Angelantonio Grossi

PhD Candidate Religious Studies, Utrecht University

Year of birth: 1987

Current position: PhD candidate Religious Studies, Utrecht University

Personal Profile:

My interest in Anthropology and Religious Studies lies in the purpose of following the forms technology takes once it is observed in non-Western environments. I want to explore how, in our contemporary global connected world, people mesh apparently different matters like technology and religion together in their everyday lives. I also want to investigate how the spiritual domain is not something pertaining to the private sphere, but a visible and public material experience that relies on a wide range of mediation practices. I am also occupied with how, in the spaces created by digital media, different religious actors gain representation and recognition, and how existing power structures are challenged and/or strengthened.

As part of the Religious Materializations project, this research explores the interactions between three different religious traditions (Christianity, Islam, and so-called African Traditional Religion) in the context of contemporary Southern Ghana. The overall project explores the material dimension of digital infrastructures so as to shed light on the ways in which religious experiences find expression through digital media. One of the assumptions of the research is that the spread of digital technologies facilitated the creation of a new space in the Ghanaian public sphere in which also non-institutionalized religious actors can gain attention and recognition.

Therefore my research aims to address: i) the correlation between religious and non-religious movements in articulating the common presumptions about the role of digital media in contemporary societies; ii) the interaction between different religious traditions in terms of mediation practices; iii) the degree to which the Ghanaian diaspora in Europe gets involved in the aforementioned mediation practices.

A material approach to the interactions between these perspectives is meant to shed light on the construction of realities sustained by different religious traditions in accordance with the materiality of media themselves, ultimately showing affinities with and reiterations of as well as discontinuities within themes and practices.

Recent scholarly papers/books:

A. Grossi. 2016. Perspectives on African Witchcraft: Witchcraft and Religion in the Process of Formation of the Public Space in Ghana. Routledge Anthropology.

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