Dr. Kreinath received training in theory and methodology related to the study of religion, ritual, and culture. Besides holding degrees in Theology and History of Religion as well as in Philosophy—all received from the University of Heidelberg—he received in 2006 his doctoral degree in social/cultural anthropology form the same university. As a member of a research group on ritual theory and the history of religions, he carried out research in 2000 on the Yasna, a daily performed ritual of Zoroastrian high-priests. Together with Refika Sariönder, he conducted fieldwork in 2002 in Istanbul among the Alevi on the reflexive dynamics of the cem, a weekly observed community ritual. Since 2010, he studies the coexistence of religious minorities in Turkey and more specifically on the local and global dynamics of inter-religious relations in Hatay, the southernmost province of Turkey. His current research is primarily on Christian and Muslim communities in Antakya (formerly Antioch). He is member of an international research collaboration, “Reassembling Democracy: Ritual as Cultural Resource,” funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The aim of his research is to inquire the impact of the interreligious Antakya Choir of Civilizations on transforming the interaction of the local religious communities and to analyze the internal dynamic of this interreligious choir. Besides, he was in 2014-2015 visiting scholar in the research group “Local Dynamics of Globalization in the Premodern Levant,” funded by the Centre of Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, which allowed him to further his studies of local infrastructure of pilgrimage sites in the northern Levant in a more historical perspective.


Academic Interests and Expertise

Religious Minorities and Cultural Dynamics in Turkey and the Middle East; Syncretism, Hybridity, and the Dynamics of Interreligious Contact; Aesthetics of Religion and Semiotics of Ritual; Method and Theory in the Study of Religion; Concept Formation in Study Ritual; Reflexivity in Ethnographic Fieldwork; Ritual Theory; Anthropology of Islam; Visual Anthropology


Selected Publications

Jens Kreinath

 Books and Edited Volumes 

  1. Johannsen, Dirk, Anja Kirsch, and Jens Kreinath, eds. 2020. Narrative Cultures and the Aesthetics of Religion. (Supplements to Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, Vol. 14). Leiden and Boston: Brill. 369 pp. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004421677.
  2. Kreinath, Jens, ed. 2012. The Anthropology of Islam Reader. London and New York: Routledge – Taylor & Francis Group. 426 pp. https://www.routledge.com/The-Anthropology-of-Islam-Reader/Kreinath/p/book/9780415780254.
  3. Kreinath, Jens, Jan Snoek, and Michael Stausberg. Theorizing Rituals: Vol. II: Annotated Bibliography of Ritual Theory, 1966–2005. (Numen Book Series: Studies in the History of Religion Vol. 114-2). Leiden and Boston: Brill. xx, 576 pp. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004153431.i-573.
  4. Kreinath, Jens, Jan Snoek, and Michael Stausberg, eds. 2006. Theorizing Rituals: Vol I: Issues, Topics, Approaches, Concepts. (Numen Book Series: Studies in the History of Religion 114-1). Leiden and Boston: Brill. xxvi, 778 pp. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789047410775.
  5. Kreinath, Jens. 2005. Semiose des Rituals: Eine Kritik ritualtheoretischer Begriffsbildung [Semiosis of Ritual: A Critique of Ritual Theoretical Concept Formation]. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Heidelberg. 211 pp. http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/volltextserver/frontdoor.php?source_opus=6570.
  6. Kreinath, Jens, Constance Hartung, and Annette Deschner, eds. 2004. The Dynamics of Changing Rituals: The Transformation of Religious Rituals within Their Social and Cultural Context. (Toronto Studies in Religion 29). New York: Peter Lang. 287 pp. https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/58165.

Journal Articles (Peer-Reviewed) 

  1. Kreinath, Jens, and Matan Shapiro. 2020. “Introductory Note on Play and Ritual: Rhythm, Pulsation, and Fractal Dynamics.” Anthropological Theory 20 (2):190–192. https://doi.org/10.1177/1463499619844370.
  2. Kreinath, Jens. 2020. “Playing with Frames of Reference in Veneration Rituals: Fractal Dynamics in Encounters with a Muslim Saint.” Anthropological Theory 20 (2):221–250. https://doi.org/10.1177/1463499619841212.
  3. Kreinath, Jens. 2019. “‘Finding’ the Eucharist in Central Australia: Intichiuma Ceremonies and the Study of Ritual Sacrifice as a Sacrament of Communion.” History of Religion 58 (3):277–318. https://doi.org/10.1086/700584.
  4. Kreinath, Jens. 2019. “Introduction to Tracing Ritual Associations in Pilgrimage and Festival: Applications of Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network Theory to Ritual Studies.” Journal of Ritual Studies 33 (1):1–11.
  5. Kreinath, Jens. 2019. “Tombs and Trees as Indexes of Agency in Saint Veneration Rituals: Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network Theory and the Hıdırellez Festival in Hatay, Turkey.” Journal of Ritual Studies 33 (1):52–73.
  6. Kreinath, Jens. 2018. “Implications of Micro-Scale Comparisons for the Study of Entangled Religious Traditions: Reflecting on the Comparative Method in the Study of the Dynamics of Christian-Muslim Relations at a Shared Sacred Site.” Religions 9 (2):45. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020045.
  7. Kreinath, Jens, and Refika Sarıönder. “Dynamics of Ritual Reflexivity in the Alevi Cem, Istanbul.” Society and Religion 9 (1):145–159. https://doi.org/10.3167/arrs.2018.090111.
  8. Kreinath, Jens. 2017. “Interrituality as a New Approach for Studying Interreligious Relations and Ritual Dynamics at Shared Pilgrimage Sites in Hatay.” Interreligious Studies and Intercultural Theology 1 (2):257–284. https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.33084.
  9. Kreinath, Jens. 2016. “Intertextualität und Interritualität als Mimesis: Zur Ästhetik interreligiöser Beziehungen unter Juden, Christen und Muslimen in Hatay.” Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 24 (2):153–185. https://doi.org/10.1515/zfr-2016-0003.
  10. Kreinath, Jens. 2014. “Interrituality as a Framework of Analysis: A New Approach to the Study of Interreligious Encounters and the Economies of Ritual.” PluRel – En Blogg om Religion og Samfunn. http://blogg.uio.no/prosjekter/plurel/content/inter-rituality-as-a-framework-of-analysis-a-new-approach-to-the-study-of-interreligious-enc.
  11. Kreinath, Jens. 2014. “Virtual Encounters with Hızır and Other Muslim Saints: Dreaming and Healing at Local Pilgrimage Sites in Hatay, Turkey.” Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia 2 (1):25–66. https://doi.org/10.26581/acme.v2i1.72.
  12. Kreinath, Jens, and William Silcott. 2013. “Introduction: Politics of Faith in Asia: Local and Global Perspectives of Christianity in Asia.” Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal 14 (2):180–184. https://doi.org/10.1080/14755610.2012.758648
  13. Silcott, William, and Jens Kreinath. “Transformations of a ‘Religious’ Nation in a Global World: Politics, Protestantism and Ethnic Identity in South Korea.” Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal 14 (2):223–240. https://doi.org/10.1080/14755610.2012.758645.
  14. Kreinath, Jens. 2012. “Discursive Formation, Ethnographic Encounter, Photographic Evidence: The Centenary of Durkheim's Basic Forms of Religious Life and the Anthropological Study of Australian Aboriginal Religion in his Time.” Visual Anthropology 25 (5):367–420. https://doi.org/10.1080/08949468.2012.720910.
  15. Kreinath, Jens. 2012. “Naven, Moebius Strip, and Random Fractal Dynamics: Reframing Bateson’s Play Frame and the Use of Mathematical Models for the Study of Ritual.” Journal of Ritual Studies 26 (2):39–64.
  16. Kreinath, Jens. 2009. “Headscarf Discourses and the Contestation of Secularism in Turkey.” The Council of Societies for the Study of Religion Bulletin 38 (4):77–84.
  17. Kreinath, Jens. 2005. “Ritual: Theoretical Issues in the Study of Religion.” Rever: Revista de Estudos da Religião 5:100–107. http://www.pucsp.br/rever/rv4_2005/p_kreinath.pdf

Book Chapters (Peer-Reviewed) 

  1. Kreinath, Jens. [forthcoming]. “Alawite Politics of Religious Secrecy: Dynamics of Dissimulation and Concealment among a Religious Minority in Hatay, Turkey.” In Religious Secrecy as Contact: Secrets as Promoters of Religious Dynamics, edited by Anna Akasoy, Licia Di Giacinto, Georgios Halkias, Andreas Müller-Lee and Philipp Reichling. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
  2. Kreinath, Jens. [forthcoming]. “Ethnographic Research, Photographic Evidence, and the Formations of an Anthropological Theory of Ritual: Durkheim’s Elementary Forms of Religious Life and the Study of Central Australian Aborigines in His Time.” In Visual Anthropology–Historical Perspectives, edited by Paul Stockings and Paul Henle. London and New York: Routledge – Taylor & Francis Group.
  3. Kreinath, Jens. [forthcoming]. “Infrastructures of Interrituality and the Aesthetics of Interreligious Relations at Shared Sacred Sites in the Eastern Mediterranean.” In Palgrave Studies in Ritual, edited by Pamela Stewart and Andrew Strathern. London and New York: Palgrave.
  4. Kreinath, Jens. [forthcoming]. “The Infrastructure of Shared Pilgrimage Sites in Hatay, Turkey: Interreligious Dynamics of Saint Veneration in the Northern Levant.” In Levantine Entanglements Local Dynamics of Globalization in a Contested Region, edited by Terje Stordalen. London and New York: Equinox. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/levantine-entanglements/.
  5. Kreinath, Jens. [forthcoming]. “Ritual: Review of Current Trends.” In The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion, edited by Robert Segal. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  6. Kreinath, Jens. 2020. “The Interreligious Choir of Civilizations: Representations of Democracy and the Ritual Assembly of Multiculturalism in Antakya (Antioch), Turkey.” In Reassembling Democracy: Ritual as a Cultural Resource, edited by Jone Salomonsen, Michael Houseman, Sarah M. Pike and Graham Harvey, 125–140. London and New York: Bloomsbury. https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/reassembling-democracy-9781350123014/.
  7. Kreinath, Jens. 2020. “Water Sanctuaries of Hatay, Turkey.” In Holy Wells and Sacred Springs, edited by Celeste Ray, 225–234. London and New York: Routledge – Taylor & Francis Group. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003010142-30.
  8. Kreinath, Jens. 2020. “What Happens when the Story is Told? Afterthoughts on Narrative Culture and the Aesthetics of Religion: The Case of Armenian Christians from Musa Dağı.” In Narrative Cultures and the Aesthetics of Religion, edited by Dirk Johannsen, Anja Kirsch and Jens Kreinath. Leiden and Boston: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004421677_015.
  9. Kreinath, Jens. 2019. “Aesthetic Sensations of Mary: The Miraculous Icon of Meryem Ana and the Dynamics of Interreligious Relations in Antakya.” In Figurations and Sensations of the Unseen in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Contested Desires, edited by Birgit Meyer and Terje Stordalen, 155–171, 288–290, 311–314. London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350078666.0017.
  10. Kreinath, Jens. 2019. “Methodology.” In The Bloomsbury Handbook of Cultural and Cognitive Aesthetics of Religion, edited by Anne Koch and Katharina Wilkens, 47–57. London: Bloomsbury Academic. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350066748.ch-005.
  11. Kreinath, Jens. 2017. “Aesthetic Dimensions and Transformative Dynamics of Mimetic Acts: The Veneration of Habib-i Neccar among Muslims and Christians in Antakya, Turkey.” In Aesthetics of Religion: A Connective Concept, edited by Alexandra Grieser and Jay Johnston, 271–299. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110461015-012.
  12. Kreinath, Jens. 2015. “Imagination – Visualität – Repräsentation: Religionsästhetische Konstruktion der Kategorie der zentralaustralischen Aborigines und das Paradigma der Fotografie.” In Religion-Imagination-Ästhetik: Vorstellungs-und Sinneswelten in Religion und Kultur, edited by Lucia Traut and Annette Wilke, 407–450. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. https://doi.org/10.13109/9783666540318.407.
  13. Kreinath, Jens. 2015. “The Seductiveness of Saints: Interreligious Pilgrimage Sites in Hatay and the Ritual Transformations of Agency.” In The Seductions of Pilgrimage: Sacred Journeys Afar and Astray in the Western Religious Tradition, edited by Michael A. Di Giovine and David Picard, 121–143. Farnham: Ashgate.
  14. Kreinath, Jens. 2012. “Toward the Anthropology of Islam: An Introductory Essay.” In The Anthropology of Islam Reader, edited by Jens Kreinath, 1–42. London and New York: Routledge – Taylor & Francis Group.
  15. Kreinath, Jens. 2009. “Virtuality and Mimesis: Toward an Aesthetics of Ritual Performances as Embodied Forms of Religious Practice.” In Religion, Ritual, Theatre, edited by Bent Holm, Bent Flemming Nielsen and Karen Vedel, 219–249. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/51349.
  16. Kreinath, Jens, and Refika Sarıönder. 2008. “Reflexive Ritualdynamik am Beispiel des alevitischen Cem.” In Im Rausch des Rituals: Gestaltung und Transformation der Wirklichkeit in körperlicher Performanz, 2nd edited by Klaus-Peter Köpping and Ursula Rao, 93–108. Hamburg: Lit.
  17. Kreinath, Jens, Jan Snoek, and Michael Stausberg. “Ritual Studies, Ritual Theory, Theorizing Ritual: An Introductory Essay.” In Theorizing Rituals: Vol I: Issues, Topics, Approaches, Concepts, edited by Jens Kreinath, Jan Snoek and Michael Stausberg, xiii–xxv. Leiden and Boston: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789047410775_001.
  18. Kreinath, Jens. 2006. “Semiotics.” In Theorizing Rituals: Vol I: Issues, Topics, Approaches, Concepts, edited by Jens Kreinath, Jan Snoek and Michael Stausberg, 429–470. Leiden: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789047410775_021.
  19. Kreinath, Jens. 2004. “Meta-Theoretical Parameters for the Analysis and Comparison of two Recent Approaches to the Study of the Yasna.” In Zoroastrian Rituals in Context, edited by Michael Stausberg, 99–136. Leiden, Boston: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789047412502_005.
  20. Kreinath, Jens. 2004. “Theoretical Afterthoughts.” In The Dynamics of Changing Rituals: The Transformation of Religious Rituals within their Social and Cultural Context, edited by Jens Kreinath, Constance Hartung and Annette Deschner, 267–282. New York: Peter Lang. 

Encyclopedia Entries 

  1. Kreinath, Jens. 2020. “Aesthetics.” In The SAGE Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Religion, edited by Adam Possamai and Anthony J. Blasi, 8–9. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781529714401.n11.
  2. Kreinath, Jens. 2020. “Interrituality.” In The SAGE Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Religion, edited by Adam Possamai and Anthony Joseph Blasi, 398–399. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781529714401.n226.
  3. Kreinath, Jens. 2020. “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, by Émile Durkheim.” In The SAGE Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Religion, edited by Adam Possamai and Anthony Joseph Blasi, 254–256. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781529714401.n145.
  4. Kreinath, Jens. 2018. “Islam.” In The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, edited by Hilary Callan. New York and Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118924396.wbiea2322.
  5. Kreinath, Jens. 2018. “Ritual.” In The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, edited by Hilary Callan. New York and Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118924396.wbiea2128.
  6. Kreinath, Jens. 2015. “Framing.” In Vocabulary for the Study of Religion, edited by Kocku von Stuckrad and Robert Segal, 44–47. Leiden and Boston: Brill. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004249707_vsr_COM_00000093.
  7. Kreinath, Jens. 2015. “Museality.” In Vocabulary for the Study of Religion, edited by Kocku von Stuckrad and Robert Segal, 481–486. Leiden and Boston: Brill. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004249707_vsr_COM_00000096.
  8. Kreinath, Jens. 2015. “Semiotics.” In Vocabulary for the Study of Religion, edited by Kocku von Stuckrad and Robert Segal, 322–325. Leiden and Boston: Brill. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004249707_vsr_COM_00000098.
  9. Kreinath, Jens. 2015. “Virtuality.” In Vocabulary for the Study of Religion, edited by Kocku von Stuckrad and Robert Segal, 574–578. Leiden and Boston: Brill. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004249707_vsr_COM_00000100.
  10. Kreinath, Jens. 2013. “Bateson, Gregory.” In Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology, edited by R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms, 57–62. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc.
  11. Kreinath, Jens. 2013. “Bastian, Adolf.” In Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology, edited by R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms, 52–56. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc. 

Book and Film Reviews 

  1. Kreinath, Jens. 2016. “Baudouin Dupret, Thomas Pierret, Paulo G. Pinto, and Kathryn Spellman-Poots (eds.): Ethnographies of Islam: Ritual Performances and Everyday Practices. (Exploring Muslim Contexts). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press in Association with the Aga Khan University, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations, 2012. 202 pp.” Numen 63 (1):126–130. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685276-12341414.
  2. Kreinath, Jens. 2015. “Dionigi Albera and Maria Couroucli (eds): Sharing Sacred Spaces in the Mediterranean: Christians, Muslims, and Jews at Shrines and Sanctuaries. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012.” Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 67 (1):90–94. https://doi.org/10.1163/15700739-90000153.
  3. Kreinath, Jens. 2015. “Gisela Procházka-Eisl and Stephan Prochzka, The Plain of Saints and Prophets: The Nusayri-Alawi Community of Cilicia (Southern Turkey) and its Sacred Places. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2010, 404 pp.” Contemporary Islam 9 (3):427–431. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11562-014-0320-0.
  4. Kreinath, Jens. 2015. “The Nuṣayrī-ʻAlawīs: An Introduction to the Religion, History, and Identity of the Leading Minority in Syria. By Yaron Friedman. Islamic History and Civilization, vol. 77. Leiden: Brill, 2010. Pp. xxii+325.” History of Religion 55 (2):225–229. https://doi.org/10.1086/683070.
  5. Kreinath, Jens. 2015. “Sociological Misconceptions in the Study of Oriental Societies: Lutfi Sunar, Marx and Weber on Oriental Societies: In the Shadow of Western Modernity, Classical and Contemporary Social Theory Series, Ashgate, 2014.” SCTIW Review: Journal of the Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamic World. http://sctiw.org/sctiwreviewarchives/archives/703.
  6. Kreinath, Jens. 2014. “Marriage, Kinship, and Religious Identity: The “Community of the House” of the Turkish Alawis/Nusairis in Germany: Die “Gemeinschaft des Hauses”: Religion, Heiratsstrategien und transnationale Identität türkischer Alawi-/Nusairi-Migranten in Deutschland. By Laila Prager. Berlin: Lit, 2010.” Current Anthropology 55 (6):837–839. https://doi.org/10.1086/679303.
  7. Kreinath, Jens. 2014. “Ronald L. Grimes, Ute Hüsken, Udo Simon, and Eric Venbrux [eds.]: Ritual, Media, and Conflict. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. 352 pp.” Numen 61 (2–3):306–310. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685276-12341322.
  8. Kreinath, Jens. 2011. “The Anthropology of Islam, by Gabrielle Marranci, Berg: Oxford and New York, 2008, ix + 182 pp.” Religion 41 (1):115–118. https://doi.org/10.1080/0048721X.2011.553091.
  9. Kreinath, Jens. 2011. “Ideologues of Martyrdom in Post-War Iran and the Culture of Mourning the Dead: Plastic Flowers Never Die. Film. Directed by Roxanne Varzi, 35 min. Documentary Educational Resources, Watertown, MA, 2008.” Current Anthropology 52 (4):614–615. https://doi.org/10.1086/660942.
  10. Kreinath, Jens. 2011. “Of Death and Birth: Schuler, Barbara. Of Death and Birth: Icakkiyamman, a Tamil Goddess, in Ritual and Story. With a Film on DVD by the Author. (Ethno-Indology: Heidelberg Studies in South Asian Rituals 8). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2009.” Visual Anthropology 24 (3):281–283. https://doi.org/10.1080/08949468.2010.509000.
  11. Kreinath, Jens. 2010. “Mecca and Eden: Ritual, Relics, and Territory in Islam. By Brannon Wheeler. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. Pp. xi+333.” History of Religions 49 (3):329–332. https://doi.org/10.1086/651994.
  12. Kreinath, Jens. 2010. “(un)veiled: Muslim Women Talk about Hijab. Ines Hofmann Kanna, dir. 36 min. Watertown, MA: Documentary Educational Resources, 2007.” American Anthropologist 112 (4):654–655. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1433.2010.01292.x.
  13. Kreinath, Jens. 2009. “Commemorating Adolf Bastian and the Foundation of the Royal Museum of Ethnology in Berlin: Adolf Bastian and his Universal Archive of Humanity: The Origins of German Anthropology. Edited by Manuela Fischer, Peter Bolz, and Susan Kamel. Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 2007.” Current Anthropology 50 (5):747–748. https://doi.org/10.1086/605716.
  14. Kreinath, Jens. 2006. “Imagining Religious Weeping: Holy Tears: Weeping in the Religious Imagination. Edited by Kimberley Christine Patton and John Stratton Hawley. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005. 317 pp.” Current Anthropology 47 (5):879–880. https://doi.org/10.1086/507192.
Additional Information

Dr. Phil. in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Heidelberg, summa cum laude