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Biography

For her doctorate, Anna spent two years living in a sacred pilgrimage centre on the banks of the Ganges with religious specialists (pilgrimage priests, sadhus and ashramites). She has since then undertaken periods of ethnographic fieldwork in India, Pakistan, Thailand, Nepal and Myanmar. 

Anna became interested in the interface between human rights and religious and cultural particularism when researching the link between religion, gender and violence in Pakistan and when studying hierarchical caste/class/gender relationships in India. She has published articles on Islam, women and violence, and the liberation theologies of the Dalai Lama and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Anna was Director of the University of Cambridge’s Multicultural/Antiracist Research Project, and part-time lecturer in Religious Studies, Department of Education, Cambridge. She lectured in the University of Winchester's Department of Theology, Religious Studies and Philosophy from 1992, principally teaching Indian Religions, Ethics and Religion, and Philosophy of Religion.

Anna joined the CRRP in 2011; within it, she promotes the Centre’s peace projects in Myanmar and Nepal. Anna is interested in religious attitudes to non-human animals and is a also member of the University's Centre for Animal Welfare team.

She is the founder-editor of Religions of South Asia (RoSA), an international journal published three times a year, and the contributing editor of several books. She has published numerous articles and was consultant to two ethnographic films (see below).

Anna was appointed Professor in 2015. She delivered her Inaugural Lecture on 5 April 2017, titled Sacred Violence, Sacred Peace: religion in an age of conflict. Watch the video.

Higher Education Teaching Qualification: Higher Education Academy Fellowship (FHEA).

Areas of expertise

  • The globalisation of religions
  • The interrelation between religion and politics/nationalism, conflict and peacebuilding
  • Multiculturalism
  • The role of religious leaders and of interfaith dialogue
  • The theory and methodologies of religious studies and social anthropology

Publications

Selected publications

  • 2015 ‘Transcending Religions, Transforming Traditions: The Liberation Spiritualities and Ethics of the Dalai Lama and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.’ The United Nations Day of Vesak Conference. Bangkok, Thailand. Collected papers.
  • 2014/15 Religions, Peacebuilding, Conflict and Non-Violence in Indian Religions (entire issue of collected papers in Religions of South Asia, Ed. Anna King).
  • 2014/15 Peace by Peaceful Means? A Preliminary Examination of Buddhist Peacebuilding, in: Post-Conflict Nepal, Religions of South Asia, Eds Anna King, Dermot Killingley and Simon Brodbeck. London: Equinox.
  • 2014 Peacebuilding and Post-Conflict Recovery in Nepal: A Buddhist Case Study, in: Buddhist Contribution to Global Peace-Building, Eds Most Ven. Dr Thich Nhat Tu and Most Ven. Dr Thich Duc Thien. Vietnam Buddhist University Series 24. Vietnam: Religion Press, pp 357-380.
  • 2014. King, Anna, 'A Hindu Perspective' [commentary], in Degeling C, Irvine R and Kerridge I., 'Faith-based perspectives on the use of chimeric organisms for medical research', Transgenic Research 2014; 23(2): 265-279.
  • 2014. Hedges, Paul and Anna King, ‘Is the Study of Religion Religious? How to Study Religion, and Who Studies Religion?’, in: Paul Hedges (Ed.), Controversies in Contemporary Religion, Vol. I, Westport, CN: Praeger, pp 31-56.
  • 2014. King, Anna and Paul Hedges, ‘What is Religion? Or What is it We’re Talking About?’, in: Paul Hedges (Ed.), Controversies in Contemporary Religion, Vol. I, Westport, CN: Praeger, pp 1-30.
  • 2013. Owen, Mark & King, Anna, Religious Peacebuilding and Development in Nepal: Report and Recommendations for the Nepal Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction. University of Winchester.
  • 2012. King, Anna, Krishna’s Prasadam: eating our way back to godhead. Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief 2012; 8(4): 440-465.
  • 2012. King, Anna, Krishna’s Cows: ISKCON’s Animal Theology and Practice. Journal of Animal Ethics 2012; 2(2): 179-204.
  • 2009. Islam, Women and Violence, in: Feminist Theology, Eds Lisa Isherwood and Lillalou Hughes. Vol. 17(3): 292-328. Read the abstract.
  • 2008. Rhetorical Reflections, in: Religion, Terror, and Violence: Religious Studies Perspectives. Eds Philip L Tite and Bryan Rennie. London: Routledge.

    2006. Indian Religions: Renaissance and Renewal in Indian Religions, Ed. Anna King. London: Equinox.
  • 2005. The Intimate Other: Love Divine in Indian Religions, Eds Anna King and John L. Brockington. Delhi: Orient Longman.
  • 2004. Dalit Theology: a Theology of Outrage, in: The Persistent Challenge: Religion, Truth, and Scholarship, Essays in Honour of Klaus Klostermaier, Eds I. Bocken, W. Dupré, P. van der Velde, Maastricht: Uitgeverij Shaker, 53-78.

Recent conferences

  • ​2016. ‘Hindu Attitudes to Non-Human Animals: Precept, Practice and Politics,’ Animal Welfare and Religion Symposium, University of Winchester. 2 November.
  • 2016 ‘The Dalai Lama: Liberal or Strategic Peacebuilder.’ Conference on Buddhism and Conflict Transformation, Winchester University and the Centre for Applied Buddhism. Taplow Court, Maidenhead. 18-19 July.
  • 2016. 'Cultural Conquest and the Rescue of the West’: ISKCON and the Discourses of Modernity and Tradition. Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Divinity School and Center for the Study of World Religions. 22-24 April.
  • 2015 ‘Crossing the Boundaries: The Liberation Ethics and Spiritualities of the Dalai Lama and Dr Babasaheh Ambedkar.’ The Religion in the Local and Global: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Challenges. British Association of the Study of Religion Annual Conference. 7-9 September.
  • 2015 (invited speaker). Peace Forum on ‘Peace Studies for Developing World Peace,’ hosted by The Peace Studies Program of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. 26 May.
  • 2015 (invited speaker and panel moderator) ‘Transcending Religions, Transforming Traditions: The Liberation Spiritualities and Ethics of the Dalai Lama and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.’ International Buddhist Conference of the United Nations Day of Vesak, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Ayutthaya, and United Nations Convention Centre, Bangkok, Thailand. 27-31 May (source of funding: Thailand UNDV-2015 Buddhist Conference).
  • 2014 ‘The Role of Religions in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding.’ Joint paper with Mark Owen. Societas Ethica Annual Conference, Maribor, Slovenia. 21 August.
  • 2014 (keynote speaker) ‘Religious Literacy’: Why It is Important.’ South East England's Faith Forum AGM on religious literacy, 7 June.
  • 2014 ‘Peacebuilding and Post-Conflict Recovery in Nepal: A Buddhist Case Study.’ The United Nations Day of Vesak Conference hosted by the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, Bai Dinh Temple, Vietnam, 7-11 May (source of funding: Vietnam UNDV-2014 Buddhist Conference).

Films

2012. UK Première of LEAP, an ethnographic documentary film that focusses on followers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). LEAP is directed by Jouko Aaltonen, Cinematographer Marita Hällfors and Production PerrtiVeijalainen Illume Ltd. The premiere of LEAP took place in Helsinki in April 2012, and the first screening in the UK was at the British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR) conference in Winchester in 2012. LEAP was originally funded by the University of Winchester in the form of a research grant, but later attracted substantial funding from the Finnish Film Foundation / Elina Kivihalme / AVEK / Timo Korhonen / KMS / Juha Rajamäki / and the MEDIA Programme of the European Union. LEAP represents a collaboration between the director, Jouko Aaltonen and the University of Winchester.

1998. Anthropological consultant to SACRED JOURNEY, a documentary film on the 1998 Hardwar Kumbha Melā; length 51 minutes, produced and directed by Dr R Alan Morinis, the Canadian anthropologist, filmmaker, and writer; aired first on television by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and then globally.

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