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Profile summary

  • Professor of Religious Studies and Head of Department
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • Religious Studies
  • graham.harvey

Professional biography

I joined the RS team at the OU in 2003, having previously been Reader in Religious Studies at King Alfred's College, Winchester (now the University of Winchester).  I am currently Head of the Department of Religious Studies.

Research interests

I did my PhD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne under the supervision of Prof John F.A. Sawyer. This was about the rhetorics of group identity in ancient Jewish literatures (including the Qumran scrolls, apocryphal and apocalyptic texts, early Christian and formative rabbinic writings). Having been brought up relatively near Stonehenge I was invited to contribute a paper about contemporary Druids at a conference ... and so became a fieldwork researcher among Pagans. This has resulted in many publications, especially Listening People, Speaking Earth: Contemporary Paganism (now in its second edition with Hurst and Co., and with New York University Press) and Researching Paganisms (2004).  

An interest in religion, location and ecology fused with interests in the cultures of indigenous peoples to generate yet another shift in my research career. I have been privileged to spend time with various generous and interesting hosts, including in Aotearoa, Australia, Hawaii, Newfoundland, Nigeria, the Ojibwe traditional territories and Sápmi. Most of my research about contemporary indigenous religious traditions has been about “animism”: the varied ways in which people engage with the larger than human world. I have followed up my monograph, Animism: Respecting the Living World (2005), with the edited Handbook of Contemporary Animism (2013). Indigenous definitions of religion (e.g. the late Maori scholar, Te Pakaka Tawhai’s statement that the “purpose of religious activity … is doing violence with impunity”) play a vital role in my argument for a new definition of and approach to religion in Food, Sex and Strangers: Understanding Religion as Everyday Life (2013).  

I am a member of the ESRC and AHRC peer review colleges and of the OU Senate. I was President of the British Association for the Study of Religions (2011-15), following service as Secretary (2003-2009).

Publications

See Open Research Online for further details of my research publications.

Societies

I'm a member or officer of the following:

  • British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR)
  • European Association for the Study of Religion (EASR)
  • Society for the Study of Native American Religious Traditions (SSNART)
  • Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA)
  • American Anthropological Association (AAA)
  • and some years I'm a member of the American Academy of Religion (AAR)

I am external examiner at the Universities of Durham and Aberdeen. Previously, I have been external examiner at the Universities of Greenwich, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Winchester and Middlesex.

Teaching interests

I am currently a member of the team producing a new RS module, A227 Exploring religion: places, practices, texts and experiences, and for that module I will be writing about indigenous religions, religion and food, and religion and the senses. I am a member of the module teams for A105: Voices, Texts AND Material Culture and A332 Why is Religion Controversial? For othe latter, I wrote units on “the new animism” and on “religion and individualism”.

Previously, I have contributed to the production and/or presentation of AA100 The Arts Past and Present, A151 Making sense of things: an introduction to material culture, A217 Introducing Religion, AA307 Religions in Conflict and Cooperation, AD317 Religion Today: Tradition, Modernity and Change, and A330 Myth in the Greek and Roman Worlds I chaired the dissertation year of the MA in Religious Studies, A881.

I have supervised 13 research students to the successful completion of their PhDs and examined 25 others (some internationally).  

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective Research GroupGroupFaculty of Arts
Cross-Cultural Identities Research GroupGroupFaculty of Arts
Material Cultures Research GroupGroupFaculty of Arts
SUSTECH: Energy and Environmental Research UnitUnitFaculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology

Publications

Animals, animists and academics (2006-03)
Harvey, Graham
Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, 41(1) (pp. 9-19)
Endo-cannibalism in the making of a recent British ancestor (2004-08)
Harvey, Graham
Mortality, 9(3) (pp. 255-267)
Endo-cannibalism in the making of a recent British ancestor (2004-08)
Harvey, Graham
Mortality, 9(3) (pp. 255-267)
Guesthood as ethical decolonising research method (2003-04)
Harvey, G.
Numen: International Review for the History of Religions, 50(2) (pp. 125-146)
Environmentalism in the construction of indigeneity (2003)
Harvey, Graham
Ecotheology: Journal of Religion, Nature and the Environment, 8(2) (pp. 206-223)
Sacred Places in the Construction of Indigenous Environmentalism (2002-07)
Harvey, Graham
Ecotheology: Journal of Religion, Nature and the Environment, 7(1) (pp. 60-73)
Satanism: performing alterity and othering (2002)
Harvey, Graham
Syzygy: Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture, 11 (pp. 53-68)
Fantasy in the study of religions: Paganism as observed and enhanced by Terry Pratchett (2000)
Harvey, Graham
Diskus: The journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR), 6
Shamanism in Britain today (1998-12)
Harvey, Graham
Performance Research, 3(3) (pp. 15-23)
The authority of intimacy in Paganism and goddess spirituality (1996)
Harvey, Graham
Diskus: The journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR), 4(1) (pp. 34-48)
Satanism in Britain today (1995-10)
Harvey, Graham
Journal of Contemporary Religion, 10(3) (pp. 283-296)
Food, Sex and Strangers: Understanding Religion as Everyday Life (2013-07-31)
Harvey, Graham
ISBN : 978-1-84465-692-9 | Publisher : Routledge
Animism: Respecting the Living World (2005-02)
Harvey, Graham
ISBN : 1850657572 | Publisher : Hurst | Published : London, UK
Relational health: Animists, shamans and the practice of well-being (2014-02-18)
Harvey, Graham
In: Johnston , Lucas and Bauman , Whitney eds. Science and Religion: One Planet, Many Possibilities. Routledge Studies in Religion (pp. 204-215)
ISBN : 978-0-415-73842-2 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Pagan studies or the study of paganisms? A case study in the study of religions (2014)
Harvey, Graham
In: Chryssides , George and Zeller , Ben eds. Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements (pp. 37-40)
ISBN : 978-1-4411-9005-5 | Publisher : Bloomsbury
Animist realism in indigenous novels and other literature (2013-10-31)
Harvey, Graham
In: Harvey, Graham ed. Handbook of Contemporary Animism. Acumen Handbooks
ISBN : 9781844657117 | Publisher : Acumen Publishing | Published : Durham
Why study indigenous religions? (2013-08)
Harvey, Graham
In: Cox, Jim and Adogame, Afe eds. Critical Reflections on Indigenous Religions (pp. 19-28)
ISBN : 978-1-4094-4500-5 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Farnham
Indigenous spiritualities (2012-08-09)
Harvey, Graham
In: Cobb, Mark R; Puchalski, Christina M. and Rumbold , Bruce eds. Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare. Oxford Textbooks In Public Health (pp. 49-54)
ISBN : 978-0-19-957139-0 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford
Ritual in New Religions (2012-08)
Harvey, Graham
In: Hammer , Olav and Rothstein, Mikael eds. Cambridge Companion to New Religious Movements. Cambridge Companions to Religion (pp. 97-112)
ISBN : 9780521196505 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge
Things act: casual indigenous statements about the performance of object-persons (2012-03-01)
Harvey, Graham
In: Bowman, Marion and Valk, Ülo eds. Vernacular Religion in Everyday Life: Expressions of Belief (pp. 194-210)
ISBN : 9781908049506 | Publisher : Equinox Publishing Limited | Published : London
Bardic chairs and the emergent performance practices of pagans (2012-03)
Harvey, Graham
In: Cusack , Carole M. and Norman , Alex eds. Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production. Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion (4) (pp. 399-420)
ISBN : 9789004221871 | Publisher : E.J. Brill | Published : Leiden
Alternative spiritualities: marginal and mainstream (2012-02-14)
Harvey, Graham and Vincett, Giselle
In: Woodhead, Linda and Catto , Rebecca eds. Religion and Change in Modern Britain (pp. 156-172)
ISBN : 978-0-415-57581-2 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Ritual is etiquette in the larger than human world: the two wildernesses of contemporary eco-Paganism (2012)
Harvey, Graham
In: Feldt, Laura ed. Wilderness in Mythology and Religion: Approaching Religious Spatialities, Cosmologies, and Ideas. Religion and Society (55) (pp. 265-292)
ISBN : 978-1614512240 | Publisher : De Gruyter | Published : Berlin
Paganism: negotiating between esotericism and animism under the influence of Kabbalah (2012)
Harvey, Graham
In: Huss, Boaz ed. Kabbalah and Contemporary Spiritual Revival. Goldstein-Goren Library of Jewish Thought (14) (pp. 267-284)
ISBN : 978-965-536-043-1 | Publisher : Ben-Gurion University | Published : Beer Sheva
Field research: participant observation (2011-11)
Harvey, Graham
In: Stausberg, Michael and Engler , Steven eds. The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in the Study of Religion (pp. 217-244)
ISBN : 978-0-415-55920-1 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Animism rather than Shamanism: new approaches to what shamans do (for other animists) (2010-03-24)
Harvey, Graham
In: Schmidt, Bettina and Huskinson, Lucy eds. Spirit Possession and Trance : New Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Continuum Advances in Religious Studies (7) (pp. 14-34)
ISBN : 9780826435743 | Publisher : Continuum | Published : London
Paganism (2009)
Harvey, Graham
In: Woodhead, Linda; Kawanami, Hiroko and Patridge, Christopher eds. Religions in the Modern World: Traditions and Transformations, 2nd ed. (pp. 357-376)
ISBN : 9780415458917 | Publisher : Routledge
Animist paganism (2009)
Harvey, Graham
In: Pizza, Murphy and Lewis, James R eds. Handbook of Contemporary Paganism. Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion (2) (pp. 393-412)
ISBN : 978 90 04 16373 7 | Publisher : Brill | Published : Leiden
Satanism: performing alterity and othering (2009)
Harvey, Graham
In: Petersen, Jesper Aagaard ed. Contemporary Religious Satanism: a Critical Anthology. Ashgate Controversial New Religions Series (pp. 27-40)
ISBN : 9780754652861 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Farnham
Paganism (2009)
Harvey, Graham
In: Woodhead, Linda; Kawanami, Hiroko and Partridge, Christopher eds. Religions in the Modern World : Traditions and Transformations (2nd ed.) (pp. 357-376)
ISBN : 978-0-415-45891-7 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Animism (2008)
Harvey, Graham
In: Clarke, Peter B and Beyer, Peter eds. The World's Religions: Continuities and Transformations (pp. 15-24)
ISBN : 978-0-415-39725-4 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York
Huldah's Scroll: a pagan reading (2007-04)
Harvey, Graham
In: Isherwood, Lisa ed. Patriarchs, Prophets and Other Villains. Gender, Theology and Spirituality (pp. 85-100)
ISBN : 9781845531317 | Publisher : Equinox | Published : London
Inventing Paganisms: making nature (2007)
Harvey, Graham
In: Lewis, James and Hammer, Olav eds. The Invention of Sacred Tradition (pp. 277-290)
ISBN : 9780521864794 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge
Becoming Pagan having been Christian (2006)
Harvey, Graham
In: Partridge, Christopher and Reid, Helen eds. Finding and Losing Faith: Studies in Conversion. Studies in Religion & Culture (pp. 56-69)
ISBN : 1842274104 | Publisher : Paternoster Press | Published : Bletchley, UK
Discworld and Otherworld: The imaginative use of Fantasy Literature among Pagans (2006)
Harvey, Graham
In: Hume, Lynne and McPhillips, Kathleen eds. Popular Spiritualities: The Politics of Contemporary Enchantment (pp. 41-51)
ISBN : 754639991 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot, UK
Performing identity and entertaining guests: Maori diaspora in London (2005)
Harvey, Graham
In: Harvey, Graham and Thompson, Jr, Charles D. eds. Indigenous Diasporas and Dislocation. Vitality of Indigenous Religions (pp. 121-134)
ISBN : 754639061 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot
Performing and constructing research as guesthood in the study of religions (2005)
Harvey, Graham
In: Hume, Lynne and Mulcock, Jane eds. Anthropologists in the field: cases in participant observation (pp. 168-182)
ISBN : 0-231-13005-8 | Publisher : Columbia University Press | Published : New York
Performing identity and entertaining guests in the Maoridiaspora (2005)
Harvey, Graham
In: Harvey, Graham and Thompson, Charles D eds. Indigenous Diasporas and Dislocation (pp. 121-134)
ISBN : 978-0-7546-3906-0 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot
Pagan Studies or the Study of Paganisms? A case study in the study of religions (2004)
Harvey, Graham
In: Blian, Jenny; Ezzy, Doug and Harvey, Graham eds. Researching Paganisms (pp. 241-255)
ISBN : 0-7591-0523-5 | Publisher : AltaMira | Published : Lanham, MS, USA
Comments on "The Permeability of Boundaries debate: alternative archaeology - has it happened?" (2001)
Harvey, Graham
In: Wallis, R. J. and Lymer, K. eds. A Permeability of Boundaries? New Approaches to the Archaeology of Art, Religion and Folklore. BAR international series (936) (pp. 121-123)
ISBN : 1841711748 | Publisher : British Archaeological Reports | Published : Oxford
Boggarts and Books: towards an appreciation of Pagan Spirituality (2000-02)
Harvey, Graham
In: Sutcliffe, Steven and Bowman, Marion eds. Beyond New Age: Exploring Alternative Spirituality (pp. 155-168)
ISBN : 748609989 | Publisher : Edinburgh University Press | Published : Edinburgh
Introduction (2000)
Harvey, Graham
In: Harvey, Graham ed. Indigenous Religions: a Companion (pp. 1-19)
ISBN : 304704482 | Publisher : Cassell | Published : London
Art works in Aotearoa (2000)
Harvey, Graham
In: Harvey, Graham ed. Indigenous Religions: a Companion (pp. 155-172)
ISBN : 304704474 | Publisher : Cassell | Published : London
Coming home and coming out Pagan but not converting (1999)
Harvey, Graham
In: Lamb, Christopher and Bryant, Darrol eds. Religious Conversion: Contemporary Practices and Controversies. (pp. 233-246)
ISBN : 304338435 | Publisher : Cassell | Published : London
Synagogues of the Hebrews: "Good Jews" in the Diaspora (1998)
Harvey, Graham
In: Jones, Sian and Pearce, Sarah eds. Jewish Local Patriotism and Self-Identification in the Graeco-Roman Period. Library of Second Temple Studies (31) (pp. 132-147)
ISBN : 1850758328 | Publisher : Sheffield Academic Press | Published : Sheffield
Heathenism: a north European Pagan tradition (1995)
Harvey, Graham
In: Harvey, Graham and Hardman, Charlotte eds. Paganism Today (pp. 49-64)
ISBN : 722532334 | Publisher : Thorsons | Published : London
'Ritual abuse allegations, incitement to religious hatred: Pagans and Christians in court (1995)
Harvey, Graham
In: Towler, Robert ed. New Religions and the New Europe. RENNER Studies on New Religions (1) (pp. 154-170)
ISBN : 8772884339 | Publisher : Aarhus University Press | Published : Aarhus
The suffering of witches and children: uses of witchcraft passages in the Bible (1995)
Harvey, Graham
In: Davies, Jon; Watson, Wilfred G. E. and Harvey, Graham eds. Words Remembered, Texts Renewed: Essays in Honour of John F. A. Sawyer. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies (195) (pp. 154-170)
ISBN : 9780567634238 | Publisher : Sheffield Academic Press | Published : Sheffield
Death and remembrance in modern Paganism (1994)
Harvey, Graham
In: Davies, Jon ed. Ritual and Remembrance: Responses to Death in Human Societies (pp. 103-122)
ISBN : 1850754691 | Publisher : Sheffield Academic Press
Handbook of Contemporary Animism (2013-10-31)
Harvey, Graham ed.
Handbooks on Contemporary Religion
ISBN : 978-1844657117 | Publisher : Acumen Publishing | Published : Durham
Religions in Focus: New Approaches to Tradition and Comtemporary Practices (2009)
Harvey, Graham ed.
ISBN : 9781845532185 | Publisher : Equinox | Published : London
Indigenous diasporas and dislocations (2005-09)
Harvey, Graham and Thompson Jr, Charles D. eds.
Vitality of Indigenous Religions
ISBN : 754639061 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot, UK
Ritual and Religious Belief: a reader (2005-09)
Harvey, Graham ed.
Critical Categories in the Study of Religion
ISBN : 1904768172 | Publisher : Equinox | Published : London, UK
The Paganism Reader (2004-11)
Clifton, Chas and Harvey, Graham eds.
ISBN : 9780415303521 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
Researching Paganisms (2004-09)
Blain, Jenny; Ezzy, Douglas and Harvey, Graham eds.
ISBN : 0-7591-0523-5 | Publisher : AltaMira | Published : Lanham, MD, USA
Historical Dictionary of Shamanism (2004)
Harvey, Graham and Wallis, Robert eds.
Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements Series
ISBN : 0-8108-5798-7 | Publisher : Scarecrow | Published : Lanham, MD, USA
Shamanism: A Reader (2003)
Harvey, Graham ed.
ISBN : 415253292 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
Indigenous religious musics (2000-12)
Ralls-MacLeod, Karen and Harvey, Graham eds.
SOAS Musicology Series
ISBN : 0 7546 0249 4 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot, UK
Law and Religion in Contemporary Society: Communities, Individualism and the State (2000)
Edge, Peter W. and Harvey, Graham eds.
ISBN : 754613062 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot
Indigenous Religions: A Companion (2000)
Harvey, Graham ed.
ISBN : 304704482 | Publisher : Cassell | Published : New York
Paganism Today: Witches, Druids, the Goddess and Ancient Earth Traditions for the Twenty-First Century (1996-02-19)
Harvey, Graham and Hardman, Charlotte eds.
ISBN : 722532334 | Publisher : Thorsons | Published : London
Words Remembered, Texts Renewed: Festschrift for Prof John F.A. Sawyer (1995-11-01)
Davies, Jon; Harvey, Graham and Watson, Wilfred G. E. eds.
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies
ISBN : 9780567634238 | Publisher : Sheffield Academic Press | Published : Sheffield
Pagan Identities: DISKUS 6 (2000)
Bowman, Marion and Harvey, Graham
BASR, Wolverhampton.