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Katja Rakow, Dr.

Academic Staff

Katja Rakow, Dr.

Position

  • Leader of Junior Research Group "Transcultural Dynamics of Pentecostalism: Pentecostal Christianity between Globalisation and Localised Spheres in Singapore and the Straits" (B21)

Contact information

Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies
Voßstraße 2, Building 4400
Room 208
69115 Heidelberg
Germany

Email:
katja.rakow@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de
Phone:
+49 (0) 6221 54 4082
Fax:
+49 (0) 6221 54 4012

About Katja Rakow

Research Interests:

  • Religion in contemporary societies (Evangelical & Pentecostal Christianity in North America and Southeast Asia; Buddhism in the West)
  • Religion in transcultural perspective
  • Religion in the nexus of individualism, therapeutic culture, and consumerism
  • Material religion
  • Poststructuralist approaches and critical theory

Current research project:

Making the Global Network Tangible (2013-2016): I am currently conducting a fieldwork based case study of televangelists and megachurch pastors in the USA and Singapore as cultural mediators between different local and global spheres. The analysis focuses on the global distribution of media products (books, TV programs, DVDs, etc.) and the network of religious actors and key figures.

The project is part of the Junior Research Group “Transcultural Dynamics of Pentecostalism” at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at Heidelberg University, funded by the German Excellence Initiative.

Former research projects:

Modern Religious Experience Worlds: Material, Visual and, Sensual Dimensions in Contemporary Evangelical Megachurches (2010-2013): A fieldwork based case study of Lakewood Church, Texas, currently the biggest neo‐pentecostal megachurch in the US. The analysis focussed on material, visual, and sensual dimensions of religious norms and practices in contemporary Evangelicalism with regard to religious economies and branding strategies in the context of the US American religious marketplace.

This project was part of a collaborative, international, interdisciplinary research project entitled “Moderne religiöse Erlebnisgesellschaften – Mediale und ästhetische Präsentation von Lehren christlich orientierter Organisationen in den USA.” This project was competitively funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Transformation of Buddhist Practices in Germany (2005-2007): A fieldwork based study of two Tibetan Buddhist meditation groups in Berlin, Germany, and a survey of 214 Buddhist practitioners in Berlin.

This project was part of a larger project titled “Transformationen buddhistischer Praktiken und Vorstellungen in der deutschen Gegenwartsgesellschaft” supervised by Prof. Dr. Inken Prohl (Freie Universität Berlin/Heidelberg University); the project was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Projects

Curriculum vitae

Academic Employment:

Since May 2013: Leader of Junior Research Group B21 ""Transcultural Dynamics of Pentecostalism: Pentecostal Christianity between Globalisation and Localised Spheres in Singapore and the Straits" at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe", University of Heidelberg, Germany

2010 – 2013: Post‐Doctoral Fellow, Institute for Religious Studies, Heidelberg University, Research Project on “Megachurches in the US” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

2007 – 2010: Lecturer, Institute for Religious Studies, Heidelberg University

2005 – 2007: Research Fellow, Institute for Religious Studies, Free University Berlin, Research Project on “Buddhist Transformations in Germany” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

2004 – 2005: Lecturer, Institute for Religious Studies, Free University Berlin

Education:

2010: PhD (Dr. phil.) in Religious Studies With High Distinction (summa cum laude) Heidelberg University, Germany

2003: M.A. (Magister Artium) Religious Studies (major), Anthropology (minor), Sociology (minor), Free University Berlin, Germany

Grants and Awards:

2013: Research Grant for a Junior Research Group “Transcultural Dynamics of Pentecostalism” (funding for 1 postdoctoral researcher and two PhD candidates) at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe” (funded by the German Excellence Initiative), May 2013 – April 2016.

2008: Conference Travel Grant, Graduate School Heidelberg University.

2005: Conference and Research Travel Grant, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation).

2004: Rudolf Virchow Award of the Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, awarded for the M.A. Thesis: Neuere Entwicklungen in der Neuapostolischen Kirche. Eine Dokumentation des Öffnungsprozesses (New Developments in the New Apostolic Church).

Selected publications

Books:

Moderne religiöse Erlebniswelten in den USA: “Have Fun and Prepare to Believe!” Co-authored with Sebastian Emling, Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 2014.

Transformationen des tibetischen Buddhismus im 20. Jahrhundert. Chögyam Trungpa und die Entwicklung von Shambhala Training. Critical Studies in Religion/Religionswissenschaft (CSRRW), Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014.

Diesseits, Jenseits und Dazwischen? Die Transformation und Konstruktion von Sterben, Tod und Postmortalität. Co-edited volume with Nadja Miczek & Gregor Ahn, Bielefeld: transcript, 2011.

Rakow, Katja: Neuere Entwicklungen in der Neuapostolischen Kirche. Eine Dokumentation des Öffnungsprozesses. Berlin: Weißensee Verlag, 2004.

Articles and book chapters:

“Therapeutische Kultur und Sprachpraktiken als Medium der Subjektbildung: Das Thema Heilung in Diskurs und Praxis der Lakewood Church in Texas, USA.” In: Gritt Klinkhammer and Eva Tolksdorf (eds.): Somatisierung des Religiösen. Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf den rezenten religiösen Heilungs- und Therapiemarkt. Bremen: Univ. Bremen Open Access, 2015, pp. 49-96.

“Religious Branding and the Quest to Meet Consumer Needs: Joel Osteen’s ‘Message of Hope.’” Philip Goff, Detlef Junker & Jan Stievermann (eds.): Religion and the Marketplace in the United States: New Perspectives and New Findings. Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 215–239.

“Therapeutic Culture and Religion in America” Religion Compass 7/11, 2013, pp. 485–497.

“Neue Rituale des Trauerns und Bedauerns: Religiöse und spirituelle Praktiken im Umgang mit Sterben und Tod.” Co‐authored with Sascha Beckerle and Inken Prohl, in: Michael Anderheiden & Wolfgang U. Eckart (eds.): Sterben in der Modernen Gesellschaft: Menschenwürde und medizinischer Fortschritt. Ein Handbuch, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012, pp. 1417-1436.

“Kālacakra in Transition: From the Apocalypse to the Promotion of World Peace.” Istvàn Keul (ed.): Transformation and Transfer of Tantra in Asia and Beyond. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012, pp. 395‐415.

“Diesseits, Jenseits und Dazwischen? Die Transformation und Konstruktion von Sterben, Tod und Postmortalität.” Co‐authored with Gregor Ahn et al., in: Gregor Ahn, Nadja Miczek and Katja Rakow (eds.): Diesseits, Jenseits und Dazwischen? Zur Transformation und Konstruktion von Sterben, Tod und Postmortalität, Bielefeld: transcript, 2011, pp. 11‐41.

“Die Transformation des Tibetischen Totenbuchs im 20. Jahrhundert. Vom Wandern durch die postmortalen Bardos zu einer Reise in die Räume des Bewusstseins.” In: Gregor Ahn, Nadja Miczek and Katja Rakow (eds.): Diesseits, Jenseits und Dazwischen? Zur Transformation und Konstruktion von Sterben, Tod und Postmortalität, Bielefeld: transcript, 2011, pp. 175‐202.

“’Take the un out of the undead!’ Zur diskursiven Konstruktion der Attribute ‘lebendig’, ‘tot’ und ‘untot’ in der amerikanischen Fernsehserie True Blood.” In: Gregor Ahn, Nadja Miczek and Katja Rakow (eds.): Diesseits, Jenseits und Dazwischen? Zur Transformation und Konstruktion von Sterben, Tod und Postmortalität, Bielefeld: transcript, 2011, pp. 93‐120.

“Transformationen buddhistisch inspirierter Vorstellungen und Praktiken: Eine empirische Studie im Raum Berlin.” Co‐authored with Inken Prohl, in: Transformierte Buddhismen, 01/2008, pp. 3‐27 (Peer reviewed): http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/ojs/index.php/tb/article/view/10062/3917.

“Das Tibetische Totenbuch: Vom tibetischen Ritualtext zum spirituellen Klassiker.” in: Transformierte Buddhismen, 01/2008, pp. 82‐107 (Peer reviewed): http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/ojs/index.php/tb/article/view/10065/3920.

“Religion im Wandel. Ursachen und Auswirkungen des Öffnungsprozesses der Neuapostolischen Kirche.” Mitteilungen der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, Vol. 25, 2004, pp. 89‐96.

Publications in preparation:

“The Bible in the Digital Age: Negotiating the Limits of Materiality in Religious Practices.” In: M. Opas & A. Haapalainen (eds.), Christianity and the Limits of Materiality (in preparation).

“Evangelikalismus in Asien.” In: F. Elwert, M. Radermacher & J. Schlamelcher (eds.), Handbuch Evangelikalismus: Lokal und global in Geschichte und Gegenwart (in preparation).

“Bringing the Gospel Revolution from Singapore to America – A Case of Reverse Mission?” (in preparation).

“Negotiating the Boundaries of Religious, Public and Commercial Spheres: Neo-Pentecostal Megachurches in Singapore” (in preparation).

Making the Global Network Tangible: The Faith Movement Beyond North America (working title of current book project).

The Transcultural Approach: Disciplinary Perspectives, co-edited with Daniel König (volume in preparation).

Media, Material, and Visual Components of Contemporary American Religious “Experience Worlds.” Co-edited with Anthony Santoro (volume in preparation).

Entries in reference works:

Entries in Nils Grubel & Stefan Rademacher (eds.): Religion in Berlin. Ein Handbuch, Berlin: Weißensee Verlag 2003:

- “Apostolische Gemeinschaften – Einleitung.” (pp. 246-247)
- “Katholisch‐apostolische Gemeinden.” (pp. 247-248)
- “Neuapostolische Kirche.” (pp. 249-251)
- “Apostelamt Juda – Gemeinschaft des göttlichen Sozialismus.” (pp.  251-252)
- “Apostelamt Jesu Christi.” (pp. 253-255)
- “Gemeinschaft der Apostel Jesu Christi.” (pp. 255-256)
- “Apostolische Gemeinschaft – Apostolische Gemeinde Berlin/Reformiert‐apostolischer Gemeindebund.” (p. 256)

Reviews:

“Christianity, Space and Place,” in: Review Forum, “The Anthropology of Christianity: Unity, Diversity, New Directions” Part III, AnthroCyBib – The Anthropology of Christianity Bibliography Blog, published 24.02.2015.

Donald S. Lopez (2011): The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Biography, Princeton,/Oxford, Princeton University Press. Reviewed for Religion, Volume 43, Issue 2, April 2013, pp. 297-300.

Steven J. Sutcliffe (2003): Children of the New Age: A History of Spiritual Practices, London, New York: Routledge. Reviewed for Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review (ASRR), Vol. 2 Issue 2, 2011, pp. 426‐430.


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