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Camille Lardy (2015)

Camille Lardy (2015)

Research Title: ‘Caring for our Common Home’: Catholic Engagements in Secular Politics and Ecological Activism in Lyon, France

Supervisor: Dr Matei Candea


My doctoral research, based on fieldwork conducted in late 2016 and throughout 2017, explores the lay lives of French Catholics in the city of Lyon, and their entanglement both in the universal concerns of the Catholic Church and in the national matters of the French Republic. In a decade marked by preoccupation for environmental crises, I investigate how Lyonnais Catholics relate to Nature in their activist engagements with bioethics – which they frame as ‘human ecology’ – and in their intellectual reflections on the social, economic, and political pursuit of the Common Good of Creation – or wider ‘integral ecology’. Furthermore, I ask how they construct national and universal publics, and address religious and secular audiences, to advocate their construction of such an integral ecology. Finally, focusing on the Catholic distinction between ‘lapsed’ and ‘practicing’, my thesis broadens its application to the domains of politics, in order to understand the constitutive identities and praxes of the Lyonnais as Republican citizens, Catholic activists, and ecological ‘Stewards of Creation’.


I have previously completed two degrees at the University of Cambridge (Sidney Sussex College) : the MRes in Social Anthropology from 2015-2016, and the BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from 2012-2015. Throughout, I pursued a focus on the anthropology of France ; my undergraduate dissertation on cognac production in the region of Charente was awarded the Sue Benson Prize 2015. (

Research Interests

Europe; France; the anthropology of politics, ethics, and activism; Republicanism and ethno-nationalism; anti-liberalism, degrowth, and subsidiarity; the anthropology of Catholicism, especially the Church Social Teaching, lay, and lapsed Catholics; secularism and public/private spheres.

Research Supervision

In 2018-2019, I will supervise undergraduate students for papers SAN1 and SAN2.

Key Publications

2019 (upcoming). ‘‘Mum, Dad, and the kids: it’s natural’:
Catholic references to universalism in French bioethical debates’. Paper presented to Strictly Observant Religion, Gender and the State, Woolf Institute, Cambridge.