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Department of Social Anthropology



Naomi Richman is a Research Fellow in Social Anthropology at Trinity College, Cambridge. She received her doctorate, master’s and undergraduate degrees from the University of Oxford. Naomi is an anthropologist of religion with interests in gender, social change, ethics and theology. Her forthcoming book, based on ethnographic fieldwork amongst Nigerian Pentecostals, investigates the role of theological and ethical thinking in producing gender dynamics, and ideas about sexuality. Her next project will explore questions of embodiment and selfhood in British secularism.

Before starting her fellowship in Cambridge, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Birkbeck College, University of London, on the Wellcome Trust funded project, ‘Hidden Persuaders: Brainwashing, culture, clinical knowledge and the Cold War human sciences’.


Anthropology of Christianity; gender and sexuality studies; philosophy of the body and phenomenology; witchcraft and spirit possession; demonology; Born again and Pentecostal Christianity; World Christianity; spiritual abuse; secularism and new religious movements; race, decolonisation and Black theology; transcultural psychiatry; health and healing.


Journal Articles

2023. ‘“Call me a fanatic”: Spiritual Zeal, Scientific Scepticism and the Problems of “Belief.”’ Implicit Religion Vol. 25 (No.1-2), 103-118.

2022. ‘Introduction: From rupture to repair’ (with J. Derrick Lemons). The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 33, 337–348. 

2022. ‘After rupture: Visions of history, African spirituality and theological repair in Nigerian Pentecostalism’. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 33, 383–395.  

2021. ‘Homosexuality, Created Bodies and Queer Fantasies in a Nigerian Deliverance Church’. Journal of Religion in Africa 50 (3-4), 249-277.

2020. ‘Machine Gun Prayer: The Politics of Embodied Desire in Pentecostal Worship’. Journal of Contemporary Religion 35 (3), 469-483

2019. ‘Entangled Genealogies and False Dichotomies: Anthropology, Theology and the Post-Secular Paradigm in World Christianity’. Journal of World Christianity 9 (1), 61-74.

2018. ‘What Does it Feel Like to be Post-Secular? Ritual Expressions of Religious Affects in Contemporary Renewal Movements’. International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 79 (3), 295-310.



Book chapters

2024. ‘Deliverance’. In the Routledge Handbook of Megachurch Studies, eds. Afe Adogame, Damaris Parsitau, Jeaney Yip & Chad Bauman.


Edited volume

2022. Anthropologies of Religious Change (with J. Derrick Lemons). The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 33.


Book reviews

2021. ‘Gavin Miller, Miracles of Healing: Psychotherapy and Religion in Twentieth Century Scotland (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020, 175 pp.)’. Psychoanalysis and History, 23(1), 106-109.


Research-led films

2021. Rites Undone (29’57”). A filmic collaboration with Eddie Bolger & Bartek Dziadosz (the Derek Jarman lab). Funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Online publications

On Attentive Listening: A Conversation with Tanya Luhrmann’. Hidden Persuaders blog.09/09/20.

A Faceless Crisis’. Hidden Persuaders blog30/04/20. 

Narratives of Apocalypse’. Hidden Persuaders blog. 09/04/20.

Junior Research Fellow in Anthropology, Trinity College

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