnographic method of participant-observation and is informed by existential and phenomenological considerations of lived experience. Based on fieldwork among the Makhuwa-speaking people of northern Mozambique, my current book project explores religious change (conversion) among a 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 200 Religion and Colonialism
RE 200 Lost Christianities (FYE with Pamela Reaves)
RE 232 Religion in Africa
RE 304 Conversion
RE 405 Senior Thesis Preparation
RE 406 Senior Thesis



    Ph.D., Harvard University, 2014
    A.M., Harvard University, 2010
    M.Div., Harvard Divinity School, 2005
    B. A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002

    Papers & Publications