Geoffrey Samuel

Geoffrey Samuel is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. After training in physics at Oxford, he undertook a PhD in social anthropology at Cambridge, carrying out field research on religion and society with Tibetans in Nepal and India in 1971-72. Subsequent fieldwork has included several further research trips to India, Nepal and Tibet, and shorter visits to other Asian societies. He joined the University of Newcastle in 1978 after teaching in the UK, New Zealand and Queensland. From 1995 to 1997, Geoffrey was Professor of Religious Studies at Lancaster University, where he remains an Honorary Professor. He returned to Newcastle in 1998.

Geoffrey is currently the Deputy Head of the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Education and Arts at the University of Newcastle. He is also Associate Director of CAPSTRANS, the joint Newcastle-Wollongong Key Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies.

Geoffrey's specialist fields include the anthropology of Buddhist societies, and of religion in South and Southeast Asia more generally; the anthropology of "shamanic" practices; anthropological theory, especially concerning formal and informal knowledge in human society. He has also carried out research on Buddhism and other new religious movements in Western societies, and in ethnomusicology.

His publications include two books, Mind, Body and Culture (1990) and Civilized Shamans (1993). He has also edited four books: Tantra and Popular Religion in Tibet (1994, with Hamish Gregor and Elisabeth Stutchbury), Nature Religion Today (1998, with Joanne Pearson and Richard H. Roberts), Healing Powers and Modernity (2001, with Linda H. Connor) and The Daughters of Hariti: Childbirth and Female Healers in South and Southeast Asia (2002, with Santi Rozario). Geoffrey has also produced a large number of articles, book chapters and other works. A volume of selected published and unpublished papers, Revisioning Tantra, is to be published shortly by Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi.

Some unpublished papers are available on this web-site, along with a variety of other resources.

In October-December 2002, Geoffrey gave the Wilde Lectures in Natural and Comparative Religion at Oxford University. The topic was "The Origins and Nature of Indic Religions: A Critical and Anthropological Approach". From August 2003 to May 2004 he will be a Leverhulme Visiting Professor in the Department of Study of Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


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Updated GBS 06/05/2003