Matthew Engelke

Matthew Engelke

Professor of Religion; Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, Columbia University

Engelke photo teaching.jpg

Matthew Engelke is an anthropologist with research interests in Christianity, secular humanism, media, materiality, semiotics. He has conducted fieldwork in Zimbabwe and in Britain. He is currently working on a book about secularity and death, based on research among humanist funeral celebrants in London.

Before joining the Columbia faculty in 2018, Engelke taught in the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science for 16 years. He received his BA from the University of Chicago in 1994 and his PhD from the University of Virginia in 2002.

Engelke is the editor of Prickly Paradigm Press, a section editor at Public Books, former editor of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and former deputy editor of the Journal of Religion in Africa. Engelke has served on the board of trustees of both the Royal Anthropological Institute and the London School of Economics, as well as vice-chair of the LSE’s Ethics Policy Committee.

The author or editor of several books, Engelke has also published articles in many journals, including American EthnologistComparative Studies in Society and HistorySouth Atlantic Quarterly, and Current Anthropology. Beyond his scholarly writing, Engelke has written for the Guardian and Tate Modern.